Across the last two decades, users graduated from basic CRT based, low powered, immovable desktops to the smart, slim, agile, computing powerhouses which we proudly flaunt around in our palms, bags and pockets - a form-factor whose capabilities we are just beginning to unearth, but let’s keep that for another blog post.
Now, the important observation and business opportunity here lies in the fact that, owners would desire to provide and users would appreciate to enjoy, the same experience across the four devices which they end up using on an almost daily basis. Two non-touch i.e. keyboard and mouse based: (1) Office computer (2) Home computer & Two touch based: (3) Handheld smartphone (4) iPad and the rival tablets. Anybody who has tried accessing an old enough website on their iPad would understand the plight I am trying to emphasise here.
Until the last week of October 2012, I wouldn't have cared to think deep about this when dictating terms and not accepting initial proposals, of the 20 something website coding entrepreneurs I employed to develop a corporate website. In my opinion that moment in time was game changing, Steve Balmer decided to catch-up and join the bandwagon unveiling the competitively priced TOUCH BASED re-imagined Windows 8 devices with all his might and voice. Certainly, iDevices brainchild of the late Steve Jobs, were the genesis of this new innovation. However, with its majority market share in the corporate and consumer segments, potential easy scalability due to a substantial number of legacy OEM partnerships, probable reduced prices in future due to economies of scale, and eventual hardware upgrades in some years as old devices begin to wear out, in my opinion the next five years a substantial number will access a touch based Microsoft device. Having said that, Android, the very first real competitor in this space has already acquired a sizeable share of the market, and their Ok-quality-Low-priced devices are quickly spreading throughout the emerging markets, where product price has an upper hand over relative quality in influencing the right parietal cortex to make the decision.
These create a unique challenge as well as creative opportunity, for proponents of Design Thinking who desire to impart the same experience on either of the four type of devices mentioned above, to push their coders to the next level. To say the least, amazing technologies like LEAP motion are possibly going commercial very soon!
To counter the aforementioned school of thought, one might argue: nowadays everybody uses apps so much then why would websites be relevant. To answer that simply: World Wide Web was based on websites, they exist from the beginning of time, and lastly if they were destined to wane out anytime soon pioneering devices like the iPad would never have kept a web browser on their home screen as a default option.