The internet of the future is heading towards emotionally smart technology where smart sites and pageless design are likely the next step for improving conversion rates.
The Internet has changed communication, social interactions and people’s interactions with the larger world. But what is the future of the Internet? As Internet speeds increase and bandwidth broadens, the Internet is on the brink of a makeover. Here is a look at how advancing technologies will change the face of the Internet.
Typical websites are based on print and content paradigms. They utilize link-driven table of content pages, then create a one-sided experience. The user focuses on the page, which has static information or material that the user absorbs. A smart site provides visceral feedback in the form of intuitive interfaces that modify themselves for the benefit of the user at hand.
A perfect example is a smart keyboard for your phone that learns the sentences and words you use most. As you use it, the keyboard becomes more personalized and useful.
In terms of a website, this may look quite different but has a similar effect on a user. A website should tell a story. It should connect with the user in personal ways — like a two-sided conversation. Smart sites use a discovery aspect, layer the information the user seeks and rely on surprise and the user’s natural interest.
For repeat use, a smart site must have a number of choices for the user to make. When one choice is made, more are available and others no longer an option. This type of visceral experience of discovery keeps users interested in a site even after they have visited it many times.
Page vs Pageless Design
The classic webpage is a great tool for sharing information. But information only goes so far. People want an experience, and like smart sites, pageless design promotes the user’s interaction with the material, and the material with the user.
However, this doesn’t mean page-based websites are obsolete. In fact, sites such as driving-tests.org use aspects of the pageless designs formula in which imagery and story are used to engage the user.
The reason smart sites and pageless design are likely the web of the future, however, is that they yield a higher conversion rate for companies, so users who visit pageless or smart sites more commonly buy a service or product.
Emotionally Smart Devices
While much emphasis is placed on the emotional connections a smart site or pageless site should build with a user, there has been little talk, until recently, about emotionally tuned devices.
However, Rana El-Kaliouby, Ph.D., believes that emotionally smart devices aren’t far away. “It had absolutely no idea what my emotional state was. . .” El-Kaliouby, says of her laptop.
She gave a TED Talk on the merits of an emotionally smart device device that reads a user’s feelings and reacts accordingly. If you are sad or upset and pull out your smartphone, the camera would activate, recognize your expression, deduce your emotional state and locate a video it believes you would find funny or endearing. If your face conveys contemplation or focus, the phone may boost you over to a easy Google search app.
Emotionally smart devices are still years off, but the strain they would put on the Internet is severe, so the technology may be available only after smart sites and pageless design have become the norm.