Sometimes I find myself evaluating design progress by comparing it to the growth of a human. For example how much more sophisticated is footwear design today from 10, 15, or 20 years ago, when compared to a 10, 15, or 20 year old person?
This fall another generation of students heads to college, a generation born in 1995, the year Yahoo was created and the internet became mainstream. That year I remember my design teacher introducing the entire class to the only internet enabled computer in the school library and warning us that not everything that we read on websites was either accurate, or true. I remember thinking how academic and removed it all seemed, a plain white box which looked rather like a smaller Microfiche reader. I just wanted to break off from the group and open up some car design magazines to ogle at the incredible artwork..artwork which today I still enjoy, but now I see it exclusively via the internet, from anywhere I am in the world.
How the internet, our perception and use of it has changed our lives in 18 years. I think its one of the few products which continues evolving at a similar pace to humans. And as we become increasingly connected to it, adapting to its progress in the next 18 years will be important.
Take a scroll down this infographic below to notice how much more complex the internet has become in just the last 10 years. Notice how the Internet is turning into a hyper information tool with increasing potential. Think of how many people it reaches at the click of a mouse button and all the increased data that is processed and stored.
A reminder that we might be witnessing a collective intelligence in the making. I think a global brain could become reality sooner than we imagine (in our working lifetime).
But how will a disruptive technology of such magnitude affect our products and our design? And how can we prep for such change?