There is a revolution going on in regards to labels, tags and naming on the Internet. I am not sure if you've noticed it or not, but a higher degree of usability is slowly creeping into the Internet. Here's what I mean:
Recently I saw one of my colleagues using her web browser in the following way:
- She goes to the search pane in IE.
- She searches Google with the domain name of the website.
- She clicks the 1st result.
No bookmarks, no address bar, just search as navigation. I asked her if she does this for every website. She answered "Why yes, of course. How else would I find what I am looking for?"
As you can imagine, this behaviour floored me because I know that there are oh so many ways to go to a website. It seems that humans are best at finding the shortest-path solution, and for my colleague this means Google. It's no surprise then that Firefox's search box yields over 60M dollars in revenue every year. This is how the Mozilla Corporation gets paid and how the Mozilla Foundation runs the huge project that is Firefox. We like taking short cuts.
The Firefox development community is quite smart too. They've introduced a nifty new feature in the new Firefox 3 web browser called "AwesomeBar" The address bar in Firefox is now a mini-Google for your history/bookmarks/links you've visited in the past. And it searches not only parts of the hyperlink text but also the Title of the page to see what's the most relevant page to serve up to you, as-you-type. Most frequently visited links go to the top. Did you forget the link? Just type the topic into the address bar and you'll most likely find it, even if the URL is the usual nonsense. Awesome, huh?
Now think of the implications of that type of technology advancement with the. With the new top-level domain name restriction lift, it is possible that domain names with very obvious, easy to remember names may very well come to light. Websites with the .you and .me extension may very well come to life. Website domains like face.book and you.tube and just about any other phrase like i.love.you and government.of.canada may start to prevail.
I think that means that it will be even more important to match the content, design and naming towards our audience so that they find the information they need without even barely thinking. If we present the right thing at the right time to our audiences they will be delighted, so we have to start thinking this way every time we design or redesign any web site or system. All design it seems is moving to an easier, more lightweight, and to-the-point way of doing things.