Wednesday, August 15, 2007

We need a new UI paradigm

In my mind, one of the most exiting web 2.0 innovations for businesses (sometimes called Business 2.0) is mashups. The Summer edition of Innovations listed mashups and making data more available as trends in the business world. Working for a medical college, I can foresee the day when faculty members could use current medical trends to determine what areas to emphasize, or even analyze areas where the student body is weak in order to focus on those areas more. (Perhaps even both) The point is that in order to take full advantage of the increases in data accessibility, users will need to be able to create their own mashups. Of course I'm not advocating a Coghead type approach (I agree with Alex from Worse than Failure on this subject). I expect that developers will probably continue to build reusable mashups and reports, but for basic ad-hoc mashups to be effective, users will need to be able to do it themselves. The key to this, I think, will be the creation of a new UI paradigm.
If you think about it, most applications have general UI paradigms. If you are familiar with one Word Processor, you can perform basic operations on pretty much any word processor on the market. For advanced features, you've still got to learn the specific product. The same is true for everything from Email to mapping software (Google maps, or even something like Zillow don't work much differently than old standards like Mapquest.) The only questions left is "Who will introduce the new paradigm?", and "How long will it take to become Standardized?".

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posted by Luis


Anonymous Darth Sidious said...

Often when we in the Galactic Empire use the term mashups it's usually in relation to the mashing up of a rebel uprising.

But, one thing I believe in is that Adobe's mission is to build the foundation to support such UI innovation. They may throw out ideas, but they want to give that power into the hands of the developers...instead of just spoon feeding people.

8:51 PM  

Blogger Luis said...

I purposely glossed over the fact that several technologies need to mature and converge for this type of thing to be really possible in the Enterprise. (Not to mention resolving massive security concerns.) I do think, however that current flash and AJAX technologies are probably up to the task of virtually any UI that would be easy to use.

9:56 AM  

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