The Internet is here to stay, no doubt about that, but what about websites?
Websites have been the foundation of the Internet since Tim Berners-Lee created the first web server back in 1989 at CERN. Over the last 25 years, sites have grown from basic HTML pages to online commerce, social networks, social gaming and all manner of other things in that period. The innovation has been staggering and anyone with a computer (never mind people in the industry) will know its almost impossible to keep up with how fast things move. This makes being a web developer hugely fun allowing you to constantly break barriers and try and out innovate your competitors.
Along side the development of websites and the internet, computers, laptops and mobile devices have been keeping up if not outpacing it with their evolutions. Today in 2014, everyone’s phone is their life, it is hard to imagine a world where we didn’t have to keep checking that buzz & beep every couple of minutes. Our phone has become part of us, which leaves us feeling very vulnerable if we were so unfortunate to have left it at home. The thing which makes our phone so valuable is it allows us to be connected to the internet, meaning the 10’s of apps that we use daily are able to push notify us when we get tweeted, emailed, facebook messaged or when a friend checks in nearby.
The phone has revolutionised the way we interact with websites and internet services, we no longer have to go to them. You no longer need to check facebook.com, Facebook comes to us by sending a push notification when anything happens which we need to know about. In years gone by this was achieved by email, but mobile notifications allow us to receive them much quicker, at anytime and in anyplace. Speed and ease of use are key elements in why push notifications are so useful. Apple and Google have both introduced interactive notifications in the last year, once developers start to use these correctly and efficiently this takes one more step out of the chain of events required to reply or action whatever the notification is about. By replying directly within the notification, the need to launch the app is removed and it gives an even more seamless experience for the user.
In an ever quickening world, speed and ease of use are key. The less actions a user has to take to complete a task wins. This can be seen in the evolution of content creation online, first long blog posts became popular, then shorter Myspace and Facebook posts which were followed closely by the 140 character Twitter.
All the sites which we use online are being converted into apps which allow us to interact on the go. How far will this go? Will the web browser as we know it be obsolete and distant memories? There is no suggestion this will happen any time soon but in 10/15 years time I wouldn’t be surprised if we are no longer browsing the web quite as we know it now.