This morning, Gizmodo highlighted iPad UI designer Bret Victor’s home page. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should poke around. The site is, as you might expect, exemplary of the cutting edge of web design.
On Bret’s site, he introduces the notion of dynamic pictures and why they are the way of the future. Interactive stock charts and interactive maps are examples of dynamic pictures. In his post, he says
With today’s tools, dynamic design requires creating pictures by writing text. It is only because we are so accustomed to this situation that we don’t recognize how bizarre, even barbaric, it is.
I resonate with this thought because it applies not just to web experience development and creation, but to many different parts of our web experience as consumers. It’s all a hack.
Remembering domain names. Sending links to web pages in emails. Clicking to open them in browser windows and then cycling back to an email to comment. Opening a calendar, copying an address, then firing up a browser window to map a meeting. All these are extra, barbaric steps.
We are seeing better designed experiences. Facebook’s rich feed where users can watch a YouTube video and comment inline, EventBrite’s event planning with maps and calendar integration, Pulse’s integrated reading focused browser. Users love these integrated experiences.
Many of our startups have found that links pushed to Facebook’s feed that lead out of Facebook massively underperform those that lead within Facebook. It’s not unexpected. Email open rates hover around 15% and click throughs are an order of magnitude smaller.
As we find ways to reduce friction by improving design, interaction rates are bound to increase.