In a couple of our internal apps, we use a UI design paradigm that we affectionately call an “awesome bar”. I really like these, and I think they make many types of applications much more useful and intuitive. While they have generally been hard to create in web apps, the introduction of canvas and inline SVG has made them a synch to put together. I see a lot of great examples of canvas and SVG that are absolutely mind-bending to look at, but very few examples which enhance the traditional applications and websites we use on a day-to-day basis.
I won’t claim to have invented these, but I was reminded of how cool they are recently when I read this post: http://blog.asmartbear.com/creativity-over-optimization.html. I will give a brief explanation of what these are with some examples, why I think they rock, and some sample code.