3 Predictions for the Future of Web

June 22nd, 2009 | Industry

My first taste of the Internet in 1994 was exciting; after finally getting the impossibly long URL right I got onto the NASA home page which as I recall was little more than text. I had no way of knowing just how cool and dynamic the web was going to become. I still have no idea what shape things will take in the future; but I have three predictions for some usability changes that I expect we’ll start seeing in the coming months.

1) Audio Surfing

With the importance of accessibility getting the recognition it deserves lately, I think screen readers will soon take a front seat as a common means for surfing a site.  I’m calling it: people on the train with headphones attached to their mobile device while Text to Speech reads them the site. “Press one for About Us…”

PRO: Sites make great listening in the car for the talk radio crowd – the casual listener is always a welcome demographic! …So, you know, add my site to your play list.

CON: For web developers, updating navigation / Flash players to be controllable by simple key presses will be a hassle.

2) Surf by Remote

In a similar vein to mobile / audio surfing I think HDTV / Remote  surfing could see a huge surge in popularity. Many gaming devices are already leading the way by incorporating browsers, so Cable / Satellite providers eventually embracing the web seems like a logical step. Of course, I could be way off on this one since services like Hulu and YouTube fly in the face of what television providers are trying to do.

PRO:  Media sites will become even more accessible and tasty. The Internet will start getting use more with the non-Internetty crowds (like my Mom) as the line between static and interactive media disappears.

CON: HD ready sites will pose bandwidth problems for the poor souls still using dial-up for whatever reason. Again, navigation will have to be made controllable by simpler devices like Remote Controls without full keyboards.

3) The End of Dot Com Domination

For as long as the Internet has been around .com has been the assumed default extension for websites. For a while, there was almost a negative stigma to not having the .com for your brand. How many times has traffic meant for your .net site ended up at the .com equivalent?

With all common words and combinations taken (even just parked on), people are turning to other extensions.  I think in the very near future new extensions will be popping up every day. Not only that, but I think trending may follow in that vein.

I also predict that Domain Service giants like GoDaddy will start selling extension subscriptions where you can guarantee yourself the various extensions for your domain name.

PRO: People will finally start paying attention to the entirety of your domain and extension.

CON: More convoluted sub domain-cleverness like “del.icio.us”.

Have some predictions of your own? Make it known here!

2 Responses to “3 Predictions for the Future of Web”

  1. mattyb says:

    I can’t disagreed more!

    1. Audioweb?!?! It’s already a video-web! ScreenReaders suck hard dude! Try one, you’ll see how horrid they are… They have to read formatting and let you know if it’s a link, button or whatever… If you want to take 10X longer to browse a page, go for it. Add AJAX,Javascript and all the new stuff out there… Audioweb “sounds” like a good idea, but fails

    2. Surf By Remote? Web TV – Fail
    PS3 Web – Fail
    Wii Web – Fail
    Media Center Browser – Fail…
    Here’s the problem… you have to type to search something, whether its youtube vids or just a goog-search…and using a remote to do that is rediculous… worse then browsing the web on a non-qwerty phone. Companies have been trying to do this for years… I’d like to see it, but we needs das keyboard for le web!

    3. I don’t disagree with this one, but I think there’s a bigger issue. Domain-Squaters… that’s the real problem, 90% of common web urls are squatters just trying to charge more for a domain.
    We’re already seeing urls starting to morph now with .it and .tv … but that really reallly sucks!!!
    Those extension are for countries, like .CA is for Canada.
    It’s not for arleysCollectionOfEroti.ca :P

  2. ArleyM says:

    Sometimes a prediction is just a prediction, and not something I necessary think will revolutionize everyone’s life.

    Your points are very valid, but there is lots of room for technology to adapt and change the way we experience things.

    I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

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