|No Broadband in sight. What about telling Web designers about it?|
December 5, 2000
them have now managed to gain the gifts they were lacking, whether these
gifts were computer related for the agencies coming from the first sector
and marketing and communicating related for the agencies coming from the
second sector. Both types of agencies now call themselves Web agencies.
When you take into account what opportunities the web gives us and what net users really expect, we can only notice that the quality of these sites remains rather poor: sites with a navigability which is badly thought when thought at all, interactive services with a very weak added-value, malfunctioning graphic charter, frequent problems of prospective rise, and above all difficult accessibility to the web pages and applications, which are often due to latent loading times.
I would like to pay particular attention to this last point, since it not only plays a key role in the consumer's experience, but it also indicates how difficult it is for Web designers to tackle the Web technologic reality.
We reach the same conclusion with Web agencies that come from the computing sector.
Up till the arrival of Internet, applications were only workable in a well-defined environment: the information was structured within the local network itself or from a long-distance one, the number of computers was known, it was possible to simulate a rise in work according to a typical day, etc. As a result, it was a common phenomenon to develop applications on the same day as the local network, or even the hardware part, was brought up to date.
arrival of Internet, everything changed. Designers now have much less
power over the modes of access used by net surfers on the sites. They
can only opt for a practical attitude consisting in always testing the
answers provided by the computing system to the questions asked by the
net surfers in order to find out at what stage it will be necessary to
tip it over a more powerful server (by adding new frontal servers, or
by using a load-balancing type of application, etc
For many Web agencies, the Web is not mature enough, connections are too slow, but if they wait a little, till broadband becomes generalized, everything should be ok.
Some sites got carried away since nearly 74 percent of them say they expect to deploy broadband content in the next two years.
broadband content is far from being what web agencies think it is. When
you take into account how insecure economic models are due to the present
broadband deployment (cable or DSL), the huge investments that are needed
and the present lethargy of most online households which are still poking
along at 28.8 or 56 kbps, you realize that broadband won't be used massively
before 2004, which seems very far off in the Web reality.
Most websites planned on displaying video services (e-learning or e-entertainement) but the future no longer looks so rosy for them since only very few internet users will actually manage to view them. This is the reason why pop.com went bust. It was a site promoted by Stephen Spielberg that aimed at broadcasting videos on the net at people's will.
It goes without saying that internet users are willing to accept long loading times for the services that offer them a very high added-value, such as financial simulation applications times, but this will remain an exception.
In the next two years, Web developments will mainly consist in optimizing back-offices and server operations, while one must always bear in mind that most online households will poke along at a few dozens kbps.
Source : Business 2.0