…on user focus:
Users want quick, straight-forward apps that nail a single purpose, not bloated Swiss Army knives that bury important functionality. That’s why tech giants are buying or building standalone apps.
A year ago I was complaining about Gmail’s new compose feature, and how it catered to the needs of chronic multi-taskers. I am still on my distraction-free rampage, and it seems the mobile world is … sort of … catching up with me. At least, mobile users seem to be wanting to focus on one thing at a time on their phone screens (while they do six other things in real life).
First, video is everywhere, now that everyone has screens. This is great. This is one of the reasons I’m working in video now.
Television channels are becoming their own interactive apps. This is also great. Video is being delivered with other types of content in coherent multi-media user experiences. I’ve been excited about this reality happening since I first starting writing BASIC programs in the late 80’s.
…on the World Wide Web:
This isn’t called out in the slides, but it’s implied just about everywhere. The conversation is no longer about “websites”; it’s about “mobile”, and it’s about “apps”. (It’s always, always been about “content”.)
What does this mean for those of us who have been working on the “Web” for the last 10-20 years?
This isn’t a time to panic. This is a time to be excited about the new possibilities. Everything we have learned about building scalable web applications is at least as important now as it has been. Moreover, building a mobile application using web technologies is still the cheapest and easiest way to get something running cross-platform in a hurry, and I would assert that 90% of what folks need to do in an “app” doesn’t require native code. Besides, the “web”, as it was invented, was all about linking documents, but we started building applications instead ten years ago!
Let’s fondly remember the days when we cared about “http://” and “.com” and we squatted on domains during the internet land grab at the turn of the century. Now lets let it go, and be proud that we have built a world where NO ONE HAS TO TYPE THAT CRAP EVER AGAIN.