Aza Raskin at TEDGlobal 2009: Running notes from Session 3

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Aza Raskin is the head of user experience for Mozilla Labs (the people who created Firefox), and today he’s giving us a demo of a whole new kind of Internet browser. Instead of asking us to become computer literate, he’s making the browser learn our language.

In Raskin’s new browser you can type straightforward commands and request and have the Internet do exactly as you tell it. No more copying and pasting foreign languages into Google Translate. He simply writes “Translate this into German” into a dark gray text box at the top left of the browser, and we watch the magic happen. Want to email a link to your friend? Raskin writes “Email this to Jono” and the browser connects the dots and assembles an email based on his link and the contact in his address book called Jono.

This is all part of a new breed of design sensibility. Raskin sums up the credo behind the change in this sentence: “Your train of thought is sacred, and we should never disturb it.”