Much of the digital world and the life of the digital natives today seems to revolve around search and the user’s ability to drag information out of the Internet. Is this pull-oriented system like this really sufficient to meet our addled, attention deficit constrained needs? As I was sitting around watching the Super Bowl yesterday, people would pull out their phones to answer any questions that would come up – hopefully using an authoritative source. All the time they are doing this, they were the target for ads and other marketing efforts. As a generally poor speller, it made me wonder about the number of times I couldn’t spell a word well enough to even look it up in the dictionary. Something totally out of the context of those who are great spellers.
It made me wonder if this pull based economy is really sufficient. What would the world look like post-search? It’s common for people to talk about the post PC world, what about a post-search world? Information push systems that pre-loaded and proactively presented the information you’ll likely need have always seemed a bit too much of a distraction (e.g., Clippy-esque). What we’ve seen so far were initial attempts, there must be other techniques or interface methods that we can accept more readily.
With the abundance of computing capabilities and improved analytic methods, it seems to me this would be a rich area where we will see some significant innovation in 2013. This could fundamentally shift the view of the value of IT. We've all seen sentiment analysis and context awareness efforts, but shifting those into a more proactive, action oriented approach that is useful to individuals is definitely something discussed but not delivered. The user interface standards would likely need to change as well. What do you think?