It’s 2020. Technology trends continue to accelerate, thanks to a massive transition to remote work. Meanwhile, people across the world face social and economic uncertainty amid a global pandemic.
我 T公司的2020年技术趋势继续加快，得益于到远程工作一个巨大的转变。 同时，在全球大流行中，全世界的人们都面临着社会和经济的不确定性。
How did we get here? What happens next?
As human-centred designers, one way we can make sense of complexity is via the use of metaphor. Metaphors are a part of everyday life. When we use metaphors to access unfamiliar situations, we can make better sense of them and be better able to chart a path forward.
To help us make sense of our current world, I’d like to tell a story using our analog world as a metaphor for our digital one. This is a story about our internet in 2020.
1.道路和目录的世界 (1. A world of roads and directories)
Our story begins with two worlds: analog and digital. Let’s start with analog.
我们的故事始于两个世界： 模拟和数字 。 让我们从模拟开始。
Back in the analog world, when a business was established, it needed to have an address and be listed on a directory in order to be found. In that sense, our roads were a public good that enabled people to travel to businesses, while directories helped people to find the businesses they want.
In the new digital world, things were different, but the structure was largely the same: the internet became the “roads” of virtual space. Like our roads, the internet was a public good. Meanwhile, private companies provided search engines that served as directories for those roads.
在新的数字世界中，情况有所不同，但结构基本相同：互联网成为虚拟空间的“道路”。 就像我们的道路一样，互联网是一种公共物品。 同时，私营公司提供了搜索引擎，作为这些道路的目录。
2.数据经济 (2. The data economy)
Over time, a difference emerged between these two worlds. In the analog world, businesses accepted money as a form of payment. In the digital world, some providers were happy to accept data instead.
随着时间的流逝，这两个世界之间出现了差异。 在模拟世界中，企业接受金钱作为付款方式。 在数字世界中，一些提供商乐于接受数据。
In the dollar sense, users who paid only with their data received digital services for “free”. However, every time they accessed those services, they also gave the provider something of immense value: personal information that the provider could use to improve their services, or re-sell for money later.
3.数据的热衷 (3. The great rush for data)
This is where the two worlds began to diverge.
In the analog world, if a business decided to increase its price, people would eventually be deterred and went to buy from another business instead. In that sense, price competition kept the markets balanced.
In the digital world, if a business asked for more data, people were barely deterred. To an average user, there may have been a bit more reading and scrolling through T&C’s, but the cost felt the same: click on “I Agree”. This data helped businesses to improve their services, which led to more business, in a virtuous cycle for both businesses and users.
在数字世界中，如果企业需要更多数据，人们几乎不会感到震慑。 要在普通用户，可能已经有点多读，到T＆C的滚动，但成本也有同感：“我同意”点击。 这些数据有助于企业改善其服务，从而为企业和用户带来良性循环。
Over time, digital businesses who collected the most data and made the best use of it improved their services the most. Some of those businesses became monopolies in their space.
4.输入新闻 (4. Enter the news)
In both worlds, public interest information is disseminated through news. People need news in order to know what’s going on with their society and government, so that they can make informed decisions in their day-to-day.
However, in the digital world, as the directories consolidated and grew, people stopped going to news websites for their news. Instead, they went straight to news directories such as Google. People started to go through the directory to get to the news.
但是，在数字世界中，随着目录的合并和增长，人们不再访问新闻网站来获取新闻。 相反，他们直接进入了新闻目录，例如Google。 人们开始浏览目录以获取新闻 。
This continued until a handful of directories such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter and YouTube became the main ways that people accessed their news.
To increase the visibility of their content, news businesses started to tell stories that would better serve the algorithms of the directories. However, they also started facing competition from everywhere. Suddenly, a lot more businesses were competing to have their content seen.
为了增加其内容的可见性，新闻企业开始讲故事，以更好地服务于目录算法。 但是，他们也开始面临来自世界各地的竞争。 突然之间，越来越多的企业开始争相查看其内容。
5.数字网关 (5. The digital gateways)
As the digital world expanded, this pattern unfolded not only in news, but across all industries. Examples included:
- Amazon — books, e-commerce. 亚马逊-书籍，电子商务。
- Netflix — film and television. Netflix-电影和电视。
- Spotify — music. Spotify-音乐。
And so on.
Over time, each directory became a singular gateway to its own unique ecosystem. Those ecosystems became the cities of the digital world, each with its own rules of exchange defined by the directories who govern them.
随着时间的流逝，每个目录都成为通向其自己独特生态系统的唯一门户 。 这些生态系统成为了数字世界中的城市，每个城市都有各自的交换规则，这些规则由管理它们的目录定义。
6.繁荣的世界？ (6. A thriving world?)
The digital world brought massive benefits to society. Thanks to the directories, people could access almost anything quickly and conveniently. For businesses, directories enabled them to sell goods and services to more customers than ever before.
数字世界为社会带来了巨大的利益。 多亏了目录，人们几乎可以快速方便地访问任何内容。 对于企业而言，目录使他们能够向比以往更多的客户出售商品和服务。
The digital world thrived, fuelled by the expansion of the data economy.
However, things weren’t smooth for everyone. As more businesses transitioned to digital, competition intensified. Meanwhile, in order to maintain their ecosystems, directories charged businesses a toll — up to 30% of their revenue — in order to be listed in their cities.
但是，情况并非所有人都顺利。 随着越来越多的企业过渡到数字化，竞争加剧。 同时，为了维护其生态系统，目录向企业收取了一定的通行费-最高收入的30％-以便在其城市中列出。
Some businesses tried to challenge this arrangement. Epic Games, owner of Fortnite, tried to sell virtual goods directly to users within a city called Apple iOS. This meant Apple wouldn’t receive a toll even as iOS users made purchases in Fortnite. Apple responded in kind, and removed Epic from their ecosystem. As a result, Epic lost access to the city and its hundreds of millions of visitors.
一些企业试图挑战这种安排。 Fortnite的所有者Epic Games试图将虚拟商品直接卖给一个叫做Apple iOS的城市中的用户。 这意味着，即使iOS用户在Fortnite购买商品，苹果也不会受到影响。 苹果做出了回应，并从其生态系统中删除了Epic 。 结果，史诗失去了进入这座城市及其数亿游客的通道。
As all this happened, something else became apparent: the directories were now being accessed by people across the planet.
7.遍布全球 (7. Across the globe)
While roads in the analog world connected entire countries, the internet connected the entire globe.
To a consumer, traveling the internet wasn’t costly at all. Directories made the whole world convenient and accessible from anywhere. However, a cost had been slowly accruing across parts of society.
对于消费者来说，上网根本不花钱。 目录使您可以从任何地方方便地访问整个世界。 但是，整个社会各部门的成本一直在缓慢增长。
As the digital world grew, people began to find their homes within different digital suburbs. Some started to divide based on where they lived in the digital world, rather than where they lived in the analog world. At times, this led to conflicts in the analog world between those who had previously shared the same interests as neighbours.
随着数字世界的发展，人们开始在不同的数字郊区中找到自己的家。 有些人开始根据他们生活在数字世界中的位置而不是他们生活在模拟世界中的位置进行划分。 有时，这在模拟世界中导致了先前与邻居有着相同利益的人们之间的冲突。
Meanwhile, entire industries in the analog world faded. Amazon led to the decline of bookstores. YouTube led to the decline of television. News directories, like Google and Facebook, led to the decline of traditional news.
同时，模拟世界的整个行业都在衰落。 亚马逊导致书店的减少。 YouTube导致电视销量下降。 Google和Facebook等新闻目录导致传统新闻的衰落。
As this happened, directory businesses accumulated a lot of money via their tolls. The biggest ones became trillion-dollar companies. However, because their business models were based on the digital world, governments across the analog world couldn’t extract much in the form of tax. Not even the government in the home state of those companies — the United States.
发生这种情况时，目录业务通过通行费积累了很多钱。 最大的公司变成了数万亿美元的公司。 但是，由于他们的商业模式基于数字世界，因此模拟世界中的政府无法以税收的形式提取很多东西。 那些公司所在国的政府甚至都不是美国。
8.进入人民 (8. Enter the people)
A group of people including designers, developers and content creators has been a key part of this story.
Working alongside businesses, our mission has been to make services accessible and convenient for people. We do this by applying our collective expertise to create positive experiences in the digital world.
Meanwhile, as everyday users, we also add to the digital world via our consumption, engagement with content and support for the things we enjoy.
However, as the digital world flourishes, parts of our analog world are in decline. So, let’s all take a step back to see why.
How might we make it so that both of these worlds can thrive together?