The five senses of web browsing

Chris Heathcote’s post on Antimarthastewartisation got me all misty eyed at the thought of printers’ ink and white spirit, then I came across Matt Webb’s fascinating Making Senses presentation.

And that got me thinking that, actually, there is quite a lot of real sense experience bound up with surfing the web, only somehow we blot it out and focus on the bits and bytes to the exclusion of everything else.

Here’s my top five sense experiences of the web:

Sight: the sunlight reflected in the screen. Makes me squint, but reminds me there’s a real world outside my Windows®.

Sound: the quiet whirr of the fan – a subtle indication that the hard disk’s been busy.

Touch: the warmth of my Compaq Tablet PC – it must be the world’s slowest laptop but on a cold winter’s day it makes a great hot water bottle.

Taste: Sandwiches – absent-mindedly dropping crumbs into the keyboard while surfing on a lunchbreak.

Smell: the scent of electrical burning that tells me the laptop’s been on too long. Time to switch off.

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mattedgar

Product strategy and design leadership in web and mobile media. Before that I was a newspaper journalist and history student

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