As the Web Grows Faster…

by Luke Wroblewski April 24, 2004

“The heady forecasts of the dotcom era are coming true, just later than expected.” (Wired, 03/2004).

Two in five Internet users in the United States now have high-speed access at home, though 60% of dialup users still “plan” to stay on dial-up. This continuing rise in broadband adoption should not only popularize new forms of Web-accessible content (and give dial-up users good reasons to come on board), but also allow us to advance Web interface design. In Korea, where broadband penetration is nearly 100%, a third of the economy was transacted on the Internet (versus 2% in the US).

“The rest of the world was also falling in love with the benefits of fast internet access, to the tune of 100 million connections worldwide by April, prompting research firm Point Topic to declare it one of the fastest growing technologies ever.” -Broadband soars in 2004

This necessitates interface designs that integrate better with our daily lives. There’s an even bigger need to focus on human-centric technologies and create experiences that are useful, useable, and enjoyable. A few years ago, Web designers eagerly awaited the arrival of broadband so they could use bigger images and sound within their interface designs, but we need to recognize that broadband adoption means a lot more than increased download speeds. It means better integration, communication, and collaboration between people and technology.