I'm not a designer, I only wish I was :). But recently, a question was posed to me that those who ever happen to read this blog could probably guess my answer to:
What three emerging technologies will have the greatest impact on your design practice in the next five years? What types of skills and techniques will you have to master to grow a successful design practice across multiple channels? What steps are you taking now to move in that direction?
Can you guess what my answer is? Data portability! How did you know? Ok, so I didn't actually answer the question...but here were my thoughts around at least one portion:
Data portability will be a hugely complex and major issue to tackle for designers and UX folks. With baby steps towards DP evidenced by initiatives like Facebook Connect, MySpaceID and Google Friend Connect (true, they're not true dp, but I said baby steps) allowing personal and friend data from these networks to be fed through third-party sites, and with major strides in open standards around social graph markup and the Data Portability Workgroup, we can almost taste the social context now.
What does it mean for design? The ability to incorporate actual user graph data into a digital experience means being able to provide socially contextual and relevant brand experiences— ones that leverage and integrate a user’s existing social connections and content from other sites, networks and applications into the brand experience. Persona's become antiquated, and the notion of user-specific, dynamic content takes on a whole new meaning. "Designing for the network" itself takes on a whole new rationale within this context, and will be one that comes to the forefront in the next few years. That is, of course, if data portability gains adoption from average users and not just tech geeks and overly-connected social mediaphiles...