The Next Web recently opined that the web has become a boring homogenised place. In terms of work, I tend to agree in some ways, and have done for a while, see:
I wondered when it would happen & now it has: I am officially bored of web design/builds.
— Mark Cormack (@elmarko) March 17, 2015
But I genuinely don’t think being responsive or pleasing Google has anything to do with it though. It’s simply one thing: experiential experiences have migrated to apps. When mobile kicked in, the difference between what native could leverage against what the browser could do, combined with the all more pleasing UX of being silo-ed in an app, where all UI is relative to the content you are expressly viewing; it’s an altogether more pleasing experience for the user.
Add in things like load times over 3G (or worse Edge) for web when you have loads of assets to bring in for your page, a drainer for anyone. Compare this experience to an app where users are now pre-conditioned not to consider the download anymore, you set it off and it’s off. You do other things and come back. It’s not the same feeling as waiting for that page to load on a website, plus with all assets downloaded once on an app, it’s far less painful when you go back into the app, they feel more responsive as everything is already compiled together.
The entire web has been hacked for so long it’s forgotten what it should be. The web should be Wikipedia. We’ve stretched, contorted and abused it for so long to add in more api’s for video, for audio, for 3d graphic that it’s forgotten that it’s all about the HyperText in HTML. Strings and links.
What we are seeing now is the web settling back down to what it should be, what it should do. It’s the worlds biggest library, but most libraries don’t also have a cinema and a live gig simultaneously going off in them and most libraries certainly don’t spam me with massive ads, flashing their bullshit into my retinas constantly.
Apps are rightfully where the creativity is, the problem is there isn’t a Google search equivalent for apps and surfacing the right content can be a chore. When they nail that and app developers are as commonplace as web developers so that it’s a service that any old agency can implement for clients I think we will see nearly all marketing activity shuffled over to apps.
This won’t kill the Internet. All the content that exist today will still power all those apps. The Internet just serves information. The data in the databases which powers the HTML web can be just as easily sent to apps via JSON/XML/Whatever feeds. We just need to be offering the right type of content viewer for the right type of content for that particular audience.