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10kb Challenge

Back in the nineties, when most of us used dial-up modems to connect to the internet and connection speeds were at best 56kb, there was a competition called the 10kb challenge.  Essentially it asked website designers to create lightweight websites working within the bounds of a 10kb for the entire page.  These days many designers don’t appear to consider the total page size that effects how long it takes someone to download your website, but with more and more people accessing your website from mobile platforms perhaps it is time to resurrect the “10kb challenge”.

10kb Challenge

In the original competition I remember one website designer that used the concept of “Ying and Yang” (hope I have this right) to create a truly inspirational design and a fantastic use of HTML.  I have recreated the page and will publish it later, but here is our take on the same concept.

1kb challenge

Concept design for 10kb challenge

So, why is this relevant today?

More and more users are accessing the internet in different ways, perhaps the most obvious is the use of smart phones (Android, Blackberry, iPhone, etc.,) and have relatively slow connection speeds / download rates.  Sites like the BBC can afford to create mobile content using alternative styles and / or content that reduces the size of the page, designs the navigation around smaller screen, etc.,  For most businesses this isn’t an option, due to budgetary constraints, but perhaps if website designers thought about this a bit more they could come up with designs that matched the needs of both the desktop and mobile user.

Conclusion

We would like to throw down the gauntlet to any freelance designers or design agencies to submit their designs via this article and we’ll create a new website to publish the best in the next few months.  The only rule is the entire page (including all media content) should be less than 10kb and we’ll use Firebug to determine if sites meet the criteria.

So, have a go and see what you can come up.

Resources

JavaScript 1kb challenge

Inspire the web with just 10K

Learning Web design: a beginner’s guide to HTML, graphics, and beyond

Smartphone screen resolutions

Date: 21/01/2011

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