Felt more like posting some rambling thoughts on the topic than working apprently; here you go:
I believe that the overwhelming majority of computer operators out there could have their machines replaced with internet enabled terminals and be none the wiser. The typical operator doesn’t know/care squat about the OS or the browser, any opinions that they may hold are most likely ungrounded in any real understanding. They want the internet to do what they want with the least amount of hassle, and who can blame them. Who climbs the tree when there’s low hanging fruit?
I’ve known about address bar search functionality for some time but being a ‘purist’ (arrogant, stubborn, late-adopter) I’ve resisted the address bar search until recently, when I’ve finally admitted to myself that I’m just eliminating an unecessary step when looking for something.
It’s got the potential for changing the way we operate in some not too obvious ways; personally I’ve noticed that I’m no longer taking time to book mark sites that I know will come up top ranked from address line searches. I’m lazier, why bother typing in the whole ‘.com’ part of the address when I can just type ‘chess’ or ‘stack overflow’; just enter WHAT I want not WHERE I want and it get’s me back to click navigation all the sooner.
Does point to a fundamental division between the operator and the programmer; as a programmer I look for any way to avoid the mouse, give me hot keys, arrow and tab navigation (swear that when you’re holding down ctl+alt+shift if you pick up your hand you’d be throwing gang signs), anything to avoid having to make that quarter second input device transition – you can’t program with a mouse (unless you’re one of THOSE giu/ide types that program without using a keyboard, in which case I despise everything you stand for and I do not accept your ‘but it’s RAD!’ excuse.)
Anyone remember the era before the age of the cell phone? How many phone numbers would you have committed to memory, 20, 30, more? Now with your personal phone book in your pocket constantly how many phone numbers have you committed to memory? I would venture to guess that you overall may have more end-points available to you at any given time but that you don’t know as many of the addresses as you used to.
The technology is inspired by and delivers convenience, but it’s a catch-22. When you dumb down the interface you make it more accessible but you also remove the incentive to learn how to operate the machine or understand how the machine operated; paving the way for the need to further dumb down the UI.
So where’s the happy medium between getting me the info I want/need via the shortest/fastest possible route every time and making me so stupid and lazy that I reject learning with hostillity?
Anyone else out there use ‘about:blank’ as their homepage?