Re: [IxDA] High-End Users in a Low-End Web.

15 Nov 2010 - 9:43am
634 reads

I think you're seeing the combination of two factors, of which Jared has correctly identified one. Try this on for size:

"Most people in the world (and probably most people who use the Web) don't search but if they do, they use Google"

"Most people in the world don't use social network sites, but if they do they use Facebook." (of course these are exaggerations, but play along for a minute please)

What has happened is that a few monopolist-like(*) companies (google, apple, facebook, amazon, ebay) have dominated their particular segment of the Web space. They're using non-Web techniques, particularly smartphone apps, to extend that de facto hegemony. So if you're in that slice of the Web user population then you are highly likely to fall into the circles drawn by those companies, to know their UIs and interaction patterns and to appear to have a certain level of sophistication merely because of repeated experience and expectations built up by frequent interaction with a narrow set of UIs.

This hit me recently when I was doing some searching on different engines to check the SERP of a new site. I'm a heavy Google user for search, and found myself uncomfortable with the unfamiliar interactions of Yahoo! and Bing.

What I think Jared is quite correct about is that as insiders to this sub-slice of Web users it's natural to feel that everyone must be like us/like that. I doubt you'll find any (many?) people on the IxDA list who are not themselves pretty sophisticated users of the most common Web interaction models.


(*) I say monopolist-like in that I don't believe any of these companies are attempting to create monopolies, but a combination of factors has rendered them extremely dominant in their spaces.

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