What Kind Of Web Page Are You?

Rich Skrenta points out the web pages have begun to be standardized.


Back in 1995, when the web was new, visitors to a new site would lean
forward, squint at the page, and try to figure out how it worked.


That metaphor didn’t last. People don’t lean forward and squint at web
pages to figure out how they work anymore. They instantly recognize —
within 100 milliseconds — which
class of site
a page belong to — search result, retail browse, blog, newspaper, spam
site, message board, etc. And if they don’t recognize what kind of page
they’re on, they generally give up and hit the back button.

That’s an interesting observation and I think its true. I certainly do that. And I urge my companies to adopt standard web page metaphors to make their services easier to use.

Maybe the web has become like every other media before it. It’s developing its own categories of services. In television, a show is a sitcom, a drama, a news show, etc, etc. It doesn’t take very long to figure out what kind of TV show you are watching.

Is this good or bad? Has most of the innovation on the web already happened? Are we now in mainstream mode, sucking as much cash out of a mature model as we can?

I am not entirely sure. There have been a number of new web page metaphors successfully introduced in the past five years. The wiki style, the blog style, the web video page, the photo page model, etc. I think we aren’t done with innovating, but it’s interesting to think that the web has become so standardized in such a short time. Just a bit over ten years and it’s certainly not the chaotic adventureland it once was.