Recently alot of movement has been seen on the User Experience side of the web.
1. http://www.zimbra.com/ has a new Email client on the web using Ajax. It’s features and usability improvements over Outlook are impressive.
2. Lazlo Mail is a flash Email client that is debuting on Earthlink.
3. News.com has a new UI.
4. Article on better UX using Ajax.
5. Microsoft Sparkle is a direct competitor for Flash. Interesting Article.
In general, I think we are in the beginning of a UX leap forward. Web Applications, specifically business-oriented apps, are going to become much more interactive in the next 2-4 years. I think this will coincide with a movement away from PHP, CF style programming for web applications towards Microsoft’s new toolset. Visual Studio 2005, SQL 2005 and their related components are bring the ease of RAD to the Web. What VB did to the 80’s, VS 2005 will do to the late “Aughts”.
Side note: What the heck do we call this decade? The Ohs? The Single Digits? SinDigs for short? What a lame decade to come of age. Or is it?