Web 2.0 - What's your view?!

yagran

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 8, 2007
743
2
Brighton, East Sussex, UK
So... the big question: Web 2.0 or not Web 2.0?


To me web 2.0 means synchronous content loading and javascript frameworks, it means faster loading better designed pages, it means clean crisp design.

But does it also mean, reflection on every image? glass effects everywhere? loading gifs for the sake of it? Speech bubble logos? Rounded font headers? gradient after gradient after gradient?

Does Web 2.0 have to tarnished by the lack of creativity amongst designers? (i do admit i am one / was)
I think not, it's just when the web gets into a trend, everone wants in, and unfortunately the current trend in design is the speech bubble logos and rounded fonts. Dont get me wrong, the logos look cool, but when will designers start to come up with new ideas? we seem to be stuck in a rut, and its hard to get out.

I've been trying not to get too drawn into the trends, simply because you don't know when trends might die, be it tomorrow or next year.

The benefits that ajax technologies have brought to the web are phenomenal, but are almost overshadowed.

I guess i just want to hear other peoples views on the situation, how can we break free of our ultra glossy reflective speech bubbles of easy comfortable design? (but keep the web 2.0 functionality!)

[p.s i made the image above to let out my cravings for gradients rounded corners etc. :p]
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
I like it but agree it is perhaps a little overused in some cases. The key to a good logo is that it'll be timeless. As much as I love some of the newer Web 2.0 logos coming out, I hope they don't date too much.
 

jng

macrumors 65816
Apr 6, 2007
1,012
0
Germany
I think the general principles of web 2.0 are great (larger fonts, clean crisp layouts, etc). Gradients, rounded fonts, and speech bubbles are more trendy imo. Hopefully the general principles will stay and the trendy stuff changes over time.

I think you can adopt the principles and discard some of the trend elements to make your own web 2.0 style.
 

c3str

macrumors member
Jun 27, 2007
40
0
Depends on content.

I agree with jng completely. I think it's the same as in any type of design: the elements that really serve the content or enhance the content will stay the test of time. The rest (like glass effects everywhere) will look dated in a short while, like the blinkies of yesteryear.

As for the application of design elements associated with "web 2.0", that's a more troubling area. I think that any time logos are designed more for cool looks and less as a form of visual communication, it's a bad show design wise.

Time tends to sort things out. I also find that unplugging for a while and looking at other forms of design (for me mostly print, industrial) and then coming back to the web helps me sort out what feels trendy/gimmicky vs. what is actually serving its content well.
 

bigandy

macrumors G3
Apr 30, 2004
8,855
0
Murka
I've always believed that the real meaning of "Web 2.0" is the technology behind all the new flashy sites.

What I don't like, is that "Web 2.0" seems to have become the battle to have the trendiest site with the best logo to reflect the current moment, with the biggest userbase. They're mostly losing sight of the functionality and the benefits, and trying to make something that everybody thinks is incredibly pretty, but in doing so, I bet that some of them won't even be a distant memory in six months.

Overuse of buzzword technology gets on my tits too. Use it, yes, but don't use it so much you can't click something without it spinning across the page, wiping to the next one and then wiping your arse for you. :rolleyes:

On the back of that, I'll only use AJAX or something in a site if it really needs it, and then, if I do, I'll use it as sparingly as possible. Functionality is the most important thing for me, and too many people just seem to forget that to make something a step ahead of the competition.

</rant>
 

WildPalms

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2006
999
2
Honolulu, HI
I've always believed that the real meaning of "Web 2.0" is the technology behind all the new flashy sites.

What I don't like, is that "Web 2.0" seems to have become the battle to have the trendiest site with the best logo to reflect the current moment, with the biggest userbase. They're mostly losing sight of the functionality and the benefits, and trying to make something that everybody thinks is incredibly pretty, but in doing so, I bet that some of them won't even be a distant memory in six months.

Overuse of buzzword technology gets on my tits too. Use it, yes, but don't use it so much you can't click something without it spinning across the page, wiping to the next one and then wiping your arse for you. :rolleyes:

On the back of that, I'll only use AJAX or something in a site if it really needs it, and then, if I do, I'll use it as sparingly as possible. Functionality is the most important thing for me, and too many people just seem to forget that to make something a step ahead of the competition.

</rant>
Good balanced summary. Errr...I mean rant. ;):D
 

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
21,659
139
In my view, Web 2.0 has nothing to do with the way things look or even the underlying technologies.

It's all about leveraging and distributing content from participants, creating communities and social models as opposed to the old, top-down model of media distribution, brodacasting and narrow-casting.

Conversely, when someone proclaims a website "Web 2.0" for the use of some trivial feature (such as blogs or gradient-boxes) observers may generally consider it more an attempt at promotion than an actual endorsement of the ideas behind Web 2.0. "Web 2.0" in such circumstances has sometimes sunk simply to the status of a marketing buzzword, like "synergy", which can mean whatever a salesperson wants it to mean, with little connection to most of the worthy but (currently) unrelated ideas originally brought together under the "Web 2.0" banner.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2
 

plumbingandtech

macrumors 68000
Jun 20, 2007
1,993
1
Oh for pete's sake.

Its just the web.

Every year new technologies are added to it and it gets better.

Stupid buzzwords.
 

radiantm3

macrumors 65816
Oct 16, 2005
1,022
0
San Jose, CA
Web 2.0 is out. I'm all about Web 3.0 now. I also just found secret documents outlining Web 3.5a. Paypal me and I'll send you a copy. :cool:
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
^^ LOLZ

I haven't thought much so far of the overall look of "Web 2.0," but after seeing what the AJAX type of approach can do on the iPhone, I think I'm intrigued by the dynamic aspects of it. I'm very impressed by what the iPhone can do without any sort of Flash. I'm not a huge fan of flash... even in Windows, where it's far more optimized than on Macs, it takes a 2007 computer and runs it relatively hard to get a 1997 level of visual quality.
 

shecky

Guest
May 24, 2003
2,583
3
Obviously you're not a golfer.
It's all about leveraging and distributing content from participants, creating communities and social models as opposed to the old, top-down model of media distribution, brodacasting and narrow-casting.
i have to agree with BV on her point; web 2.0 is much more about the convergence of a bunch of until recently disparate technologies coming together via a web framework that creates new kinds of content and new paradigms of information distribution, use, and authoring.

web 2.0 is not Vag Round type, reflections, and magenta highlight on websites, those are purely ornament.
 

plumbingandtech

macrumors 68000
Jun 20, 2007
1,993
1
^^ LOLZ

I haven't thought much so far of the overall look of "Web 2.0," but after seeing what the AJAX type of approach can do on the iPhone, I think I'm intrigued by the dynamic aspects of it. I'm very impressed by what the iPhone can do without any sort of Flash. I'm not a huge fan of flash... even in Windows, where it's far more optimized than on Macs, it takes a 2007 computer and runs it relatively hard to get a 1997 level of visual quality.
And they main tool driving that is javascript call called XHTML request object (or something like that)

and it's from INTERNET EXPLORER! (the horror) AND been around since the Web "1 point oh cough" days...

The horror! (and buzzwords!)
 

jng

macrumors 65816
Apr 6, 2007
1,012
0
Germany
In my view, Web 2.0 has nothing to do with the way things look or even the underlying technologies.

It's all about leveraging and distributing content from participants, creating communities and social models as opposed to the old, top-down model of media distribution, brodacasting and narrow-casting.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2
Yeah, but the OP was asking about our opinion on the visual design of web 2.0. Bah, wikipedia et al. I think web 2.0 means many and all things and you can't really exclude other things, even though O'Reilly who coined it I believe meant what you cited above.

Some design links:
http://f6design.com/journal/2006/10/21/the-visual-design-of-web-20
http://webdesignfromscratch.com/web-2.0-design-style-guide.cfm

I think the latter has great general principles about making better websites.
 

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
21,659
139
Yeah, but the OP was asking about our opinion on the visual design of web 2.0.

Many of these elements have been around in design since the 60's and 70's, so there's nothing new there. It also all reminds me of the short-lived fashion for rounded-corner boxes in print design about 7-8 years ago... as soon as they were introduced to QuarkXpress, every man and his dog was using them.

If a visual designer — regardless of medium — seeks inspiration for their work, then it's best to think outside meaningless and abstract concepts that are mere buzz-words used by people to cover up their creative paucity.
 

tomoisyourgod

macrumors regular
May 3, 2007
239
0
Liverpool, UK
I don't think web 2.0 is strictly about the design of web pages, or look and feel, it's more about the context of websites such as:-

- social networking sites
- wikis
- blog sites etc..

the phrase popped around 3 or 4 years ago as a way to define the change of the internet from Tables and GIF simple webpages to more advanced methods, utilizing technologies (that aren't strictly new, just become more widely known as time goes by).

However since the mid 90s many large website were using these technologies such as server side scripting / CSS etc...

I think the whole 'web 2.0 bandwagon' is just a word do describe the difference between the web then and now - many technologies are now common knowledge, then they weren't as much.

That's my 2 cents!
 

snickelfritz

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2003
1,109
0
Tucson AZ
my 2¢...

The use of CSS, Flash, more efficient frameworks, etc... have largely replaced the generic "work anywhere on any computer" 640x480 html pages of the past.
ie: it's very much akin to Apple's decision to exclude older systems from Tiger; it's a sign of progress.

The fore-mentioned graphical hooks are just a design fad mimicking Flash, that happens to be concurrent with Web 2.0 standards, and is consequently often associated with it.
 

zim

macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2002
1,332
0
I feel that some of the Web 2.0 visual content out there neglects everything we learned with technologies such as Flash and even everything that has been promoted through web standards. Sure, Web 2.0 visual effects can give a site more appeal but at what cost. Some users have become frustrated and I have even talked with a few—I will define as "average web use users"—who had associated anything Web 2.0 with complexity and non friendly. This reminds me of what we went through with Flash and to some degree still go through with Flash. Just because we can slide, drop and fade doesn't mean that we should. Web standards and usability need to be promoted from the start. Any interference with usability should be omitted or left optional for use.

That said, I have seen a few "Web 2.0" sites that used have used the visual effects effectively and were enjoyable to interact with.

The one thing that I do love about Web 2.0 visual effects is that it is mostly independent of plug-ins... yes Flash is around but when I am thinking Web 2.0 I usually exclude Flash as I don't think Flash is a Web 2.0 type of thinking. Flash excludes users, Web 2.0 tends—I know that this is not always the case—to be more accessible. Example: JavaScripts effects do not impede the content from showing if JavaScript is not enabled on the users browser (not true for all sites but most of the good ones do this).
 

zimv20

macrumors 601
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
7
toronto
Flash excludes users
does it? flashplayer is installed on something like 98 or 99% of consumer computers worldwide. hand-held penetration isn't (nearly?) that high, but i'm interested on your thoughts of exactly who/what is "excluded".

disclaimer: i just started learning Flex/ActionScript and am interested to see how this technology plays out from a user-acceptance perspective.
 

zim

macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2002
1,332
0
does it? flashplayer is installed on something like 98 or 99% of consumer computers worldwide. hand-held penetration isn't (nearly?) that high, but i'm interested on your thoughts of exactly who/what is "excluded".

disclaimer: i just started learning Flex/ActionScript and am interested to see how this technology plays out from a user-acceptance perspective.
I am not disputing Flash's market reach—I acknowledge that Flash is quoted to be installed on 98—99% of all consumer computers and that Flash 9 is even quoted as having an 83.4% acceptance rate, which is really impressive. So what did I mean by exclude... A lot of Flash—all inclusive—designs that I encounter are still not accessible to the majority of consumers—I think this aids in defining my use of "excludes" a bit better as it takes the criticism off of Flash and puts it on to the designers—although I still feel that Flash is to blame as it does not intuitively aid in the creation of "all accessible" websites. Currently when working in Flash accessibility is an afterthought when it should be instinctive even automatic much like may WYSIWYG applications do today. Macromedia introduced accessibility options some time ago so by now they should have been perfected.. yet they are not. I still laugh at the example provided by Marcomedia: JK Rowling's website. Her website meets all the specifications for a full enriched all Flash experience but it was done so with an entire team of "experts" a feet almost impossible by most budgets as well as small to mid sized studios. Sure, accessibility might be overplayed but there is a point to be made—why make the content if not everyone in your target audience can access it? Of course it is always easier to say then do—I, myself, do not even pursue all the accessibility options within Flash.

Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy developing with Flash and using Flash content but...

My current issue with Flash, as all inclusive, is that IF a users disables Flash then the content doesn't exist. Yet in most of the good examples of Web 2.0 the content still comes through because the content is not dependent on the visual effects but rather enhanced by them. What I wish we could get is a % of users that turn off JavaScript and Flash.. even reasons why. I know that Flash 3—4 still lingers in users heads as to what Flash is like... there was a lot of bad stuff out then.

Hopefully that all made sense.. just finished reading about the new products so a bit excited and distracted. End notes, I semi-love Flash, I am enjoying Web 2.0 and I love Web Standards :D
 

zimv20

macrumors 601
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
7
toronto
designs that I encounter are still not accessible to the majority of consumers
what do you mean by "accessible"? i read that and think about disabilities.

IF a users disables Flash then the content doesn't exist.
that's a fair point. but assuming more and more sites go towards that flashplayer/rich-client model, people may be forced into re-enabling it. hence my interest to see where this all goes.