Themes and the Web 3.0
I just redesigned the Web 2.0 look of my killer web app that I've been working on. Using Web 3.0, it's 2D instead of 3D, is less busy, and has a bright yellow banner with a more subdued yellow pastel sub-banner underneath it. So what is Web 3.0? Let me explain...
After IE 3 / NS 4 and the dot-com era took off, I felt we moved from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0. But when 9/11/2001 happened, I think we entered a duldrum until Web 3.0 took off with rejuvenation again. Now I see things are going up, up, up again.
In Web 3.0, I'm seeing some common themes. What do you think? Do you think I'm right?
* Web apps and web sites are utilizing a mix of simplicity and postmodernism. By that, we're seeing abbreviations as if speaking in mobile-phone-ease is hip. Take for instance "flickr", a website to upload and share photos. They dropped the e as a kind of way of abbreviating the web for the busy person. Meanwhile, the websites and web apps have worked hard to reduce the pages to the bare minimums instead of stuffing everything you can into the page. By doing this, people do not feel as overwhelmed with information overflow. The web apps/sites are easier to use, so people are more prone to use them. In a sense, you could think of Google as having traces of a Web 3.0 kind of website by the look of its main home page.
* Instead of going with blacks, greys, and blues, or a mix of all colors, websites and applications are going with a mix of soft Earth tones and pastels and/or bright vibrant primary colors besides blues and greys. They're daring to use pink, yellow, orange, and bright lime green. For instance, here's a bold move:
They're avoiding a big battleship-grey section on the screen by all means necessary, so as not to look like a web page from the 1990's.
* Constant animation is out, while static content with perhaps a minimum of Flash for mouseovers, is in. Even the sites that use an introductory Flash anim. before you enter the site -- that is definitely out.
* Using lowercase and/or punctuation and special characters in the title of the web app or website. They are trying to make it fun and modern.
* Using a Spanish name instead of an English name just to be different, or perhaps it's to fend off trademark poachers.
* Except on the login page or main home page, they're keeping the page white (because it prints better) and only being daring in the banner. For the login and main home pages, they're usually using a 3 primary color or pastel color system with shades of these 3 hues beyond that.
* Using photos instead of any kind of cartoon or drawing, unless it's part of the logo.
* Always using at least 2 photos on the home page of a website, and at least one of them will have a person in it.
* Using " :: " between the main links like: "New Topic :: Search :: Help".
* Trying to be abstract or show "whisps of colored winds" in the background images and then putting a logo or photo in front of that.
* Using special, powerful photo shots where you have 2-3 models standing in the back either in focus or out of focus, and a close-up model standing close to the camera, with all of them looking at you. It's like a metaphor that says, "We'll work even harder for you."
* Using a photo shot of someone looking off, with a jacket over his/her shoulder, and you're like down on the ground looking up at him or her. It's like a metaphor that says, "I'm considering options but not working too hard at it."
* Here's a technique the newer apps NEVER use anymore. One of the hip things to do in the 1980s with computer graphics was to make "pinhead" people. Sometimes you see these in books or magazines. The other day I saw one on the cover of a management seminar book I was in. These images are where you take a photo of a person or people, blur the face to make it look just like skin, stretch and dilate the image to make the people look thinner, and then apply a graphical filter to make the image look like an Impressionist painting. The concept here is to make one not focus on what the people look like, but on what they're doing for the theme of the context. Unfortunately, this goes back to the days of the early Apple Macintosh, and few people do this anymore on the web.