Being a new dad, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on life during diaper changes and countless late night feedings. It’s amazing how much the world has changed since I was a kid, and even more spectacular when you consider the technology that has become the norm today.
When I was five, playing Super Mario Bros. on the NES was earth-shattering, and our school’s Apple IIe’s were the creme of the technological crop. I grew up fantasizing about a far-off future where cars would fly, hoverboards were common and everyone had a Star Trek-esque computers and “tricorders.”
It’s now 2010, and while I’m still waiting on my hoverboard, my daughter was born into a world where at least part of my childhood dreams have become reality. It’s hard to believe that she’ll never know a world without multi-touch screens, omni-powerful smart phones and video calling. I mean, seriously, step back from your geeky mindset and take a look at what’s commonplace now that was only fantasy a few years ago: Augmented reality, high def video from pint sized devices, eight different flavors of Mountain Dew… Unbelievable!
As I’m reflecting on all of this, it’s making me realize that the old school paradigms I’m used to designing for are being replaced with rules from a brave new world. When I design for the web, I now have to consider the experience as viewed from a multi-touch screen in a variety of scenarios. When I craft our marketing, I now consider social networking first and mailers last. The internet and affordable handheld gadgets have dramatically changed how people live their lives, and strategies from even a few years ago just aren’t cutting it any more. After all, we’re in the future now. The past is obsolete.
It’s funny; as I try to imagine the world Jovie will grow up in, I have a hard time picturing how things will progress from here. Holograms? Teleportation? Who knows, but we better get used to change. It’s here to stay.