We are starting to see the beginnings of intelligent browsers that are centred around the needs of people and not companies. Apple have released Safari 5.0 and it has a really neat [READER] button at the end of the address bar that quite cleverly turns a advert-loaded web page into a lovely, clean browsing experience.
Here are the two screenshots, before and after:
I think you’ll agree the “after” version is much better for reading and it’s great to see the adverts removed. This doesn’t work on all sites but as the content of web pages becomes better abstracted from the layout we’ll see more and more of this. It doesn’t stop there though. We are seeing a flurry of new applications such as Flipboard that aggregates ALL (well some of it) of your common web-stops and turns it into a lovely magazine-style reading experience. Below are the screenshots from Flipboard when accessing my Facebook account, Pistonheads (petrolhead web site) and my Twitter account.
In all the screenshots above you will see no branding (aside from the Facebook/Pistonheads name). In fact there are a number of different “readers” out there and it’s likely to be a growth area as the semantic web, microformats and data abstraction continues to grow. In many ways it’s a perfect world for the visitor as they “take back the web” and stop bigco from dictating what is seen and how.
The challenge for organisations is again on the move as the traditional marketing/branding roles within companies is going to have to change to adapt to this new “data world” that is charging full-speed towards us. The simplest solution is the best and entails thinking like a visitor and imagining what they would want and giving it to them; after all, they are back in control.
The hardest part for organisations is staying ahead of the adoption curve and predicting what’s coming. The second biggest challenge is having an agile-enough strategy to cope with ever speedy direction changes.
If you want to find out more about what’s coming down the line and how your organisation can adapt to the new world then drop us an email.
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