Web 2.0 Design

Each year the web grows more and more important to people. Not just for shopping, but for signing up for healthcare insurance, submitting homework for classes, and even creating spreadsheets. When the web was first created, none of that was possible.

These trends in modern web design, often referred to as part of web 2.0. Web 2.0 design often features textures, drop shadows, clean grid layouts, icons, and other design elements. Below are 10 trends in modern web 2.0 design, along with examples of each.

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One of the most common trends in web 2.0 design is the use of textures, either as part of the overall page background or in individual elements. These textures are often very subtle, compared to more obvious textures seen in past design trends. These subtle textures give the page some depth, make it easier on the eyes, and give elements a physical feel.

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Drop Shadows

Drop shadows have been seen in web design for quite some time, and the key to their current use is similar to that of textures: keep it subtle. These subtle drop shadows are often seen on blocks of content, elements designed to look like paper or on type. 

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Beveled Edges

Slight beveled edges, like texture and drop shadows, give a page a very physical feel, almost like you can reach out and grab it. Such beveled edges are seen on type, in navigation buttons and in page dividers and borders.

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Large or Styled Type

As seen in intro statements at the top of pages, but also throughout designs, large type has become common. Quite the opposite from the tiny fonts that used to be popular, especially on Flash websites, this legible type makes pages easier to scan and read. Type is often stylized as well, often resembling fonts seen in print design.

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Clean Grid Layouts

Along with many of the elements discussed here, modern 2.0 websites are often built with clean, grid-based layouts with lots of white space. This makes the sites easy to scan, especially when there is a lot of content to present.

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Bold Intro Statements

Perhaps one of the most prominent items on this list, bold, large introductory statements are very common in web design. These statements often simply declare what a company does or what it does well.

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The use of icons has become more and more popular. Icons can add some eye candy to an otherwise black and white page, but also provide visual cues to users. They are seen in navigation bars, small blocks of content, and to represent products or services.

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Simple Sign Up Forms

Making websites extremely user-friendly, short and simple sign up forms are very popular today. With so many online services competing for people's often short web attention spans, asking for as little information as possible, and as clearly as possible, has become the trend in sign up forms.

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Tall or Illustrated Page Footers

Once an afterthought in a website design, page footers have become a focus of both design and content. Tall page footers contain long lists of blog posts or articles, social networking content and other information. Another trend in footer design, often paired with a tall footer, is the use of illustration.

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Rounded Corners

Rounded corners are found all over the web, most often to frame an entire site or blocks of content.