Web 2.0 is NOT a design concept

By Mainak Biswas January 27, 2008 - 1,684 views

Ever heard your clients asking , “I need a Web 2.0 Designer” or “We want a new Web 2.0 look for my website” ? I bet that if you are still in business you must already have heard of it several times and you must have done it already whether you knew about it or not.  But what does Web 2.0 design actually mean?

To a ordinary designer who can’t even explain what Web 2.0 is, it means nothing more than a good looking combination of:

1. Large Fonts in Headlines with selected words highlighted or underlined
2. Jazzy colors in High Contrasts (Apple championed it with White over Black)
3. Big Star Bursts with guarantee statements, specials offers or call-to-actions
4. Gradient and Gloss
5. Oversized boxes with bevelled borders
6. Preference to texts over images

This recipe sells wells and so there is nothing wrong with it as long as it remains in demand. Whatever happens to good old creativity, I don’t find enough reasons to complain as long as doing this makes money for our clients (and for us too!). I just imagine a day when all websites across the internet will start looking the same – it’s like they are all being run by a common CMS system.

Web 2.0 originally meant using Web as a Platform with data being as “Intel Inside”. It was a term introduced in 2004 to characterize new generation Web applications which may provide an infrastructure for more dynamic user participation, social interaction and collaboration. It never mentioned the word “design”, not in a sense of creating layouts! 

For now, let’s just label glossy layouts having star bursts and over-sized boxes as “Web 2.0 layout” because it sounds smart and no one has the time to educate the world.

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