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ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)


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"ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)" <[log in to unmask]>
DJ Lewis <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 21 Oct 1999 18:54:30 +1000
DJ Lewis <[log in to unmask]>
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At 08:59  20/10/1999 -0500, you wrote:
>1. What do you think and how do you feel about this Web site*:

I think; "Ahhh, popular culture through mass media. Without it how would I
ever know what to think."

I feel; sorry for mankind when people actually believe that this by any
means represents a significant contribution to cultural evolution.

It reminds me of what would happen if Trent Reznor designed the showbags
pavillion at the Brisbane exhibition. Not that its bad multimedia design,
just that it doesn't really contribute anything to the discipline of
multimedia design.

>*You need a sound card and shockwave for the full effect.
>2. I think it makes two important statements that speak loudly in favor of
>future of the Web:
>+ The days of the Web being a source of information, like a library, are
>numbered. It will no longer be recognizable from its initial browser-based
>I think that it will be an all-sense all-consuming interactive experience Web
>site to Web site. Mind you, not like the hype about virtual reality, but
it will
>affect our lives as much as our cars and our televisions.

I disagree to some extent.

Businesses will continue to provide services, delivery of binary products
and information via the web, flash animation or not. If a business wishes
to do corporate branding and marketing via the same medium to support its
products/services it may do that also. It may even choose to do that with
animations. I would like to mention the fate, however, of the animated gif

If a content provider wished to deliver some creative multimedia content
such as cartoons or animated features via the web they may do that. If that
same content provider wished to provide services, products or information
via that same medium they could do that too. Just like having a 'ring now'
trailer after the cartoon to sell t-shirts or something.

The two extremes are converging, this much is true. Your vision of an
all-sense all-consuming interactive experience from web-site to web-site is
I'm afraid, overly idealistic. How is the corner mini-mart going to get the
money to pay a team of graphic designers and animators to produce them a
top-quality animated feature web-site?

They wont. They will pay some guy who can do most of what they want really
poorly and what we will end with is crap like most of the crap that already
surrounds us, just in a more saturated form. Dont get me wrong, there will
be some great works produced. But most likely, most of it will be crap,
just like it already is on the tv and the web.

Did you ever see Starship Troopers? The interactive TV stuff in that is a
pretty accurate description of what your future looks like.

An all-sense all-consuming interactive experience requires that the content
is actually interesting in the first place.

>+ The HTTP and TCP/IP protocols will no longer govern what message goes
over the
>medium, but rather they will just be the underlying method, the hidden
>of all networked interfaces.

While TCP/IP might have significantly greater longevity as an
infrastructure, I think that HTTP will be replaced by something better in
this scenario. You are right in so far as the protocol used should be built
for multimedia, not just hyper-text and that it will in no way detmine what
actual media is in the transmission.

>3. I think it makes two statements that speak loudly in defeat of the
future of
>the Web:
>+ The separation between the technology have and have-not will increase more
>dramatically than it already has.

I wonder if this statement says more about your subconscious desire to be a
visionary eliteist than it does about the actual future of technology. I
assume you are talking about people/businesses who have technology and
those that do not. I dont think anyone would expect to make money from the
web if they didn't have a web system, but just because you can doesn't
always mean you should.

>+ You can't accommodate all users everywhere. This highly-visual, advanced
>message delivery will provide more usability problems.

Useability isn't the important issue if you are delivering creative
content. It's talent.

> The Web will go through a
>rebirth without having solved the problems from its original inception.

For the most part these problems are solved already, people just cant be
bothered reading the instructions.

I dont mean to rain on your parade, but I dont believe the hype.

Damian Lewis
Interface Designer
QUT Virtual & Corporate Information Systems
Queensland University of Technology