The Internet Is An 8 Track Tape
As I sit here and flip through the 138 slides in the “State of the Internet” presentation on Business Insider I thought about posting all the cool stats and graphs that you will find through the slides. It is a great read if you take the time to flip through it, whether you be a techie or just a general internet user you will find the stats and information enlightening, some of it is already well known but sometimes having it presented in a different way reminds you of certain perspectives on data.
But before I started just posting a re-hash of what was already there in the slides to see I started thinking of just how clunky the web is today. I think back to 8 track tapes, or even cassette tapes and realize how clunky they are compared to how we listen to music today. I see the web much like that. Do we really think that the way we interface with websites today, or communicate with others, is the most effective way to do so. I could not help to think about how hard Facebook tries to organize our social interactions or how hard Google tries to organize the information that is produced online and then realize that the way we interact with that is in its infancy.
I was looking at how pictures scrolled through my Facebook feed and just how much the interface seems, well, boring. Now by no means is that Facebooks fault, the technology behind Facebook is undoubtedly amazing and something that we should all be impressed with. But what we are still missing in todays internet is a complete shift in user interface design.
I think we are really starting to see the pre-alpha versions of what we should expect to see in the mid to long term future. Microsoft Surface, Apple Siri, the iPad: all these are early iterations of what will evolve into completely new ways to interact with devices.
Developers and hackers are already creating unique ways to use things like Microsoft Kinect to make interfacing with technology easier. Touchless, wireless, interface design will get here. Visual representations will get more “Minority Report” like and less, well, 8 track like.
The internet is just starting, I can remember in 1996 when someone I respected very much in the group I worked in at AT&T stated that the internet was just a fad like the CB radio and we should all be planning on life after the internet. I think we can all agree this very smart person totally missed the boat on that one. The internet is the core of transport for communications and much of what we do everyday, even those people that are not active users of the web (i.e. browsing, mobile apps, etc) still use the internet probably daily, with their long distance phone calls and other such “applications” that use the internet for transport.
We will continue to evolve the uses of the internet, our clunky interfaces of today will evolve to more advanced UX and UI design (User Experience and User Interface).
I for one look forward to seeing us move from the 8 track world to the future designs.
For a bit more on a technology that will change how we communicate over the next couple years read about WebRTC here.