What is Web 2.0?

What is Web 2.0?Officially, web 2.0 is the perceived second generation of web development that aims to facilitate communication, information sharing, interoperability, and collaboration. Web 2.0 concepts have led to the development and evolution of web-based communities, hosted services, and applications; such as social-networking sites, video-sharing sites, wikis, blogs, and folksonomies like Digg and Delicious.

As a leading Dallas web design company, we find that we are constantly barraged with clients asking for a web 2.0 look. Sometimes after designing beautifully complex and graphically innovative website concepts, we get the response, "make it more web 2.0". This can be frustrating to us. Web 2.0 was, is and always will be functionality; a turn in technology - not design. Web 3.0 won't be the next design trend or layout fad. It will be the next level of usability, functionality, and technology on the internet.

At first we tried to fight this misconception by clarifying the meaning of web 2.0 to clients and designers alike. After many frustrating conversations, we found that we were fighting a losing battle. Apparently when clients want "web 2.0", they want the current design fad seen on many designer's portfolios today. This design fad is centered, fixed, uses large text, minimal design, uses large amounts of negative space and usually has equal, centrally oriented columns. This design trend has become so commonplace that it has been mistakenly coined "web 2.0" to the design laymen. And it seems that talentless web designers are more than happy to accommodate this unreality.

Don't get us wrong - this is an actual style that can be used to great effect in a great many cases. In other cases, however, it is copied, templated and used over and over in the web design world to recycle the same old look, again and again, client after client. With good branding, a "web 2.0" styled website can be very effective. Twitter is a good example of this - it has both actual web 2.0 functionality as well as the supposed web 2.0 style. Simplicity at its best. Unfortunately, when a data and information driven website wants to be "web 2.0" it doesn't work well. They end up with template-like sites that have very little in the way of design, and just end up looking like information soup, with a bold looking logo slapped on the top. Not very effective.

Here at Arora Designs, we're not "web 2.0" designers. Not at heart, at least. We find it difficult to reign ourselves in enough to showcase a minimalist design. While many of our websites have "web 2.0" style qualities, we tend to showcase "the pixel" more often than not. But, like anything in the design world, it is subjective and relative. Even this website could be called web 2.0 given the right (or wrong) perspective.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And unfortunately, the beholder is more often than not in love with overused template websites that were designed with little to no creativity. The old story about the bridge comes to mind - and everyone seems to be jumping.



15 comments (Add your own)

1. Fikret wrote:
Yeah, very true, design is the new rock and roll. Graphic deergnsis have for a long while influenced our popular culture, shaping our visual landscape and helping define the image of cool cultural heros. In recent years these people that may have once taken a back stage have become to share the centre stage. Now it is the time of the web geeks and deergnsis, animators and film makers. The thing is that these creatives are so good at creating 'image' that they turn their skills to their own benefit - so now those frustrated wanna be rockstars are going to enjoy their 15 minutes of fame!The Design Charts is a perfect example of our living in an age of instant online gratification and celebrityism - but I am still much more a fan of site as an indication of interesting new sites.

Tue, May 15, 2012 @ 6:46 AM

2. Eizert wrote:
1.40 The Lascaux cave paintings are not grpihac design: there is no commercial dimension. They are art.Nor do words + pictures make it grpihac design. Text has been an integral component of countless art forms and genres throughout history.Piet Mondrian's grid paintings are fine art, and date from 1920. The only people who ever called him the father of grpihac design are grpihac designers.Heiroglyphs and illuminated manuscripts also have nothing to do with grpihac design.

Tue, May 15, 2012 @ 12:37 PM

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