by Ruth Williams
Web 2.0 means different things to different people, and there is no one meaning. Normally though, Web 2.0 means producing an internet experience that's geared to the consumer...it is more user-friendly, and much more interactive than previously. Precisely what does that mean for web design? There are several simple, prevalent factors to web 2.0 design, and if you would like your website to maintain the expectations of your visitors then you need to know and apply them.
Less Is More The overall philosophy behind web 2.0 design is simplicity. Website pages are neat and uncluttered, without any unnecessary components to distract the viewer from the important content. Images and words are carefully and sparingly chosen, and used in such a manner that they can help guide the reader down the page towards the steps which you want them to take. And columns are generally kept to a maximum of three, with each one having a definite, easy to understand function.
Front & Centre Web 2.0 sites have a tendency to sit centrally within the browser window, rather than being full screen or aligned to the left. Content is balanced with lots of white space, for convenient reading and navigation. The top area stands out from the remaining portion of the web page, and is used for logos, branding and often for the main navigation. Other areas of the page could be distinctly defined as well, with the use of bright, bold colour or white space. Many of these aspects make the content of the website sit front and centre, to make it easy for the viewer to find what they're searching for.
Bigger & Bolder Web 2.0 design features large, visible global navigation that's simple to find and to select. It's clearly set aside from page content, and is normally formatted using a different shape, tone or color. Text hyperlinks are plainly identified and stand out from the rest of the text, so their function is unmistakable. Logos are clear and strong, usually being quite large on the page. Text is also bigger, with large text employed to make important sections stand out. Larger text is also better for people skimming, reading on small screens or on LCD screens outdoors, or those with visual impairments.
Web 2.0 design is focused on making your website clean, crisp and simple to navigate. Important content is effortless to recognize, textual content is not hard to read, and white space and carefully chosen colors separate the content into clearly defined sections. All in all, web 2.0 design is about keeping web pages user friendly, while still being pleasing to the eye.
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