If you ask someone, they’ll tell you Web 2.0 as we know it is probably on its way out the door. For many, Web 2.0 is characterized mainly by the ability of users to share information quickly with others, which has been developed into the phenomenon that we call social media.

From Twitter to Facebook to YouTube and to all sorts of other kinds of communities, Web 2.0 is all about sharing and seeing. Now if you recall or were around during what is now known as Web 1.0, information was put up on a website and that was it–the best way of sharing it was privately through e-mails and such.

There was little to no communication and if you wanted information, you had to go to the source for it. Can you imagine such a harsh internet? Now with Web 2.0 on it’s way out, the obvious question is, what in the world is Web 3.0 going to be?

What is Web 3.0?

If you’re anything like me, it’s hard to imagine how the internet is going to top sites like Twitter and Facebook. But it’s bound to happen and when you research Web 3.0, you find out it is going to be synonymous with the user’s interaction with the web.

In Web 2.0 we focused on the users’ interaction with others, now we are going to focus more on the users themselves, which is always a plus. But how is this going to happen?

Web 3.0 is being referred to by experts as the semantic web; semantic meaning data driven. The data will come from the user and the web will essentially adjust to meet the needs of the user. For example, if you do a lot of searching for ‘design blogs’, you’ll receive more advertisements related to design.

Also, when you search for other things, for example, ‘computers’, the web will keep in mind that you often search for design and may pull up search queries that combine ‘design’ and ‘computers’.

Benefits of Web 3.0?

A huge benefit of Web 3.0 is the move towards being able to access data from anywhere. This is mainly being driven by the heavy usage of smart phones and cloud applications.

The idea here is to make sure that the user can access as much data as possible from anywhere, not just their home. Technology is trying to expand this idea in ways that allow TV’s to pick up on user data, and allowing smart phones to access data on your computer.

For designers like myself who typically forget their jump drives, this is an amazing and useful advancement!

Web 3.0’s Effect on Design

So now that you have an idea of what Web 3.0 is and what it’s going to be, we have to ask the most important question for us: what does that mean for design? Web 2.0 design was based around drawing attention and persuading your audience, because after all, web 2.0 made a huge deal about being able to purchase things online.

Web 2.0 wanted to generate excitement and get people to make a purchase and understand what they were doing. You want to make a purchase? Sure, then click this button. You want to join the mailing list? Great, then there’s no question about clicking this button. That is the basis of Web 2.0 design.

Other elements were added to make things more fun and give a bit of style. The usage of linear gradients in web 2.0 is almost necessary.

Whatever color combination you desire, linear gradients are typically present from your background to your buttons. Other trends surfaced like various badges, rounded corners and a necessary usage of icons. But again the question remains, what can we expect for web 3.0?

Web 2.0 Design vs. Web 3.0 Design

In web 2.0 we had to create design that was great for the web. I think in web 3.0, we will firstly have to create design that is going to be good not just for the web and the web browser, but for all sorts of media. With the growth in the usage of smart phones and tablets, people want more usage out of their items and to be able to access more things as best as possible.

Design will have to be able to translate in great quality across all sorts of technologies. Now while you can create two different websites (one for the web and one for mobile devices), designers and developers will have to kill two birds with one stone, by creating one website that will look good in both environments.

Also for Web 3.0, designers will continue to focus on making things simpler. The truth is, the designer has the absolute power to persuade viewers on where to look first and second and so forth and so on. By doing this the designer creates a hierarchy of importance, that should not be muddled by useless design.

Designers will continue to design so that content remains king by putting much focus on it and taking focus off non-content things such as logos and navigation bars.

Web 3.0 Design Trends?

Using these types of techniques plays into the increasing popularity of the minimalist design technique, where the focus is not necessarily making something as simple as possible, but making it as simplistic as possible.

Creating a site with non-flashy web elements makes the user HAVE to focus on the content of the site. Of course designers desire to design and will ‘fancify’ some things, but in Web 3.0, that isn’t the main focus. The focus is to draw the viewers’ eye to the content or other important information on the page.

Many of the design trends used in Web 2.0 will only change by way of design, but not really the usage. The change in Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 is about how the internet is used, not really how it’s seen (with the exception of mobile devices and such).

I believe designs will continue to get more and more minimalistic while maintaining a certain sense of beauty, but of course we will continue to use buttons and rounded corners and gradients. The design of Web 3.0 will be based on the way designers decide to design it and what becomes popular.

More on Web 3.0

Perhaps you desire to do your own research on the budding Web 3.0. Well we have provided some slide shows and videos that will get you started on the right path. Web 3.0 isn’t here just yet, but when it does come, you should know what’s coming at you!

Further Reading & Viewing:

Editorial Team

Written by Editorial Team

  • Matthew

    I wonder what Web 4.0 will be like and what new technologies will appear! Amazing!!

  • Darren

    I *think* I saw a Ted Talks relating to this – it wasn’t billed as ‘Web 3.0’, but it was discussing how data will be available in multiple formats, to multiple devices, providing a much more seamless experience for the user on the web.

    Simplicity is key for users – and the richness of Web 3.0 should enable them to interact with more information, more easily. If it works.

    Let’s not forget the design challenges still face in the web design community just dealing with old crap like IE6. Not to mention all the other combinations of browser and their inherent non-cross-compatibility ;-)

  • Pat

    Very good explaination. Thanks for sharing :)

  • Simon W. Jackson

    Mobile heavy sites and the death of flash!

  • Krrish

    I have some different perspective as a web developer for web 3.0… But one of your point i.e. “Web 3.0 is going to focus on users themselves” is same as I’m dreaming.

  • MXI

    I agree with Elrohir. After a certain point I began wondering. Hmm, what’s so “3.0” about all this? In any case, the whole versioning of everything is a little superficial regardless of the subject matter.

  • Adam

    Web 3.0 is like the advertiesement system in Minority Report

  • alex

    Oh wow! I wai for web 3.0! Especially want to see the effects in action! Last month i bought me a Nvidia 3D Kit. Its very cool!

  • Elrohir

    I agree with the introduction of your article, the part about semantics. But after that, you start talking about a lot of things about design and multiple platforms… I just don’t see any need for numbering in that.
    The original web was about browsing content, 2.0 is about uploading content, and 3.0 is about developing services that have the capability to merge separated uploads into more elaborated pieces of content. There is nothing more to that.
    You seem to mix up the fact that a new “release” :rolling-eyes: of web services is coming, and the fact that web design is evolving too. But they are separated facts, and all you have written about new trends in web design is perfectly applicable to 2.0 too!
    Fair is fair, if I read again the article imagining that the title was “new trends in web design” i find it a very nice piece for the topic. Congratulations on that.

  • Michael Francis

    Progress is a win/win/win/win. Instead of arguing about what it’s called, we should be making sure its safe and secure for our clients, and their information. Did you all hear about the cyber attacks that governments of countries are pulling on each other. We really need WEB INFO SECURE TRANSFER 3000. Let’s not get caught up on what is not important, and please focus on what is. The safe transfer of information.

  • Chris

    On some level I agree with the comments/discussion about how arbitrary calling it Web 3.0 actually is, and also how difficult it is to specifically define what it ACTUALLY is at this point, but I think of it more as giving a name to a new phase of the evolution of the web. After all…when someone refers to “Web 2.0”, we all know what that looks like and means, which can be a useful for sure. This is something that will become more clear with time regardless of what you call it.

  • Matthew

    I really can’t agree with the original author. The idea of having to dampen down design because of hardware and network limitations is crazy. Apple need to get themselves sorted out with allowing Flash onto their mobile devices and that in itself would be a huge step forward.

    If we didn’t keep pushing industry to give us the platforms on which to present our work then we’d still be watching TV in black and white – in fact, there would be no TV!

    Come on guys – keep pushing the boundaries and we’ll be talking about web 300.0 before long.

  • Rask nailed it: you can’t put a version # on something that’s not controlled or released. Nonetheless, it is worth trying to understand movements and developments on the web just as in other areas of history.

    The semantic web is part of the story that has been under way for quite some time. There’s also movement toward The Cloud that’s rapidly changing the landscape. The social web is still evolving alongside and because of these other developments.

    Attempting to merge these facets under one ‘version’ or leaving one behind to emphasize the evolution only makes the discussion more opaque. Maybe dropping artificial labels will be a feature of web 3.1!

    BTW, ‘simplistic’ means something that is carelessly styled to look simple. ‘Simple’ means something that truly is simple in function, usually because of the tremendous amount of work that went into building it.

    I still have to thank the author for attempting to make sense out of web developments. It’s not an easy topic to tackle without receiving copious amounts of criticism ;)

  • John

    Web 3.0 has innovative features that suits the taste of web users. I like the new designs. Nice post!

  • Gavin

    I think the web has made a huge leap since Web 2.0 was dubbed. A lot more different platforms have been introduced, new ways of coding have been introduced and new elements to the web have been brought in. So, I think to dub this version web 3.0 rather than web 2.1 is a good shout.

    I’m looking forward to the future of the web to be honest, things can only get better and I think this blog post shows off how far we have come in a short space of time brilliantly.

    Good work!

  • Edgar Leijs

    HTML stopped versioning. What about:
    CSS…. sounds good,
    PHP…. sounds good too,
    just The Web… sounds great!

    Hey, its ever evolving… please no more marketing Web 6.3.1 bullsh+t. Thank you.

    • Dainis Graveris

      I don’t understand what’s the fuzz for you with appropriate version naming or explaining exactly in which age we are currently into.

      If I would mention just – New web or future trend no one would understand in exactly what moment I meant that. if you call just HTML and don’t mention you’re talking about HTML5 no one will understand that you mean innovative and fresh techniques!

      If you dont agree, you will need to come up with better reasons than just – sounds good or sounds great. I don’t think it works that way.

      • Edgar Leijs

        And this is the point I want to make. A new version is like a small Revolution. In my opinion the Web is evolving: Evolution It’s not that some guy says on some give day: “Hey, Web 2.0 is old. We have a new product and it’s all new. Please upgrade now!”

        For Ol’skool installable software on desktops I can understand the system of version numbers. But for web browsers like Chrome, the use of versioning is rather useless because of the rapid light speed development and continuous evolution. Same for all other web apps and tools.

        Is it important for the world to know that we live in a 2.9 Web right now? ;)

        – But I like your blog! *2 thumbs up!*

  • fever18

    Very Nice Post ! Thanks for Sharing 1stwebdesigner.

  • Chris

    I’m not sure if I follow the hype of all the web 2.0, or 3.0 terminology. I do believe this is how the internet is evolving though. Your article hits some good points. It is a little discouraging having to keep up with something new everyday so to speak. But it is also exciting, and it is usually built on some principals that you already know, sort of like extending it.

    • Chris

      Sorry for the double post. I guess it does need to be called something.. so why not web 3.0?

  • Cassis

    There is no point in versioning the “web” — at any point there are all kinds of web sites. Some static, some dynamic, made for mobile etc. based on expected target users. The key to focus on are your business goals and what techniques will make your business successful.

    • Rean John Uehara

      We need to name a thing or an event something, right? Just like calling someone a toddler, teenager, etc..

  • Rask

    Web 3.0? Why not web 2.1? I think its silly to set “version numbers” on something that keeps on evolving without an external entity that could really say that the web is now considered as some new number. The web 3.0 you talked about is partly already here, partly waiting to get up and running.

    The new technologies, techniques and web-enabled devices really mix up the “good old” developers’ toolboxes. We need to learn multiple amounts of new stuff to keep up with the new things. :)

  • These kind of articles make my blood boil. Especially when you’re being retweeted by big accounts. You need to take a long hard look at yourselves. Yes, there are shifts in the Web industry all the time; but there is NO Web 1, 2 or even 3! And making pretty graphs ain’t gonna change that.

    Get specific.

    • Rean John Uehara

      Please be more specific. ٩( ͡๏̯͡๏)۶

  • Web 3.0, HTML 5, CSS3, PHP5… just when you think you master something.

  • Gustavs

    Web 3.0 really sounds great but for developers it will be a hard time getting used to all new features.

  • Renato Alves

    Looking forward to the newcoming web 3.0. Sounds interesting how things gonna change for the better…

  • Debbie

    It will be interesting to see how content is affected. Will we have to become accustomed to a whole new terminology, will content be stripped to the minimum like design?

  • Amam

    Wow! that’s a good news for the end user and bad news for traditional web designer….in combination with Javascript library and so on……