Missed Predictions

October 13, 2004 at 10:30 pm | Posted in Books, Technology | Leave a comment

I just finished reading Don Norman’s The Psychology of Everyday Things (buy). He takes a lot of his experience as an Apple Fellow and applies it to the low-tech objects in our lives – doors, windows, refrigerators, and signs to name a few. He has a lot of good things to say that are valid now as they were when the book was published over 15 years ago. However, Don was way off in predicting the ease by which people would become web authors and bloggers:

… if hypertext really becomes available, especially in the fancy versions now being talked about — where words, sounds, video, computer graphics, simulations, and more are all available at the touch of the screen — well, it is hard to imagine anyone capable of preparing the material. It will take teams of people. I predict that there will be much experimentation, and much failure, before the dimensions of this new technology are fully explored and understood.

In the next few pages, he describes the high cost of information storage and retrieval, totally missing the large investment made in Internet infrastructure that would occur during the dot-com boom of the late 90’s.

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