The Cult of Friendly URLs

Ded01cdab114abe4ec13511e4c25b9bb?s=47 Andy Hume
October 07, 2011

The Cult of Friendly URLs

URL design is really important. Important enough that we mustn't let a cult of 'friendly URL' despots screw it up for everybody.

During this discussion I'll sound off about the fundamentals of URL design. Why it should be included upfront as part of the high-level design of the site IA and UX design, and how getting it right helps web-based products successfully fit into the wider ecosystem of the web. How can you optimise URLs for different requirements, such as readability (by humans and machines), shareability, hackability, navigability, etc...?

Ded01cdab114abe4ec13511e4c25b9bb?s=128

Andy Hume

October 07, 2011
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  1. @andyhume UX Camp Brighton • 1st October 2011 FRIENDLY URLS

    THE CULT OF
  2. WHAT IS FRIENDLY? readable/clean reflect structure and hierarchy of data

    hackable shareable
  3. They help orient users in your architecture. [avoid] exposing the

    mechanism of how you run your server. “ “ Jesse James Garrett Tim Berners-Lee
  4. WHAT IS FRIENDLY? /cgibin/post.pl?id=13213 /post?id=13213 /posts/?year=2008&month=feb&day=23 /posts/2008/feb/23/ /post?id=13213 /post/my-blog-post /posts/2008/feb/23/

    /posts/2008/jan/23/
  5. Clean URLs, RESTful URLs or user- friendly URLs are purely

    structural URLs that do not contain a query string “ Wikipedia
  6. Clean URLs, RESTful URLs or user- friendly URLs are purely

    structural URLs that do not contain a query string “ Wikipedia
  7. STILL FRIENDLY? /place/lat/50.81754/lon/-0.03124/category/banks/poi/cashpoint YOUR WEBSITE IS YOUR API

  8. REST... ANYONE? Um... Friendly URLs Er... Not SOAP Hm... Flickr

    API “
  9. ROY FIELDING Why is the web successful?

  10. UNIFORM INTERFACE GET POST DELETE RESOURCE ORIENTED /photos/12345 DOING THINGS

    TO OBJECTS
  11. AN HTTP REQUEST GET /photos/12345 Host: www.flickr.com GET /my-bucket/pdf/12345.pdf Host:

    aws.amazon.com
  12. QUERY STRINGS ...contain data to be passed to web applications.

    “ Wikipedia the knobs of URLs “ Kyle Neath, Github
  13. RESOURCE OR SEARCH? /UK/Sussex/Brighton/North+Laine THIS IS A SEARCH BASED ON

    A STRING /maps/?q=North+Laine, Brighton, Sussex, UK THIS IS A REQUEST FOR A DISTINCT RESOURCE
  14. WARNING SIGNS /typefaces/slabserif/clarendonbracketed/tags/rubbish INTERCHANGEBLE DIRECTORIES /nuts/salted/toasted/kosher /nuts/salted/kosher/toasted RETURNS EMPTY LIST

    NOT 404
  15. AMAZON http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sharp-LC40LE811E-40-inch-Freeview- Technology/dp/B003IC4F58/ref=sr_1_1? ie=UTF8&qid=1317461997&sr=8-1

  16. THE INDEPENDENT http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/kate- middleton-jelly-bean-expected-to-fetch-500-2269573.html http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/utter-PR- fiction-but-people-love-this-shit-so-fuck-it-lets-just-print- it-2269573.html

  17. TWITTER http://twitter.com/#!/andyhume

  18. FACETED SEARCH /cars?brand=ford&model=escort&year=1980 FULL HIERARCHY /cars/ford/escort/1980 FULL QUERY STRING /cars/ford/escort?year=1980

    RANDOM SEPARATOR /cars/ford,escort,1980 HIERARCHY/QUERYSTRING HYBRID
  19. APPLICATION STATE /maps/Sussex/Brighton/North+Laine THIS IS APPLICATION STATE /maps? f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=clearleft&aq=&sll=50.819522, -0.13642&sspn=0.197161,0.313454&g=brighton&ie=UTF8&z=12&iwl

    THIS IS A RESOURCE
  20. WHAT’S THE POINT? ...of making application state data friendly/clean? ...of

    exposing application state to users? ...of address bars? BIG POINT GOES HERE
  21. WATCH OUT ...for people trying to ‘friendlyerise’ application state ...for

    people trying to ‘friendlyerise’ search queries BIG POINT GOES HERE