In the National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS) quarterly e-blast, Enotes, a one-directional commentary on form and function caught our attention. Enotes is only available to members of NFAIS, so if you aren’t already a member, that can be resolved here.

Architect Louis Sullivan coined the phrase – form ever follows function – in 1896. The focus of his discussion was skyscrapers. In 2009, in an article about devices and user interfaces, The New York Times stated that we’d fulfilled Sullivan’s hope in our transition to digital products.

Is that true? Let’s look at some statistics shared in the article.

  • Global mobile devices and connections in 2014 grew to 7.4 billion. Smartphones accounted for 88% of that growth.
  • In 2014, the number of mobile connected tablets increased 1.6 fold to 74 million, and each tablet generated 2.5 times more traffic than the average smartphone.
  • By 2019, more than half of all devices connected to the mobile network will be “smart” devices.
  • Industry research firm Gartner has predicted that by 2017, at least 50% of all employers will require employees to provide their own mobile devices for work purposes.
  • More than 3/4 of all digital consumers (age 18+) are now using both desktop and mobile platforms to access the internet, up from 68 percent a year ago.
  • Mobile-only internet usage is also becoming more prevalent, driven largely by the 21 percent of Millennials who are no longer using desktop computers to go online.
  • 64% of American adults now own a smartphone, up from 35% in the spring of 2011.
  • The “Big Four” smartphone apps and features are text messaging, voice calls, internet use, and email.
  • Could you live without your smartphone? 46% of smartphone owners can’t.
  • 7% of Americans are “smartphone-dependent”.

Staggering, aren’t they? No longer are we just making content findable, but we are making it portable as well.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.