Here’s a good example of what SOAP-based web services and an open-minded vendor site can bring about. Amazon encourages people to use web services to build customized interfaces to its book offerings. Here is the work of someone at Kokogiak Media who decided to put all of Amazon into a single page:
Amazon Light. The result is reasonably successful, and it bodes well for the world of interface design. Consider: if you think you can build a better user interface than the folks at Amazon, you can just go try it. And not with fake, cheesy data, but with the real thing. There’s a not unreasonable chance that some clever college student will do a better job than the entire UI design staff at Amazon. That’s good for everybody.
Footnote: It’s a little tricky to figure about who’s behind Kokogiak Media, but it turns out “they” are Alan Taylor, who in addition to being an industrious web tinkerer, is in fact an Amazon employee. Makes sense, I guess. Check out the cool space photos on his nowords.com site.