Archive for November, 2006

Web 2.0: Is Converging Towards the Desktop Good?

Monday, November 6th, 2006

I recently had the pleasure of talking at the Ajax Experience in Boston. You can view my power-point-free slides here.

This conference was particularly exciting for Humanized because it was the first time we’ve let Enso outside the office. I think it’s fair to say that the floor required some jaw-scraping after I demonstrated Enso.

But while I met some amazing people at the Ajax Experience and had a exhilarating time, I also discovered a worrying trend: interface design on the web is slowly migrating back towards inhumane desktop paradigms. More and more, people are reimplementing windows, dialog boxes, and tree-list controls instead of brainstorming more humane solutions.

I’m going to make an odd claim: interface toolkits on the web are starting to discourage innovation. In harnessing underlying web technologies in (admittedly) ingenious ways, these toolkits make it too convenient for us to fall back onto the desktop paradigms we know, simply because we aren’t prompted by technical constraints to think of something different.