Let’s say you need to measure something with a ruler, and the length is 10 centimetres. If I had to measure the line with my ruler, it would also be 10 centimetres. Rulers marked in centimetres are all the same: Manufacturers of rulers mark centimetres – or any other distance – according to a set standard.
Now take any credit card: its size is the same as any other credit card. If they were not the same, banks would have a hard time developing automated teller machines (ATMs) that would read credit cards in different sizes. Again, there is a standard that defines this size.
Our world is made up of standards, that is, sets of agreed-upon rules that tell us how to do something. Standards exist in every field, including healthcare, aerospace, construction, measurement, and technology and the Internet, where they are called digital standards. For instance, the letters of the alphabet on an English keyboard, including those that pop up on our mobile devices, follow the same pattern, called ‘QWERTY’ (next time you are typing, try to identify where these letters are on your keyboard or on your keypad).
Digital standards include technical (related to how the infrastructure of the Internet works), web (related to how content is used), and mobile standards (related to how mobiles communicate). These are explained in more detail below.