alexandria/ August 27, 2019/ Web Resources

As 2020 quickly approaches, it’s worth noting that with each new year, we’re still exploring new depths of the internet age. Many tasks that previously required physical effort in years past can now be done online: applying for jobs, tracking expenses, even playing what were once board games (think Scrabble, checkers, or chess). And with each new task that “goes digital,” there is a greater demand, meaning website and software developers are constantly under pressure to perfect presentation and performance. With that in mind, we’re going to look ahead at a few common types of online platforms that are surging in popularity, and will likely need redevelopment and updated presentations – remodeling, if you will – shortly.

Professional Networking

Gone are the days when you needed to send a formal cover letter via U.S. postage to a prospective employer; a lot of companies now rely fully on online job finding services like GlassDoor and Indeed. Some companies are even accepting LinkedIn profiles instead of formal applications, making it critical to keep your online profile up to date, even if you’re not actively looking for a new job. Currently, certain features of the platform are off-limits to non-paying users, which can be problematic seeing as anyone currently out of work and using LinkedIn isn’t necessarily going to want to pay a monthly fee for its services. The website is also a bit tricky to navigate for first-time users, given that some features aren’t named clearly, and if you’re not paying for a subscription, your screen will also be flooded with advertisements. If you’re looking to take your job search online, we’d recommend doing some research on how to use LinkedIn and create a strong profile. And hopefully, as the site gains more popularity, designers for LinkedIn or similar sites will begin to make the interface a little more straightforward to use.

Online Betting & Gaming

Both online sports betting and casino games are popular and common in regions like Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Americans, however, are just starting to see these platforms becoming available on their home turf. Sugarhouse’s online services and a few other major betting companies are leading the way, and legislation is opening up on a state-by-state basis. And while Americans are by and large excited about this, it will also definitely take some time for them to get used to the often cluttered or overwhelming websites – particularly those used for placing sports bets. It can be hard to interpret posted odds and decide which ones are most relevant to you, as they are typically organized into spreadsheets and charts that are not always intuitive. Simply put, these sites – even where they’re popular – aren’t always particularly easy or pleasant to sift through. So one has to imagine that as the U.S. market expands and more people engage with betting and gambling sites, there will also be a push to make them more appealing, modern, streamlined, and user-friendly for this broad new customer base.

Quick News & Blog Posting

The phenomenon still can’t quite be explained, but people today have an obsession with “quick reads” and “fast news” in the form of BuzzFeed articles, Reddit threads, and even Snapchat stories. People – particularly young people – aren’t sitting down and reading print copies of The New York Times anymore, to put it bluntly; many of us are only learning about the world through our phones. Reddit may be one of the most popular platforms used by young people to both kill time and get “news” updates, but it can arguably be difficult to use. The interface is not very aesthetically pleasing, and there is a surprisingly steep learning curve for anyone looking to get into Reddit. If it wants to reach the level of a Facebook or Twitter and truly help to shape the coming era of on-demand, quick-hit news consumption, this or any platform like it may ultimately need to revamp its look and user-friendliness.

You probably use at least one, if not all of these online services, so be sure to keep an eye out for changes in the not-so-distant future. And if there is something you don’t like, don’t be afraid to post or email about it! One complaint won’t spark change, but to some extent tech companies are only as strong as their feedback. Most of them have a high capacity for change and innovation as well, which means some of the changes suggested here may be more likely than they seem.

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