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December 12, 2005

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The "Web 2.0" Design Aesthetic

Browse through a gallery of the ever-more-crowded world of Web applications released in beta. Good Lord, our Web design is becoming homogenized. Almost everything looks like the love child of a Google application and OS X. Predominant color scheme: secondary colors on a white background. Font of choice: almost invariably a rounded sans serif, usually in lowercase. Rounded edges and gradients are the new black. Talk balloons are everywhere (exhibits a, b, c, d, e, etc.).

Much of this stuff is Good Design, but it’s so ubiquitous that it’s become visual static. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a good gradient or a rounded sans serif font. But if those are the only hallmarks of the design, please try again. I say this not as any sort of a self-styled designer (I’m totally not a designer), but just as someone who sees a lot of websites. I’d guess that much of the Web 2.0 backlash is a reaction to the pre-fab*, lifeless aesthetic it’s spawned.

* Not that prefab is always bad. I’m definitely going to this exhibit this week.

Posted December 12, 2005 at 8:53 | Comments (4) | Permasnark
File under: Briefly Noted, Technosnark


Here's a design tip to be picked up in that gallery: everything that said "by invitation" was instantly more desireable than everything else. It hurts to be so transparent.

Gah! I didn't expect this to be as depressing as it is.

I'm so glad we have paisley.

Really, Howard? When I see "by invitation," my mind reads "they want me to give them my e-mail so they can spam me for the rest of my natural life." But that could be just me.

Spam? You get spam???

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