False Dycotomy - was "The beginning of the end of the desktop"

10 Jan 2005 - 9:10am
9 years ago
1 reply
615 reads
Stewart Dean
2004

I've read the debate between Listrea and Andrei and have to admit it appears
to me like they're arguing if oranges or apples are better.

The future of interaction design way beyond that of the PC screen. We are on
the verge of IP-TV (television over IP - the next wave of interactive TV) as
well as an explosion in mobile devices (which are evolving far faster than
the humble PC).

I look at this PC based debate and to me it's clear the answer is not down
to technology but down to use. Wether you choose to use Outlook or Hotmail
is dependent on what the user is doing, not which is the better applicaiton.
With convergence ironically leading to people using more platforms, at least
for personal use.

I personaly use google groups, for example, rather than a newsreader not
because groups is better but because I can use it independent of location.

Having to install a program appears to me to be an outdated concept - but
one that is still with us. Installed applications offer better user
experiences in many cases - but not in all cases. If these applications
where on demand - then to my mind they would be much better. If I could call
up my copy of photoshop regardless of location - that would be excellent. I
would hardly call that a desktop application.

There is much happening on the horizon and we may find the concept of web
and desktop applications will both die out in a few years with neither
winning.

Stew Dean

Comments

10 Jan 2005 - 12:50pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Jan 10, 2005, at 7:10 AM, Stewart Dean wrote:

> I look at this PC based debate and to me it's clear the answer is not
> down to technology but down to use. Wether you choose to use Outlook
> or Hotmail is dependent on what the user is doing, not which is the
> better applicaiton. With convergence ironically leading to people
> using more platforms, at least for personal use.

The debate I'm bringing up is actually a bit different than that, as I
very much agree on the next wave of computing with your statement. The
thing I'm trying to point out here is that the browser as a development
environment is more crude, and therefore much more limited in what the
designer can do, when compared to a traditional desktop app. That's
pretty much it.

I'm not sure why Ziya seems to want to disagree with me on this point.
I seriously dislike designing "web apps" and much prefer to design a
richer application if given the chance. However, I have designed and
will design many web apps when paid to do so. It's just I know as a
software designers I'm not giving my customers the best possible
experience. Just the least common denominator.

> I personaly use google groups, for example, rather than a newsreader
> not because groups is better but because I can use it independent of
> location.

When I have my laptop with me, I hardly ever use Google Groups. I find
a lot of people use Google Groups because they didn't realize Outlook
could handle the feed, or because they read groups so rarely as to not
justify having their mail program grab messages regularly.

> There is much happening on the horizon and we may find the concept of
> web and desktop applications will both die out in a few years with
> neither winning.

I'm speaking about this issues from a purely technical point of view.
There will always be "applications" with computers. In the future, I'm
just making the bet that those applications will be rich and require
deep design due to the kinds of hardware, computing and appliance
products they will work on, something a browser-based development
platform cannot offer. The other thing I'm stating is that to make the
browser itself do that richer, deeper design and UX, we'd have to
basically reinvent the wheel, as you can already do those things today
if you just an engineer a "traditional desktop" app.

Andrei

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