Design Thinking and Web
“The design for the Internet and the Web as an integrative platform are extensible and scalable as new developments and hybrid technologies emerge for the Internet/Web system.”1 Web is a modular complex system and it has many subsystem technologies. Like the example of civil aviation system, Web has many different parts of subsystems work together.
The first layer is various protocols, like HTTP, IP, TCP, UCP. “A protocol is the rules governing how two computers connect to each other – how they break up data into packets and synchronize sending them back and forth.”2 Thus, it is like a gatekeeper, or a guaranteed mail service, sending and receiving data packets in the first place. They are the components of Internet, so in this layer we can see the intersection of Web and Internet. Second, there are some programs invented for Webs in order to achieve some goals. For example, Google uses software called Googlebot to browse and download pages of other websites. Then Googlebot will send pages to another software, Google’s indexing program. Websites create different software to let them function better, or it will be like an normal interface, a page of book, presenting some informtion. The third layer maybe some special algorithms working for different websites. The Google PagRank is the search engine’s ranking algorithm, which is very famous for ranking the most relevant websites according to keywords.3 The fourth one are severs and databases that the websites have. They are important architecture of these websites. The databases center collect user’s information in order to understand them better and improve their experience. However, now it may lead to privacy issues. The fifth layer includes all hardware of computers and portable devices, like RAM, speakers, cameras. Web takes advantage of this hardware that computers and portable devices have and construct multimedia environment for users to enjoy various functions. Sixth, coding languages, like Java, are also an important layer because they create the interfaces of websites, and are the basis of websites. Moreover, learning these languages means that people can set up their own websites and create new world for users. Seventh, there are software in computers or other devices, like web browsers and media players. They are also necessary media for websites to achieve more functions. All these different technologies work in different departments, layers, and the summation of their work is the websites that normal users are using now.
However, not all these subsystems technologies appeared in one day. They are gradually invented, step by step, and finally develop into what Web now looks like. All of these technologies can be seen as artifacts that are invented on the base of other older technologies or ideas. For instance, the idea of a search engine comes from Archie, a tool for indexing FTP archives, allowing people to find specific files.4 Moreover, although it is a huge and complex system, users only interact with the interface, entering orders, pressing buttons, and achieving answers. Thus, the Web also applies abstraction in this point of view. It hides all the complicated things and let every user freely enjoy the benefits, like surfing websites, searching for information, shopping online, or watching videos. And that is the value of the Web: “it enables human communication, commerce, and opportunities to share knowledge.”5 It is a black box for most of users but not everyone because people still can learn the coding language and create their work in Web world, which may lead to further development of the society. The Web is open to change and creation. Now, Web with streaming and clouds construct a binger system. These subsystems connected with each other, make the virtual world more and more attracting, and bring a lot more benefits to people.
- Martin Irvine, Intro to the Web: Extensible Design Principles and “Appification”
- Ron White, “How the World Wide Web Works.” From: How Computers Work. 9th ed. Que Publishing, 2007. P. 361.
- “The First Search Engine,Archive.” n.d. Accessed November 11, 2020. https://web.archive.org/web/20070621141150/http://isrl.uiuc.edu/~chip/projects/timeline/1990archie.htm.
- “W3C Mission.” Accessed November 11, 2020. https://www.w3.org/Consortium/mission.