URLs will be an Anachronism

The search box circumvents the address bar
After playing with Google’s Chrome browser for the last few days, I noticed the “Address” bar, which is just called a “Omnibox” (corrected from just “box” via comments) is really a search field. Anything entered into it will deliver a webpage (it first looks at your historical activities) or renders Google search results (or search of your preference, including twitter search). As a result, it’s become apparently that I no longer need to enter in URLs to my browser for 99% of all tasks.

[Chrome is a nod to the future, the address bar is really a search bar. URLs will be an anachronism]

is what I mentioned in Twitter with a flurry of agreements back from the community. Lori MacVittie expands further on the idea and agrees that like engine parts in our car, or IP addresses, they mainly go invisible as we drive to our real world or online destinations.

What’s next: content to be found and served through context
I have an odd habit of counting how many TV advertisements don’t have a URL somewhere in it, on average, I only count 1-2 per hour, nearly all are signaling to viewers to learn more on the web. If I’m curious about a product, I can manually enter in the URL, or do a search to find the site. Given that Google has experimented with active listening to TV programs through the mic on your computer, there’s ways to serve up contextual information at any point of your TV watching experience, thinking further, when TV and the web truly marry, entering in URLs will truly be an extinct activity.

Of course, URLs will always be there, but like signs on the road, they move into the background and let you focus on what’s really important –your destination.

For me, I’m happy to say good bye to URLs and move on to more contextual ways of finding, or serving information through digital spaces, the next phase of information navigation is starting.

Love to hear your thoughts:

  • 1) Will URLs go away?
  • 2) At what point will URLs be an Anachronism?
  • 3) What is needed to make this happen?
  • 4) How will be find (or be served) information in the future?
  • Can you answer the above 3 questions without saying the “S” word? (semantic), try to, it’s good for ya.