Web 2.0 means different things to different people, and there is no one definition. Generally though, Web 2.0 refers to creating an online experience that is geared to the user…it is more user-friendly, and more interactive than ever before. So what does that mean for web design? There are some basic, common elements to web 2.0 design, and if you want your website to keep up with the expectations of your visitors then you need to know and implement them.

Less Is More

The overall philosophy behind web 2.0 design is simplicity. Web pages are clean and uncluttered, with no unnecessary elements to distract the reader from the important content. Images and words are carefully and sparingly chosen, and placed in such a way that they help guide the reader through the page toward the action that you want them to take. And columns are usually kept to no more than three, with each one having a definite, easy to understand purpose.

Front & Center

Web 2.0 sites tend to sit centrally in the browser window, rather than being full screen or aligned to the left. Content is balanced with lots of white space, for easy reading and navigation. The top area stands out from the rest of the site, and is used for logos, branding and often for the main navigation. Other areas of the page may be distinctly defined as well, through the use of bright, bold color or white space. All of these elements make the content of the website sit front and center, and make it easy for the reader to find what they are looking for.

Bigger & Bolder

Web 2.0 design incorporates large, obvious global navigation that is easy to find and to select. It is clearly set apart from page content, and is often formatted with a different shape, tone or color. Text links are clearly defined and stand out from the rest of the text, so their purpose is unmistakable. Logos are clear and strong, often being quite large on the page. Text is also bigger, with large text used to make important sections stand out. Larger text is also better for people skimming, reading on small screens or on LCD screens outdoors, or people with visual impairments.

Web 2.0 design is all about making your website clean, crisp and simple to navigate. Important content is easy to spot, text is easy to read, and white space and carefully chosen colors divide the content into clearly defined sections. All in all, web 2.0 design is about keeping sites simple to use, while still being pleasing to the eye.