Convergent Software Client

I saw this post earlier today over at Scott's FuzzyBlog, it's very interesting to me:


Given that Dave is big on specialized clients for blogs then Phil's thoughts on a converged client are very interesting.

Personally, I think blogging as a form will merge with all the other forms of digital expression. With email and IM first. With voice/video conferencing, streaming videos, browsing, and PowerPointing later.

Watch it change:

  • as more people blog from their foto-mobiles
  • as devices start to blog ("My car's day")
  • as audiobloggers create radio shows and videobloggers create televsion programming
  • as Sims characters start to blog.

Moving forward, see a convergent software client emerge. [ Go ]

I'm not 100% sure I agree but it's very interesting. Of course if a convergent client does emerge then we may as well send our check to Microsoft since they'll probably own it.

Now, I don't agree with THAT last statement. But I do agree this is an interesting concept and was sort of what I've been going on about with my UI rants and my dormant personal project I've been working on. Here's some more from Phil's post:

What else do you need from a converged user experience? What are our collective design goals?

Simplicity. Unity. and Adaptability.

The surfaces presented to a user will adapt to each medium and form. Perhaps I need a storyboard for planning a video; maybe it can also be used for planning a presentation, an extended blog post, an interaction with a customer. Are you presenting on a computer projector, a video stream, or paper? The software should understand how to adjust.

The converged client should also adapt to people. A person's culture, experience, goals, interests, and skills. This is hard as adamantium, but it is what allows robust tools to work for most people in many situations. Some people need help and wizards and automatic spelling correction (think Microsoft Office), others need directly manipulable affordances (think Kai's Power Tools). Small children need different environments (Power Puff Girls) than teens than adults. Grokking world cultures and subcultures, and reflecting those in software, is a fine art.

He gets off on a bit of "software as thinking, predicting magic" for a bit, but he's got a point. If you think about what MS has been doing by incorporating all the little apps you use every day into the OS, where does that end? Maybe Linux will be distributed some day with the Universal Client that does all the above and more?


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