2019 September 26-27

Kat Kitay

Web Norms of the World: An exploration of the internet beyond the West

Hand-drawn sketch notes summarizing the talk of Kat Kitay
Sketchnotes by Malweene,

Flat, muted minimalism, vast fields of whitespace, millennial pink landing pages, and those corporate illustrations that all kind of look the same: the internet today, amirite? In the West, consumers and web developers have deep-rooted expectations of how the web should work and look that have gone largely unquestioned.

In this talk, we'll take stock of these biases and take a culturally relativistic look at the internet outside of our comfort zone. We'll explore questions like: Why are Japanese websites so information-dense? How does a script like Arabic, read right to left, affect web design? What languages do (or can) programmers across the world use? Attendees of this talk will walk away with a fresh perspective and ideas for improving our web and making technology that's more inclusive of a global audience.

Kat Kitay is an engineer, former product manager at BuzzFeed, and anthropology grad from UCLA. She's an appreciator and cataloguer of the internet in all its beautiful, weird, and diverse forms.