MySpace and the Future of UI Design

I love my cousin Ana, which is why I hate to say this, but her MySpace page is horrendous. Last I saw it there was a giant background image of pirate ship, the controls for sending her messages, adding as a friend etc. where unrecognizable, and there was more than one element on the page that deformed it and contributed to the more than 1 screen width’s worth of horizontal scroll… oy vey.

But it really doesn’t matter. At least not as far as the purpose of the site is concerned. Ana and her friends use the site just as the creators might have intended it – to share music tastes send messages and most importantly in this context – to express themselves. A view of Ana’s page on any single day shows a new song and a fresh page full of messages from her friends.

My page has a very standard layout and I’m lucky if I get a message every other month.

So clearly, for the intended audience, Ana’s two page wide, horizontal scrolling, pirate ship’d page soundly kicks the crap out of the online manifestation of my OCD.

So here is what I want to know… what is an enterprise web application admin console going to look like when Ana get her hands on it? (Not that she’ll go into software – she’s headed for something more than that I think… but you know what I mean). There is something coming out of MySpace, that although “eye-bleedingly bad” as Tom Coates mentioned, is very free and, in a way, unspoiled by the constraints of conventional design.

Don’t mistake me. If I see a giant pirate ship background in an admin console, or any other piece of software I come across, I’ll toss it instantly … but I am really interested to see where free form design like this will take us…

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