I am currently engaged in a Web application project for which the
client would like to incorporate a certain degree of machine-like
physicality in the visual and interaction design (e.g. "like iTunes").
I run up against this request all of the time, and typically argue
that focusing on information display and avoiding the propagation of
extraneous "chrome" is critical in a Web environment, especially,
given the fact that the Web page is already nested within the browser
chrome. For this project, however, communication of device-like
properties may be appropriate.
Does anyone have any good examples of Web (or desktop application, I
suppose) UI that takes visual and interactive cues from physical