Ubiquity and Chrome: Modular Is the New Black

The recent launches of Ubiquity (Mozilla Labs) and Chrome (Google) show how sexy it is to be modular on the web, from the user experience [Ubiquity], to basic application architecture of the browser [Chrome]. This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, but it's not something I hear much about in the user experience community. The fragmentation of the web into a veritable blizzard of services, feeds, widgets, and API's that create tidal waves of portable and sharable socially rich objects makes thinking about modularity indispensable. In all design contexts.
It's time the user experience community embraced this way of thinking, not least because it has excellent pedigree. Fifty years ago, in his famous talk There's Plenty of Room At the Bottom, physicist Richard Feyman said, "What I want to talk about is the problem of manipulating and controlling things on a small scale." His point was simple: think about *all* the levels of scale and structure that are part of the world, from very small to very large. Feynman wasn't talking about designing services and experiences for the web or the wider realm of integrated experiences(nice to see the community picking up my terminology...), but his message still applies. Working, thinking and designing at [sm]all levels of scale means doing it modularly.
The microformats community has understood this message for a long time, and is very successful at creating small, useful, modular things.
So how are you thinking modularly about user experience?

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