Web doDo Web
Worldwide, the use of the Web allows any computer in the globe to share information with any other computer in the globe. Web is a hyper text system that operates as one of its web based service. Looking at the web as hyper text means that it requires navigation-supporting functions and that the user can depend on the consequent use of these navigational functions to move in hyper space.
This means that there is a special graphical environment that is ideal for the hyper-text issue of navigation in a vast information room for searching and reading information. It' not that we are near an optimum hyper text engine in today's web browser, but they do have some functions like back and bookmark that can be relied on quickly.
It' s unlikely that the UI that is best for searching hyperlinks is best for anything else that humans have to do with computing. So if the web becomes a unified, universally accessible gateway to all web service, we will either get a suboptimal hyper-text gateway for our web surfing needs or a suboptimal GUI for all non-browsing needs.
E-mail is a good example: It was the first hit application for the web and required a slightly different graphical environment than surfing the web. While there are web based e-mail messaging systems, they have a significantly second-rate feeling compared to using a smooth e-mail gateway like Eudora or Outlook.
Likewise, other favorite web based online offerings such as home bank ings and airlines reservations: optimised stand-alone apps offer a better viewing environment than the one that results from spooning the same functions into a web based web browsing id. Of course, these stand-alone apps must be Internet-enabled and have the ability to handle firwalls, cryptography and other convenient problems with accessing the Web.
The long run answer is likely to be that OSs contain a much more rich tier of web service than the present basic level of traffic. Standalone uses have some disadvantages: After downloading, they can offer much quicker turnaround time than a web browsers because they only need to share minimum information with the servers (while web interface downloads page layout and behaviour specification along with each record).
Therefore, standalone apps are only useful for repetitive work. It is better for a one-time job to begin immediately and then endure an uncomfortable UI and slow reaction time for each move. However, each new operating system has its own specific needs, and it is obviously not possible to migrate an app from a desktops computer to a palms computer without redesigning the GUI.
However, for a less widely used program, the costs can be prohibitive, which means that it will either be available only on the most widely used platform, or it will be limited to an unfavorable web-like surface.
Administrations and upgrades are often cited as disadvantages for specialised utilities, but it should be possible to have components that can update themselves as needed (without the need for a full update every 10% modification ) and that can be managed locally (if the users grant this right).
So if the user's primary action is to browse information, a hypertext-like UI can be okay. CarPoint's cost estimator is a good example of using an embedded OCX constraint to reach some features on a website while adhering to the hyper text paradigm. OCX is a powerful tool for calculating the cost of a website. A CarPoint operator can set the fare for different vehicle configuration by selecting on and off option.
Checking the boxes in the CarPoint Auto-Pricer has no effect outside the web page: the consumer does not buy the vehicle, but merely searches the available choices. I would have liked my favorite auto pricing interfaces to be even more hyper text based: linking from each of the available choices to pages of secondaries with an explanatory note and a check of each one.
Keep in mind that every single website is an unimportant piece of the web universe: you can't break the habit of surfing other websites by surfing them. Now I think it's up to you to realize that the web can't be everything and still have a good usability.
Let us dedicate the web to what it's good for: searching hyperlinks (including dynamically generated contents that don't have sophisticated functions). Let us begin by developing Internet-enabled client-server apps that offer optimised graphical environments on the clients.