Evaluating Technology

Jeremy Keith's conference

We shape our tools and, thereafter, the tools shape us.

— J. Keith

Jeremy Keith is a british Web developer and conference speaker, author of books like "HTML5 for Web Designers" and recently "Resilient Web design". He makes websites in his agency Clearleft and created the world’s first "Science hack day". This document is an abstract from his conference at the Düsseldorf event (Germany) Beyond Tellerand in May 2017, where he talked about technology.

Jeremy Keith's photography

— Jeremy Keith

During his conference, Jeremy Keith tries to answer how to anticipate and evaluate a technology. He explains to his Web designer colleagues what are the good questions to ask when they have to choose the technology they are going to use in their development process. In that way, the speaker talks about the technological evolution process. For instance, he mentions the hardware step, indispensable to make appear new tools like software. Some technologies are consequently inevitable and the human being have to follow these steps. He also declares that the accession to a tool by the final user (often afraid of changing) is a fundamental criterion.

The Web developer gets into the substance of the way to evaluate a technology by asking four main questions:

"How does it work?", "How does it fail?", "Who benefits? and "What are the assumptions?"

About the working or failure of a technology, he takes the example of several tools like service workers, which allows the user to navigate through an offline mode website (when the network is broken down for example) and web components, for creating customizable HTML tags.

Choose your own tools

Moreover, he discusses the inward and outward facing tools, created for helping a developer find the technology which will make his team work better while offering the user an optimal experience. Finally, he takes a look at the principles of certain technologies and claims that each creation is oriented by the biases and principles of its developer.

The idea carried out by Jeremy Keith is: don’t suffer from technology, but use it to create your future.


Here you can go back to the Jeremy Keith’s talk analysis.

Julien Debrauwer — Academic purpose webpage.

Workshop group: Margaux Membré, Éléonore Monnom
& Thibaut Vermeulen.

More about Jeremy Keith:

Website: adactio.com

Talk video: vimeo.com

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