Monday, November 26, 2007

The Web 2.0 Look

I ran across this today. It's a nifty presentation urging designers to change the error of their Web 2.0 (design) ways.


I have a real love/hate thing with the Web 2.0 design style (not to be confused with actual web 2.0). On one hand I think it's very cookie-cutter and template-y looking (read: unoriginal). On the other hand it's fairly simple and straightforward to create a 2.0 design for client - just add gradients, shiny text, fat icons or screenshots, and then stir. So when a client says they want a 2.0 looking design, you know exactly what they mean. Quite frankly, less time trying to read a client's mind and anticipate their design expectations is generally considered a good thing in my book. Less time interfacing with client = more time playing fetch with my dog. That's a win/win if you ask me.

In an ideal world we could create the designs we want (and sometimes we do). But in the real world we have to follow the dictates of our clients (the people who pay us money). Just because designers are sick of the Web 2.0 look doesn't mean our clients will stop requesting it. Let's be honest. A client is more likely to say "Make it look web 2.0" rather than "Make it look amazing and brilliant and original so we can win an award and you can showcase it in your portfolio, oh great design master". And, yes, I'm certain that there are clients who end their sentences with "oh great design master". I just haven't had the good fortune to meet any yet. The reality is that when a client requests a 2.0 design (or any design for that matter) they expect you to deliver.

But what if you hate the Web 2.0 style? Can you create a design you don't hate that fits the visual criteria for the Web 2.0 Look? I'm starting to think so. I've been designing on a new project. My client's very specific and only instruction regarding the design was that it must look very web 2.0. My client isn't some local "mom and pop" from down the road. He's the Zoto CEO and an "evangelist" (read: guy who talks a lot) for a successful company in Silicon Valley. So when this client says 2.0 he means it. The result? A design with a Web 2.0 look that I don't hate. Here's an early peek at the design for the homepage.



This is a fast track project called fotofluff that should be rolling out in January. We're pretty psyched about it. Is this design of the homepage filled with Web 2.0 design clichés (gradients, diagonal lines, shiny text, and *gasp* reflections)? Yes. But I have to admit I like it anyway. And I can't wait for the site to launch. It's gonna rock.

Some 2.0 Design Linkage: (worth the read)

Analysis of Web 2.0 Design & Layout Trends – Part 1: Clean, Colorful and Horizontally Divided

How To Destroy The Web 2.0 Look

The Next Hot Style - Just As Soulless As The Last One

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