Bill Higgins on ‘The Uncanny Valley’
This makes for a great foundation to a very interesting discussion. He posits that as AJAX applications extend to apply new desktop user-interface paradigms, they will essentially become less usable because they’ll break the mental model that people generally have about the way a desktop-looking application works. Web applications can’t achieve true desktop functionality and where they differ, it will contradict user expectations.
Personally, I find myself agreeing with Bill. The comments on the post are also very interesting as some of the readers raise very good objections to this theory and Bill is able to address many of them. One point made in the comments is that Mr. Higgins is not against UI innovation, but where an interface attempts to mimic an existing paradigm and not able to mimic it entirely, he thinks that will back-fire.
Excellent read as we move into an RIA-ified world.