Local-first software

2020-12-14 #performance #ux #the-web

Google went down today. Downtime at this scale doesn't happen often, but when it rains, it pours. Google going down doesn't only affect Google products, it also affect products connected to Google. App that require authentication with your Google account weren't available, unless you were already logged in.

Coïncidentally, I came across a compelling article about local-first software. From a SaaS point of view, before the internet all we had local-first.

Besides the "works without a connection" argument, local-first software completely removes a main performance bottleneck: latency. Zero latency is fast by default. This is noticable in apps built this way like Roam. No latency. No loading spinners. All seamless.

There are also other arguments around privacy and ownership. Local data is yours to keep.

"Local-first applications" seem like the leap forward to the Internet that we deserve in terms of UX, security and privacy.

I don't think we can suddenly jump to local-first software, mainly because it's an area that hasn't been explored enough–in the context of the web at least. But there are virtues to be found there.

Read the full article on adlrocha.substack.com.