Yahoo on Widget Architecture

I was at the local Mobile Monday event last night to learn more about Yahoo’s Blueprint development framework and soak up some of the local mobile scene. One of the presenters, sorry, didn’t catch his name, was the UI Designer and he Bill Bull, Head of Platform UED, made a very insightful comment about web development. is a website – our expectation is that it will change every day as new content is available.

Microsoft Word is an application – we expect it to work the same way every day.

Modern websites such as Facebook or the new Yahoo (Metro) home page are a collections of widgets that change and update themselves as new features get pushed out. It’s a mistake to think of widgets installed on a mobile device as applications, they need to be architected as dynamic pieces of code that can update themselves as new features become available or as new devices offer new capabilities. The update mechanism is a fundamental feature of any web-enabled widget.


  1. Hi Ian. The insight you refer to was made by Bill Bull, who is the Head of Platform UED (User Experience Design) in Yahoo! Connected Life. Nice to see you at Mobile Monday at Yahoo!.

  2. Interesting connection with your previous post about the N97. How do you think this applies to widgets on the N97 vs. apps on the iPhone?

  3. The Nokia widget platform looks pretty interesting. But I was more wondering if people will hesitate getting a phone that runs "widgets" instead of full "apps" — since an application based option is already available and gaining market share quickly. That said, a dashboard app that aggregates a single-screen of widget views for all the other installed apps would rock.

  4. Found out a little bit on the dashboard widgets – the idea is to make it a simple extension of the WRT Widget Framework I linked to above. Hopefully as simple as calling a separate <div>

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