Here's one thing I know:
1) Cyberspace is a place with no known location.
Like it or not, "knowingly or unknowingly, we perceive the Web as a space." (Web Navigation, Jennifer Fleming; 1998, O'Reilly; p. 1)
"Cyberspace is like Oz -- it is, we get there, but it has no location." ("Mind Is a Leaking Rainbow", Nicole Stenger; Cyberspace: First Steps, ed. Michael Benedikt; 2nd Ed. 1992, MIT Press; p. 53; currently out of print, but Amazon.com found a copy for me. Cool.)
In my life as a Web designer, I've been motivated by the holy grail of interface design: create a there there. (You know, the too oft-quoted Gertrude Stein remark. My own Web site -- http://www.sidpink.com/param/index.html -- makes notation of the original reference.)
But maybe there cannot ever be a "there there" in cyberspace. This is what's so disconcerting for us as users. Our mind is tricked into believing in a sense of place on the other side of the screen, but the distance is too disconcerting. We are weightless, lost without a tether.
Design (product design, as well as graphic design) and user interface are asked to provide the gravitational force that will help us touch down... there.
But here's the next thing I know:
2) Cyberspace was not built upon a foundation of human-centered design.
Cyberspace was built by scientists, computer programmers. It's not user-centric. (Read Things That Make Us Smart by Donald Norman, and get the human-centered religion).
This is what makes the design of cyberspace so overwhelmingly difficult.
3) As I send this node off into Everything, I smile at the irony of creating it as a... place.