MoMo London: Barbara Ballard of Little Springs Design

I walked in late for this, but a few points from her talk:

1. Local applications (as opposed to browser-based ones) can enhance the UI which certain user needs mandate - via local storage, say.

2. Current browsers implement inconsistent standards and broken cookies. They also have a single-window metaphor for all browsing (as opposed to the tabbed or multi-window metaphors common on desktops). But I'd argue that there's a no-window interface on mobiles - these aren't WIMP UIs, they're menu-driven, and whilst we might borrow certain UI features (scroll-bars, say) from WIMP interfaces, we're not asking users to adopt a "windowed" mental model of apps etc.

3. "Where do browsers need to go?". Barbara pressed a few bad buttons here, talking about "user-generated mashups"... which seems to be her term for describing pulling elements of content together, a bit like portlets in the late 90s.

4. She talked about the advantages of mobile devices as input mechanisms, tying camera, sensor and location input into browsers and therefore rendering the desktop a poor cousin...

5. "Un-browsers" will come: local app and data logic, AJAX enabled, rich user input. Also mentioned the need for widgets on the phone. Interesting but IMHO only if they're bound deeply into the UI (i.e. not off an apps menu); and surely on the desktop widgets are all about finding needles in haystacks - niche bits of useful content? On the mobile where there's less content instantly accessible are they as relevant?