As software has moved from running on local machines to running in the browser a number of important things have happened. One of the most important changes is software has become media.
Like other forms of media, software produces an emotional reaction when we use it. Software needs to have a “voice.” It needs to be more than a simple utility. We need to feel something when we use software. The best software does this incredibly well.
Like media, the interfaces that present software to us need to be stylized, designed, and elegant. Software can be beautiful and the best software is beautiful.
And like media, the most important measurement for software today is the number of engaged users. The more engaged users a piece of software has, the more impactful it can be.
Once we’ve begun to treat some of the software in our lives as media, we are going to treat all the software in our lives as media. And the software that is ugly, void of emotion and voice will not work as well for us. So I believe all software is media and will be seen as such by its users.
Twitter, YouTube, Facebook… and countless other examples come to mind.