The author notes that static webpages will continue to live a long life for new companies or companies with simple needs/messages.
Thanks to AJAX programming techniques, however, webpages are able to host various individual elements, which he calls portlets, that offer unique, rich, multi-dimensional functionality.
Homepages will have elements that are customizable, personalized and interfacing with a wide array of databases, news sources, social networks, etc.
Our entire browsing experience for some websites will change. Carrabis predicts:
The landscape is no longer flat; it now looks like a Manhattan skyline. One portlet may be a few stories tall and another several hundred. Each time you click on a portlet you're riding an elevator to another floor, and whoever owns that portlet is going to be working real hard to keep you in their building.
This is already happening to some degree and success with Yahoo (ie. MyYahoo) and Google and I can see this type of online service becoming more and more commonplace.
Once users move beyond the initial home and landing pages, however, webpages will remain largely flat, with occasional rolling hills, for a long time.
Big, cool buildings may catch our attention, and flashy, appealing decorations may lure us in - but once we're in, flat webpages let us focus and accomplish the item at hand.
The full article is a worthwhile read ...