As the underlying tech becomes a commodity, design emerges as the answer
The technology industry is undergoing a creative transformation. A large amount of value is shifting from the development of underlying technologies — the infrastructure, the platforms, the chips, the radios, the hardware — to the design of how technology interacts with the user. This tectonic creative shift will determine many of tomorrow’s tech winners and losers.
The trend has been emerging for a couple years now, although user interaction has always an important part of tech. But there are some major driving forces behind this trend, and why it’s emerging now. We, at GigaOM, think experience design is so important this year that we’re focusing our two-day annual RoadMap conference (which will take place in San Francisco in a couple weeks) on the topic.
One point of pressure is that the costs of the underlying technologies have dropped dramatically — much of these technologies are now commodities that lean startups (or really anyone) can buy with a bit of funding and a solid business plan. Cloud services like Amazon Web Services provide low cost on-demand computing; chips, sensors and radios are cheap enough to embed in every device and machine; powerful smartphones are becoming widespread and delivering sophisticated and standardized mobile computing platforms. All of this is being connected with blazing fast broadband — the internet (the true mobile internet that’s been envisioned for years) now just, frankly, works.