Application Holotypes

It’s entirely too common to make broad-sweeping statements about all websites. Jason Miller:

We often make generalizations about applications we see in the wild, both anecdotal and statistical: “Single-Page Applications are slower than multipage” or “apps with low TTI loaded fast”. However, the extent to which these generalizations hold for the performance and architectural characteristics we care about varies.

Just the other morning, at breakfast an An Event Apart, I sat with a fellow who worked on a university website with a massive amount of pages. Also at the table was someone who worked at a media company with a wide swath of brands, but all largely sites with blog-like content. There was also someone who worked on a developer tool that was heavy on dashboards. We can all care about accessibility, performance, maintainability, etc., but the appropriate technology stacks and delivery processes are quite different both in what we actually do and what we probably should do.

It’s a common stab at solving for these different sites by making two buckets: web sites and web apps. Or dynamic sites and static sites. Or content sites and everything else. Jason builds us more buckets (“holotypes”):

🎪 Social Networking Destinations
🤳 Social Media Applications
🛍 Storefronts
📰 Content Websites
📨 PIM Applications
📝 Productivity Applications
🎧 Media Players
🎨 Graphical Editors
👨‍🎤 Media Editors
👩‍💻 Engineering Tools
🎮 Immersive / AAA Games
👾 Casual Games

This is almost like reading a “Top 50 Movies of All Time” blog post, where everyone and their mother have a little something to say about it. Tough to carve the entire web into slices without someone feeling like their thing doesn’t categorize well.

I like the nuance here, much like Jason (and Addy’s) “Rendering on the Web” article that addresses the spectrum of how certain types of sites should be delivered.

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