When I first started using internet back in 1996, Command Line was my interface to the Internet (I had a shell account from VSNL and I used to use Lynx Browser) and was introduced to Linux then via a ‘telnet’ interface to a remote computer. Which effectively meant my interaction with most of the software/services was via a text based user interface. Fast forward 13 years, and I was having a cup of coffee this weekend with a couple of fellow programmers over our ambitious dreams ranging from Fuzzy Logic to NLP based startups and all of us, without realizing, finally ended up disucussing the best way to create a web interface for our products.
There was an unsaid mutual agreement over the fact that my “user” (as explained in the Usability Tip) is too lazy now, to download our software and give it a try, today everybody including myself demand ‘instant gratification’ , for example we don’t want to download the video, we want to stream it, realtime.
The motto is today all technology startups (until unless your customers are corporates) are also effectively Web Startups, Software as a Service (SaaS) is here to stay, the Cloud is more real than the desk in front of you. Today if for your software, the customer is an average computer user, he/she is actually an Internet User who would rather not use your product than go out of his browser.
So folks, inject some CGI/PHP, spray some html, and get your software accessible from within the browser, because today the window to the world is a 1200×800 pixel wide browser!