Is the Web Dead?
-orWhat does the fragmentation of the internet
mean for design and usability?
World Usability Day
November 11, 2010
Lyman Casey, Centralis
Lyman Casey, Ph.D., is a partner and cofounder of
Centralis, a Chicago-based User Experience research
and design firm. Over the past ten years, he has led
usability research and design initiatives for clients
ranging from Fortune 100 firms to startups, in markets
ranging from Tokyo and Amsterdam to Charlotte and
Chicago. As an adjunct faculty member at the Illinois
Institute of Technology, he has also taught usability
methods at the Institute of Design graduate
Prior to joining Centralis, Lyman served as Director of
User Experience at Giant Step, where he founded the
company’s User Experience practice and established
a team recognized by analysts such as Forrester as
an industry leader.
Lyman earned his doctorate in Cognitive Psychology
from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s
degree from Williams College.
Ray Daley, LexisNexis
Ray Daley is a human factors psychologist who
has done systems analysis and design with
IBM, AT&T (CSC), USAF (ASA), and has been
with LexisNexis for 18 years.
Ray moved from HF practice to managing
advanced technology research and software
product development organizations.
Most recently, Ray is a member of the
Advanced Product Invention team which is a
component of the iPipe customer centered
product innovation process for LexisNexis.
Jason Loehr, Mad*Pow
A results-driven marketer with over sixteen
years of major media experience, Jason is the
SVP, Strategy & Development for Mad*Pow, a
leading User Experience firm.
He has worked with a diverse background of
organizations in leadership roles to focus and
grow their digital footprint. His experience
crosses startups, mid-size and Fortune 100
organizations across industries including
recreation, retail, healthcare and software.
Jason earned a bachelor’s degree from WKU
and MBA from Indiana University. Outside the
office, he volunteers with non-profits, including
the Louisville Zoo, WKU, and the First Tee, on
their marketing and strategy.
Dan Rockwell, Lextant
Dan Rockwell is the Tools Czar at Lextant, where he
works with User Experience, Design Research and
Insight Translation teams in the formation of new tools
and applications to capture, analyze and
synthesize data in more efficient and useful ways.
Along with his passions for research, Dan is a futurist
of the highest degree and a self-professed trend
hound. He actively monitors, shapes and makes
sense of trends in technology, fringe science, social
media, data mining, collective intelligence, crowd
sourcing, and startup culture.
In 2009 he formed Big Kitty Labs, an idea lab
focusing on rapid concept development for
web, iPhone and Android application platforms.
Rich Miller (moderator), LexisNexis
Rich is a Research Scientist in the LexisNexis
research group for ten years, and previously
served in UI-related roles at AT&T, LexisNexis,
His focus is on new technology and approaches
related to user interfaces and the user
experience, e.g. analytics/visualization, mobile
computing, and advanced/exploratory UI
design. Rich has a Ph.D. in Experimental
Psychology from Miami University, where he
met Ray Daley.
In his non-work life, Rich enjoys
playing/coaching basketball, and following
sports, music, and film.
Foundation for discussion
Some feel the
title is too
2-part article written
We are to blame, 2)
…and why? They are
“The web ≠ the
internet” or “the
web is no longer
so dominant” might
How do we measure web vs. other internet usage?
% of user
# of digital
WIRED measure of
“bytes transferred” is
e.g. unfair to compare video
to email using bytes
The web vs. the internet
It is not uncommon now to spend a day on the
internet but not on the web
Google and HTML do not rule the “non-web”
The web is “not a culmination of the digital
The “splinternet” is used increasingly to support
non-web user interfaces
e.g. iphones/smartphones, ipads/tablets
Push technology has made a comeback and
works well with the non-web
Browser vs. device-based UIs
Some say within 5 years mobile devices will
surpass PCs as the primary means of accessing
It is “a mistake to think of the web browser as
the apex of the PC’s revolution”
Jonathan Zittrain – author, The Future of the Internet
The web is now 18 years old, so an entire
generation has grown up in front a browser
They have already absorbed it into their
experience, and are not overwhelmed by (and are
perhaps hungry for) new alternatives
The web is not all it was cracked up to be
Became less open and full of opportunity
Facebook’s 500M users accounting for big % of
traffic and does not really integrate with the web
Google became so impossible to compete with that it
started controlling the openness of the web
Once Google so dominant, others started trying web
Not such a great avenue for making money
Bad economy sped abandonment of the web model
Steve Jobs and Apple spawned a non-web model
that makes money
Entertainment (e.g. netflix) is a big non-web driver
Capitalism and consumerism are to blame
Like any industrial revolution, it’s all about the
battle for control
Technology invented, someone finds a way to own it,
and locks out others
e.g. railroads, telephones, and electricity
Natural path of industrialization = invention,
adoption, and control
Openness is great but our tolerance for
unbridled competition finds its limits
Metcalfe’s law – the big get bigger
Our discussion will focus on…
How the trends affect design and usability
Browser-based vs. device-based apps
The pseudo-demise of web 2.0
the fall and rise of the “walled garden”
why can’t we all just share stuff?
New user models for the internet
The proliferation of web avenues/tools/devices
The tenuous co-existence of multiple platforms
How is the volatility of the internet
affecting design and usability?
Which product models lead to better design and
browser-based vs. proprietary/device-based
Do we really all need a
desktop, laptop, tablet, and a smartphone?
is it an embarrassment of digital device riches?
will this continuum condense?
How does all this affect product strategy?
What should the UI/UX voice be saying?
How are proprietary apps
affecting the user experience?
Is a proprietary app always superior?
If so, is it significantly better than what a mobileenabled site can offer?
In what contexts is a web site a better UX than a
What can we learn about the ipad UX?
What is it about the ipad UX that makes it work?
What drawbacks are we seeing?
Is social computing helping or
hurting our ability to make our
users more productive?
Do work and play mix well?
When will the “social computing hangover” hit
enough users to effect a mass behavior
How is facebook changing user behavior and
expectations? What is good and bad about
facebook in terms of UX?
Is web 2.0 dead? naïve?
Is “web as computer” that is shared and
leveraged across multiple beneficiaries just for
the small and/or non-profitmaking?
What of web 2.0 will survive?
The “nimble” nature of product creation?
The focus on UI simplicity?
What of web 2.0 has been leveraged by device
What companies will have the most
influence in shaping the future
internet? …in optimizing
productivity and usability?