Saturday, December 15, 2012
Monday, June 20, 2011
Here's a few examples to illustrate what I'm talking about:
Techcrunch - Website and iPhone App
Now it certainly doesn't take a genius to see the correlation here. It's a transition to minimalist design at it's best, and people are loving it. Applications are easy-to-use, efficient, and convenient, while many websites continue to look bloated and confusing by comparison. So what does this mean for the future of web design? Will the user simply continue to accept the differences between site and app, or will this new minimalist trend soon become the norm on all devices?
Tom Green of TutsPlus, makes an interesting argument in his article Future Trends: Are Browsers Becoming a Thing of the Past (read article) that the entire web browser as we know it is bound to be extinct if the current mobile trends continue as expected. His idea is based on the connectivity of mobile, and the rapid increase in usage:
"Today, not being able to wirelessly connect is more of a an annoyance than anything else. Our devices- smartphones, tablets, TV’s – have become extensions of ourselves and we simply assume we will always be able to access information at the time, place and through the device of our choosing. Even airlines are offering their passengers online access at 36,000 feet. In 2009, Quantcast surveyed the mobile market and concluded that by 2013 mobile browsing will outstrip desktop browsing. Other findings included the fact that in 2009 U.S. mobile web usage grew by 110% and globally the number was even larger: 148%."
For many companies, online identity has become entirely disparate when you compare their mobile and web-based structures. The website is becoming the corporate housing for information - containing things like press releases, vision statements, security protocol, and product comparisons. Whereas the mobile experience is clean, personal and task-oriented.
I disagree with Green however, and believe that the desktop browser is not destined for extinction, but rather overdue for change. Take the Chrome app store and the Mac app store - two of the biggest companies in the world are pushing the world of apps onto the browser, but it is not killing it, only diversifying what a browser is and how it integrates with desktop computing. One only has to look at sites like the Huffington Post and compare it the Huffington Post Browser App to see the transition into minimalist, app-like design beginning to take place.