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_DMP: Digital Malaya Project - Malaysia's Creative Resource of Inspiration, Interviews & Article of Malaysia's & International Creative Multimedia Scene, Established Since August 2001.

Design and Web 2.0

by Kris Khaira

Web 2.0. It’s the term that has generated both love and hate from a mixed crowd of programmers, designers, marketing agents, bloggers and fanatics. We either love or hate that term and some of us can’t even give a damn or are just sick of it.

However, I’m writing this article not to rant but to clarify to the readers of this magazine what Web 2.0 is because since that word became a celebrity.

Web 2.0 is not about gradients and it’s not about bubbles. Neither is it about colour, stripes, shadows and style. Web 2.0 is all about functionality, interactivity and user-generated content which have nothing to do with cool bubbles, gradients, stripes and shadows.

So if Web 2.0 is not about style, then how does design play a role in Web 2.0?

Designers educated in art and advertising will know that design relates to both form and function. Think about the great industrial designs we have laid our eyes upon like the iPod which our hands crave as much as our eyes. These works of art were popular because of both their aesthetics and their function. Their design served to attract and impress but also to augment the great experience of using it and give the user that warm fuzzy, feeling deep down that something is well, just right.

Web 2.0 apps also give you control over content which other apps don’t and this control should be as free and democratic as possible. Quality of content aside, think about Digg vs CNN, craigslist vs Jobstreet and YouTube vs iFilm. It is for this revolution that TIME named us Person of the Year for 2006.

Regardless of what media spinners say, Web 2.0 apps have been around for decades. Online forums are Web 2.0 apps because they fulfill of the basic criterias.

Ajax has also been a huge buzzword used alongside Web 2.0. In truth, it can both augment or ruin a user experience and should only be used to make it easier to control and view information.

About The Author

Kris Khaira is a web developer and designer living in Penang. Visit his website at kriskhaira.com.







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