Sphere and the Look Of Web 2.0

When designing a web interface, there are a lot of considerations-audience, navigability, etc…How should a "Web 2.0" app look? The current design trends include things like rounded corners and large fonts. These elements have become ubiquitous primarily because the most popular sites, the original innovators, used them.

So, to be truly 2.0 Compliant you need witty, one word titles and rounded corners, right? Maybe I should rename my project "Twopoopoo! (Beta)". This is obviously a vast oversimplification. One thought is that the average user expects these new sites to act and look a certain way. Designers have taken one of the tenets of Web 2.0-to be simple and useful-and incorporated this methodology into their designs. The specific elements I listed above are merely a trend-and we know what happens to trends over time-but the approach makes sense. The long practiced "30-second rule" of web design has more significance in today's Web simply because the number of new social apps is increasing daily. Which social bookmarking app we choose has a lot to do with the first impression we perceive when visiting. Since so many new sites rely on registration to survive, the interface is the first chance to show a potential new user why this particular service is compelling. Don't we all love a little eye-candy?

However, it could also be argued that the if the service is strong or unique enough, people will use it in spite of a clunky interface or an unappealing design. After all, taste is subjective, isn't it? Isn't the service itself the most important part?

There's a great article by Ryan Freitas from Adaptive Path about the design of Sphere, the new blog search tool that officially launched last Monday. It covers some of the design and interface challenges that presented themselves, and is an excellent read by anyone interested in web design or information architecture. Having read the article and checked out Sphere, I have to agree that they really nailed it. Yes, it has many of the elements I discussed earlier (although it only scored 7 out of 50 on the Web 2.0 validator!), and the design is elegant, deceptively simple and yet very powerful. It is a perfect example of balancing design trends with functionality.

Explore posts in the same categories: Web 2.0, Web Design

4 Comments on “Sphere and the Look Of Web 2.0”

  1. Matt Harwood Says:

    While I agree the design is almost spot-on, I do find it vastly inferior to technorati in many respects. Maybe I need to check it out more, but I find it quite lacking in features – but that is possibly because I’ve become very used to technorati.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. jachbla Says:

    Technorati has had quite a head start, but I think it’s a case of apples vs. oranges. True, both are by definition primarily blog search engines, but Technorati seems to cram so much in that it can seem kind of overwhelming sometimes, especially on the first visit. We’ll have to see if Sphere can sustain itself once the initial buzz wears off and it’ll be interesting to see what directions they might take in the future.


  3. […] two.point on how should a “Web 2.0″ app look: […]

  4. […] two.point on how should a “Web 2.0″ app look: […]

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