The problem with living in “internet time” is that the “new” very rapidly becomes commonplace. Think back 12 months. What websites were you visiting regularly? Which blogs? The velocity of change that haunts our everyday lives means that we are living with the ghosts of old applications that struggle to remain relevant to our ever shifting focus.
When I first looked at Tianamo I liked the interactivity that it offered around search. It was novel. Useful. But the razor-sharp mind of Greg Verdino punctured my enthusiasm — or rather, asked me to elaborate a little more:
@servantofchaos very cool but what do you think the practical application for 3d search visualization is?
My initial response was that 3D visual search has great application to structured data, especially within the enterprise … but there was something more. This approach offered something far more insightful.
For what 3D search does is bring good design (interaction, user interface, usability) to bear on what is now a commodity (albeit a very useful commodity). Take a quick look around at Tianamo and you will soon see that the relationships between data points can yield fascinating insight.
As new products and services accelerate through various adoption cycles, spiraling from awareness to adoption with exponential growth, the lustre of “the new” fades. Think about the term “Google” … which has entered the lexicon as a verb — we now Google <insert term>, rather than search for it. And with that ready acceptance comes user complacency. It is not that we don’t appreciate its value, it is simply providing an acceptable level of service. It fulfils our needs, but no longer astounds us.
However, the future of your brand is dependent upon good design. Good design will ask the restless questions — it will push you to examine the shifting patterns of consumer/participant behaviour. It will demand that you consider a variety of usage patterns. And it will prompt you to continuously deliver new value. And the fact that it will find hidden gold within the mountain of enterprise data is an added bonus. After all, it is still about surprise and delight.