I’m starting an experiment. Paul and I have talked in depth about any-interface; I used to call it zero interface, which doesn’t really work.
Essentially, any-interface supports the assertion that data exist independent of the interface and setting them free for use by any client opens the door to lots of really cool innovation, like Google Wave, for example.
For any-interface to work best, you need to understand what software your users use most frequently and what they do with it. That second bit is key because I’m pretty sure a browser will be in the top two for everyone, but it’s more important to know what they do with the browser.
For example, using self-service enterprise applications is quiet different than reading TMZ.
I think knowing these key bits of information, coupled with use cases for various work and entertainment (i.e. not work) activities forms a great set of vertical solutions that can be easily understood, which allows people to realize immediately how valuable (or not) any given solution is to them.
Even though we don’t have a terribly diverse audience, although I can only go by who comments, I think we can at least start a baseline.
So, if you feel like participating, drop a comment with:
- Your high level job function.
- Your top five most used software applications, including work and personal. You can break these out into two lists for bonus points (Disclaimer: Bonus points have no concrete value, aside from your own satisfaction). If you need a benchmark, the top one is the one application that would drive you mad to be without. OS doesn’t count, neither does a VPN client, or any other infrastructure pieces.
- What you do with each application. See my example for a browser.
Pretty simple, although I suspect if/when you think critically about your behavior, breaking it down will be a bit tougher than you imagined. It’s interesting, at least to me, to observe about how my list has changed over the past 5-10 years, moving away from client apps to web apps.
Here’s my list:
- Job Function: Development, product manager
- Browser: Google Reader, GMail, general browsing, blogging, various social networks, web analytics
- Rich Internet Applications (RIA): Twitter
- Installable Email client: Thunderbird, OS X Mail app, iPhone Mail app
- Instant messaging client: Adium, Pigdin
- Calendar client: iCal, iPhone Calendar app
- Word processing: Text editor, Word
- Spreadsheet client: Excel, Numbers
FYI, I broke out RIA, which includes desktop widgets, because using them tells me a bit more about how you feel about standalone widgets based on web apps. Also, you can include smartphone usage if you so desire.
Anyway, find the comments to join the experiment.