Who cares about browsers anyway?

Just read Bern­hard Schindlholzer’s blog post on Google’s inter­view series that dis­co­ve­r­ed that almost no one knows what a brow­ser is.

A very nice examp­le of an imple­men­ta­ti­on model that isn’t qui­te in line with the men­tal model of users.

Users want to catch-up with fri­ends or buy a book online, not use a brow­ser. That’s what makes Ope­ra Unite intri­guing. Ope­ra Unite allows you to access your file sys­tem through the brow­ser, sha­re pho­tos wit­hout uploa­ding, lea­ving post-its on someo­ne elses com­pu­ter etc. Howe­ver, it’s still a brow­ser. May­be more woven into your desk­top but it’s still an app­li­ca­ti­on.

I belie­ve that the brow­ser of the future will have to be total­ly trans­pa­rent. This will allow users to focus on the tasks at hand and not on the tool. No more cogni­ti­ve fric­tion. Adap­ti­ve Path’s Auro­ra con­cept they did for Mozil­la is going into this direc­tion. Thin­king one step fur­ther, we might even­tual­ly even come up with a new con­cept that will replace the now more than 30 year old desk­top meta­phor for gra­phi­cal user inter­faces on ope­ra­ting sys­tems.