Microspaces: Playing With Nested GUIs

We’re seeing a lot of desktop metaphors moving to Web interfaces in the browser. The latest example to cross our inbox is Microspaces, a service in private beta that lets you organize Web pages in folder-like Microspaces. But unlike desktop folders, the contents are made up of Web pages, so they are constantly updated. In that sense, each Microspace folder is somewhat like a browser tab, except you can collect multiple Web pages in each one. Thus the pages are nested inside one another.

Each Microspace is searchable, embeddable as a widget, and can be accessed by a unique URL. You can also put widgets and Web apps inside Microspaces, in addition to Web pages.

An example of how this works can be found at Storylinez, or you can watch the video below. (More videos are available on the Microspaces site, and you can sign up there for a private beta invite as well). It is all based on Ajax, and was designed by Mike Buchanan.

I like the fact that people are playing around with more visually rich browser interfaces, but I am not convinced that you gain more in visual information here than you give up in speed versus simpler text-heavy solutions to the same problems (RSS feeds, Netvibes, bookmarks, etc.). But it’s a step in the right direction.