Web design – and apps – in a Web 2.0 world

Ever since the adoption of the term “Web 2.0,” user expectations about websites have been evolving. The days of approaching web design like print design are definitely over. Back in the (brand-new Internet) day, every page had a static layout and additional information was viewed by navigating to another URL with it’s own layout and design.

But now we expect so much more. Our mobile smartphones and our tablets are spoiling us. Web 2.0 users want to see interactive sites that react to their actions, preferences and frame of reference. Web 2.0 users want web apps with functionality, animation and fun.

There are several practices and features that help distinguish web apps from traditional websites.

  • Interactive elements
    • Subtle animations
    • Reactions to movement or focus
    • Dynamic content
    • Innovative time/effort-saving widgets
  • Seamless navigation
    • Only one full page load
    • Smooth transitions to new content
    • Minimal scrolling
    • Minimal loading and waiting
  • Portability
    • Consistent experience on all desktop resolutions
    • Efficient mobile interfaces
    • Useful social network integration

In days of yore, JavaScript and Flash were the only tools available to add flare to a website, but animations were either choppy and delayed or users were forced to download a third-party application that took ages to load.

Now, however, there are a variety of new tools from the latest web specifications, HTML5 and CSS3, and some very powerful JavaScript libraries, like jQuery and YUI, that allow us to build seamless web apps.

At Imaginuity Interactive, our designers and developers work together to deliver both: attention-getting animation that also loads quickly and is viewable in the widest array of formats. Here are some cool effects from our developer colleagues from across the interwebs:

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