Thursday, 21 August 2008

Age & The Invisibility Of The Network

Fred Wilson had a post the other day talking about When You Wake Up Feeling Old.

It used to be that when you no longer recognized faces on the cover of people magazine or listened to the radio and had no clue who the latest "it" band was that the age thing would hit you.

For me, it's been similar to Wilson, in realizing that people in the generation younger than me "understand how the web works at a level I'll never understand."

Those that are brought up with the network truly don't see technology or even go online as it's just always there and pervasively present (the UCaPP world).

Specifically interviewing this week, it's been interesting talking with so many people about their experience with digital, what it means to them.

And it appears as mostly it means nothing at all. Not that it's not important. It's that its simply so core that it just is. Talking about it almost seems stupid.

And yet at the same time, clearly the invisible impact of the network on how they think, and lenses of how they view the world is creating patterns, attitudes and cultural shifts that we are only starting to see and understand.

There is definitely a learning curve here for anyone trying to connect with this generation. The ways of the past are not going to work. Our old rules will no longer apply. Experience design is probably going to see some of the biggest shifts in the coming few years as we attempt to bridge the chasm between what we have traditional known and seen to the new reality. It will close down debates between navigation styles and do we like Flash or not, to task and experience oriented expectations of monstrous proportions.

And probably and most importantly for marketers, brands that say we can't change because that's the way we've always done it or that's what our guidelines say, will become less and less relevant as companies that focus on the
invisibility of the network and understanding how to communicate and connect with the generation that doesn't even think about it, start to dominate the market place.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Real Time Web Analytics