What is Offline First? [Video]

Offline Camp attendees share their perspective

As organizers of Offline Camp, an event meant to propel the Offline First community forward, we get a lot of questions about the term, first coined by Alex Feyerke and the Hoodie team in 2013, that defined the movement.

Among our campers we see a wide range of interests within the Offline First approach to development and design. Some folks are addressing the unique infrastructure challenges of the developing world and some are making apps work reliably for users dealing with spotty connections on the subway. Some are building Progressive Web Apps, while others are exploring native, desktop, and IoT solutions. Some are using decentralized and peer-to-peer networks as a way to keep data secure and address privacy concerns. Others are creating new UX design patterns to address the complexities of conveying system state in adverse network conditions.

Despite the wide range of motivations that bring people to the community and the broad spectrum of tools they employ, we see common themes in how our campers define Offline First. Here’s how the community is putting performance first, recognizing network downtime as a fact of life, and satisfying users whether they’re offline, online, or somewhere in between:

What is Offline First? Offline Camp attendees share their perspective. (Video production courtesy of IBM.)

These voices are only a few of the many that make up the Offline First community. This Medium publication is filled with explorations of various aspects of Offline First by our campers and community members, as well as a curated list of additional resources ranging from videos to podcasts. We’d love for you to join the conversation at Offline Camp Oregon (November 10–13) or in our Slack team. We can’t wait to hear about how you’re tackling the challenges of Offline First.


Editor’s Note: We’re incredibly grateful to videographer Aaron Ross and New Builders Podcast host Jim Young for the countless hours they’ve dedicated to producing this video as a resource for the Offline First community, as well as Bradley Holt and Lorna Mitchell for conducting interviews. And a big shout-out is due as well to the many campers who agreed to share their perspectives. Thanks for your support. ❤️

Interviews in progress at Offline Camp California, thanks to Aaron Ross & Jim Young of IBM. ❤