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What the future of the internet holds.

Chris Coyier, who co-founded the popular web design sites css-tricks.com and codepen.io while living in Milwaukee (he now lives in Oregon), is one of the masters of the art, so we picked his brain on what changes 2018 could bring to the internet.

Websites will become quicker and more nimble.

Maybe. As sites get more sophisticated, they take longer to load, especially on mobile devices, and doom-sayers are concerned. “They trot out big charts that go up and up and show how much larger websites are getting,” Coyier says. But do not fear. Google has developed a new “Accelerated Mobile Pages” system. In short, 2018 could be the year that stems the tide, and surfing from Amazon to JSOnline to Zappos on your phone may actually speed up.

“Responsive design” isn’t going anywhere. 

A revolution has swept through web design in recent years, ending separate mobile and desktop versions of websites. In web design, responsive is now the holy gospel. “Nobody even talks about [the alternative] anymore,” says Coyier.

Soon, mobile devices will supplant desktops and laptops as our primary computers.

Not having to buy both a phone and a laptop may sound great to some, but not everyone wants the change. “It’s uncomfortably closer than we suspect,” Coyier says, citing a Samsung phone that plugs into a computer monitor. The problem is mobile devices carry a fraction of the power of a laptop or desktop – it’s like sending a T-baller to play in the Major Leagues. Word processors or other applications could take much longer to load. Laptop makers have spent the past 35 years squeezing hardware onto laptops. Can smartphone makers do the same? ◆

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‘In the Year 2018’ appears in the December 2017 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find it on newsstands beginning November 27, or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop.

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