Web Roulette – A Swipeable Randomized Web Browser

Sarah Perez, writing for TechCrunch:

If mindlessly browsing the internet is your preferred way to combat boredom and waste time, the indie app makers behind to-do list app Clear and game Heads Up have a new product you’ll want to try: Web Roulette, a mobile web browser app for iOS built for the short attention spans of the TikTok era. With the debut version out now, you can add your favorite websites or choose from its suggestions, then swipe through the sites to see what’s new or shake the app for a surprise webpage when boredom strikes.

The team says the idea initially struck them as something of a joke. But they soon realized the idea of a ‘swipeable,’ shakable web browser that delivered our daily hits of dopamine may actually have merit.

“I mean, this is actually how I spend much of my time browsing the web — I bounce back and forth mindlessly and semi-randomly between my favorite sites, hoping for something fresh. Maybe there’s something here?,” explains Impending founder and designer Phill Ryu.

I’ve been beta testing Web Roulette for a week or two and it’s just plain dumb fun. In the early days of the App Store (and before that, the early days of the web), it was common for people to come up with a dumb fun idea that could be made in a week or two. Web Roulette exemplifies that ethos. It’s not useful, per se, but it’s not useless either. But it’s mainly just fun. I’m so glad to see that coming back.

See also: This fun launch video on TikTok — interrupted by a special guest. And this tweet with a sketch of the team’s original concept. I love comparing “here’s the napkin sketch of the original idea” to the shipping product.

Tuesday, 30 May 2023