What kind of changes have the user interfaces faced since, say year 2000? AJAX, and some flashy graphics, that’s it. Not much actually. Then again, you could argue that Google Street View, even though the perfect tool for people to peek into other’s businesses, is technically quite adept. GSV tiles photographic images on a geographical map. So you can kind of travel like in acid, the motion blurs and all. You get to see a mix of bird’s eye, and a first person shooter (FPS). You can “walk” around neighbourhoods, and check whether in 2009 your neighbour had a more decent BMW and wife than you did. A clever person will peek out all kinds of things with this, I’m sure. The automatic algorithms supposed to filter out personal details, will fail, according to Murphy’s law and they take a picture of the premiere kissing a hooker. So there’s a lot revealed, which shouldn’t. The laws will be tested over and over again. The first crime will also be solved using GSV at some point in time, and it’s big news then: people cheer GSV as good. Otherwise it’s fun, evil or something in between. Depending on what’s happening. Like tech always is.
So I’m impressed, but that’s not the thing I was about to talk.
The real issue: why do user interfaces slow us down?
We had now about 64 times as much computing power than in year 2000 [Moore’s Law, 2 to power of six]. This power increase has vanished. We still wait web pages, and there is a lot of things slowing down. Why? The answer: the biggest engine on planet earth, Google, wants us to stare at commercials. The more we stare, the bigger the conversion (click through) rate and more money Google gets. Simple. If everything was hackingly shiny and fast, nobody cared about Mariah Carey or Britney. We just could enjoy information. But now, we’re stuffed the stuff.