Widget: Definition and examples

In an increasingly digitalized universe, it is very convenient to make the most of the computer applications that are at our disposal. Let’s see what a widget is , an element that simplifies access to the most used programs , and that can be inserted into a multitude of different platforms .  

What is a widget 

When operating systems lacked graphical interfaces, it was only possible to run applications through a command line. As graphical modes developed, programs became accessible by clicking on icons that pointed to the executable file . This visual interface is the predominant one today , and we have been seeing it daily on computers, smartphones and tablets for many years.  

Furthermore, throughout the day, it is very common for us to use some applications more frequently than others . However, the way to invoke them is always the same. This is a problem? No, but we all wish that access to certain programs could be faster and easier, as if it were a “preview”, and that we could consult what we need from the program without having to open it completely. 

And this is where widgets come into the picture  . In computing terms, a widget is a standalone version of an application that runs in parallel in the graphical interface of an operating system. The user can view a small set of data in the widget without needing to run the “full version” of the application.    

For example, the email widget on Android or iOS is one of the most used . Without having to open the application, we can check the status of our inbox directly on the home screen of our terminal. Another very common widget is the Weather widget, which allows us to consult weather data at a glance (without having to open the corresponding app).   

Widget types 

  •  Desktop Widgets . They anchor somewhere on the desktop of a PC or laptop, and display network or system information in almost real time (depending on the refresh rate configured).

  •  Mobile widgets . It is the same idea as desktop widgets, but transferred to a tablet or smartphone (mobile operating system).

  • Widgets  for mweb . What is a widget on a web page? These mini-apps run on websites, blogs or social media profiles, and allow you to share information or promote content.

Examples of widgets used in marketing  


Although many websites usually have a section with data and/or a contact form clearly visible in their menus widgets that always appear in the foreground and that allow the user to contact the owner of the web page are very common.

Share on social networks

It is the typical button panel with the icons of Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram… by invoking them with the session started on the corresponding social network, the user can share the content they are consulting on a website at that moment on their social profiles.

Now that you know what a widget is, you may be interested in providing added value to your website and introducing some to offer a more personalized browsing experience to your site visitors. Of course they will thank you.