in Web Issues

How to design web2.0 (if you really must)

During the process of redesigning my site, I’m usually struck with awre over the many CSS sites that spring up on cssreboot, cssbeauty, etc, etc…. most of them use web2.0 styled graphics, icons, and I’m no Photoshop expert; and although I suspect some (a minority) are actually templates (from sites such as and others variations on a theme, I often find myself going back to the drawing board, stratching out my ideas and starting again.

So, if like me, if you can use Photoshop, but lack the super skills to make super cool and chunky web2.0 icons, graphic sets, etc; how can you fake it?

Is web2.0 really just about colour? Can chunky text, big icons and colourful interfaces really sell your site as web2.0? Is it okay just to add a little AJAX lightbox to your pictures and be done with it?

It seems to me that web2.0 has a formula; Of course, this is just my point-of-view;


Web2.0 = ( ( [Ajax] + Big Text + Big Icons + Colorful Interface ) * (Social Networking Value + SEO weighting * Word-of-Mouth + [PR] ) )

Some argue that it is not necessary to have complex Rails-like frameworks for a site to be considered web2.0. Myspace uses Tables. Other copycat sites use legacy code.

Word of Mouth and Social Networking value seem to be the killer factor though … just look at Snakes on a Plane, nearly everything on that has had some kind of social networking/inclusion and is arguably the first web2.0 movie.

Okay, maybe I overhyped that bit. It’s debatable whether Snakes on a Plane (or SOAP) is about web2.0 social inclusion, clever PR, or just good-ol word-of-mouth.

Anyway — let’s say you want in on web2.0, and that you want a piece of the action…. how do you start?

Well, there are literally tons of tutorials around the net about this subject, I’ve collated some of the best together…