Friday Feast #32: Thinking About Bandwidth, Broadband, Modems, and Surfing

Since my business is Web design and development and I live in the suburbs of a fairly large city you might figure that I’ve had broadband at my office for quite some time now. It was only last year, however, that I went crazy for about a week while jackhammers blasted away on my street to install cables for the upcoming broadband availability. I signed up but the company went bankrupt before mine was installed and thankfully before I’d given them any money, too.

Sometime today, though, I’ll have broadband. I’ve only had high speed connections at hotels or friends' offices until now. I have a feeling it will change my everyday Web experience, and I look forward to checking out sites that make use of high speed connections, especially music- and video-related sites.

While broadband use continues to increase, modem users still account for the majority of Internet users. That means that most of us still need to design sites with modem users in mind, and that’s not likely to change during 2003. What is broadband for?, by the BBC’s Bill Thompson is an interesting take on how people use their high speed connections. Check out other articles and commentary about broadband by Thompson in the sidebar.

Without the need to conserve bandwidth, would your designs be any different? Would you do more with Flash, sound, anything else? Is bandwidth an important consideration in your site development now?

Flash 99% Good: A Guide to Macromedia Flash UsabilityThe Future of Flash is a chapter excerpt from Flash 99% Good: A Guide to Macromedia Flash Usability. The companion site has tutorials and helpful information, too.

The Flash Usability Guide: Interacting with Flash MXAccessibility comes to my mind, too. Chris MacGregor has an excellent white paper, Developing User-Friendly Flash Content, explaining how Flash and accessibility don’t have to be strangers. Check out his book, too, The Flash Usability Guide: Interacting with Flash MX.

Just for Fun: Internet Radio, Videos, Movies

These sites abound, but here are a few I plan to check out via DSL during the upcoming months. Some of these sites are available to modem users, too.


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Categories: Design, Friday Feast, Wireless

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