The Internet of Me

Cover image for The Internet of Me

The Internet of Me

Digital Editorial Course

Burg Giebichenstein Halle

WiSe 2022/23

We can visit the same website but see different things. Through personalization, individualization and customization your web-experience becomes as unique as your fingerprint. Websites constantly change their shape depending on the user: The layout transforms responsively when you open it on the phone, personal preferences are manifested in the light or dark mode, location-tracking and as user profiling tailors our feeds as well as the ads in it.

Filter bubbles, opaque feed algorithms and privacy concerns are one aspect of personalization on the Internet. Furthermore, what does personalization mean from a design and development point of view? What challenges does the responsive nature of the web pose for its design? How can the user’s influence on a website be made visible? Customization or personalization – what agency do we give the user?

We want to explore how we can design and develop websites that adapt to the user. What data can you collect from users to make a website more personal – and should you? Interactive user experiences allow for personal styles, conditional availabilities and different levels of authorship. The user can rewrite the narration depending on the links they click. Design variables can be made dependent on the user’s data, whether it is the mouse position or the time of day. We can even delegated our design decisions through customization options.

The course will consist of an introduction to the basics of HTML, CSS and JS, various inputs, coding sessions and consultations. Individually or in groups you will design and code small web experiments concerning different aspects of personalization. In the end we will published these experiments in form of a digital glossary. No coding skills are required. Students without prior programming experience are especially encouraged to attend and there will be different entry points for different experience levels.