What is Web 2.0 – A Definition

Web 2.0 is as yet something of a nebulous term, with as many different definitions out there as people defining it. This naturally can lead to some confusion. O’Reilly Media, an American company who have been one of the leaders in web development book publishing since the internet was in its infancy, came up with the term in a 2003 meeting. Tim O’Reilly and Dale Dougherty, the founders of the company coined the term.

You can find a technical definition of Web 2.0 on Tim O’Reilly’s blog, but most will be left more confused than before upon reading it. O’Reilly has taken this five page definition and put it into (somewhat) simpler language:

“Web 2.0 is the network as platform, spanning all connected devices; Web 2.0 applications are those that make the most of the intrinsic advantage of that platform; delivering software as a continually-updated service that gets better the more people use it, consuming and remixing data from multiple sources, including individual users, while providing their own data and services in a form that allows remixing by others, creating network effects through an “architecture of participation,” and going beyond the page metaphor of Web 1.0 to deliver rich user experiences.”

The advancements that have been made in computing over the last 25 years are astounding. From DOS to today’s portable devices, Web 2.0 is just another step along the same path; one which promises to make the web a more interactive place and more fun to visit. The transition from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 can be likened to this – with the web the way it is now, we are like spectators at a football game. In Web 2.0, we will be active participants; as if we were on one of the teams playing the game.

What are the differences between the two? For one, Web 2.0 will look different, with bright colors against white backgrounds, rounded fonts and an all over easy to read format are predicted to become the norm. Arial Rounded and Tahoma will replace Times New Roman and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) will be more heavily used to keep websites more streamlined.

The functionality of Web 2.0 will also be different. MySpace, Twitter and the like are a glimpse at the future, with interaction between user and site being possible. The Web will continue bringing people together to interact and communicate.

Social bookmarking as well as networking will be a big part of Web 2.0. Yahoo Answers is a good example, with people having to ask questions about anything, with users earning points for their answers.

Blogging is something which is often thought of in connection with Web 2.0. Just like a diary, blogging lets people write about anything they like; with the difference being that anyone can now read it. A blog can of course be kept private, but most bloggers prefer to share their thoughts.

The exchange of information between web users overall is a big part of what Web 2.0 is about. Article writing has become a popular activity, with people using them to promote websites or provide information to the public as a whole.

Flickr and YouTube have ushered in an age of picture and video sharing, with interaction possible between poster and viewer.

All this of course is only a hint of things to come. As we see an increasing number of websites moving towards the Web 2.0 standard, there will be uses for the internet which we haven’t even thought of yet. And who knows what Web 3.0 will bring….

Getting Web Page Headings and Titles Correct

Often overlooked is the hierarchical structure and labelling of information on a web page. The two most important of these are page titles and page headings. Research has shown that the usability of a website is significantly effected by getting these two concepts correct.

Page headings
Most website users spend most of their time scanning web pages rather than reading the information on the web page. With this in mind it is important that the web designer makes sure that headings are well-designed to facilitate the user being able to both scan and read the written material.

The web designer should constantly strive to use distinguishing and descriptive headings and also to use as many headings as necessary to facilitate the web site user finding what they are looking for. A rule of thumb for this is that it is usually better to use more rather than fewer heading.
The web designer or the web developer should also create the headings in hierarchical order and because of this it is broadly speaking best not to skip heading levels.

Designers should also make that the site headings, e.g. the html h1, h2, h3, provide strong cues that will provide orientation to the web site users and also categorise the information that is contained on the page. This will provide the end user the ability to scan quickly and locate the information that they are seeking. If the user has to stop scanning and start reading the text on the page there is a strong likelihood that they will move away from the page if the limited text they have read is not relevant to them. It should also be noted that older internet users tend to scan less than younger internet users which can cause a conflict in design requirements. However hopefully the web designer will take into account the demographics of the end user of the website.

Page Titles
Page titles differ from headings in that whilst a web page may (and should) have several headings providing for the demarcation of content, there will only be one page title. Research at various universities has established that descriptive page titles are a fundamental requirement of any website. Whilst many people do not pay attention to the page title they have actually landed on (it appears at the very top of browser in the title bar), they certainly do when they are scanning through a search engines results page, as it is the text of the page title that normally appears as a link. It is this text that also appears as the text when someone bookmarks a page. It is therefore a necessity that the web design company who is preparing the web page provides a page title that is not only meaningful, but also descriptive, unique and concise. By providing clear and concise page titles the web developer will be orientating users as they browse a list a page or even scanning a list of pages in their browser bookmarks or browsing history.

Normally is it common practice that the title of the page is the same as the top level heading of the page. The significant advantage of this is that consistency is preserved so that the user avoids being confused.

Unfortunately many people address the issues relating to page titles and page headings from a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) point of view, when in reality they should be a fundamental part of the design of any page for a users benefit (which is probably why search engines pay so much attention to them!)
If you think about the content of your page and the users requirements you will be a long way along the road to designing a great website!

Web Design – Getting The Best Company To Work With

Having a good website is just like having a persuasive online portfolio for a company, brand or an individual who wishes to engage in online marketing. The visitors go to a website with their choice and as a business person, it becomes your responsibility to opt for a website design that is good to look at, easy to navigate, usable and has readable and high quality content.

A web firm is the best choice for you to get a user-friendly website design. This will ensure a multi-faceted approach towards your web development endeavors. The best company for web design will be the one that offers you with a plethora of choices of website design layouts and templates while ensuring high conversion rates. Not just this, it will offer you customization options to make sure that the visitors find exactly what they are looking for. You can choose from an integrated approach, an aesthetic dominant approach or a function dominant approach for your website.

Commercial transactions have to be carried out on the internet by the visitors. To ensure that their transactions take place smoothly and securely, your website should be capable enough to enable the commercial transactions. While choosing a website design company, remember to demand implementation of the best and the most secure transaction and payment modes in your website; only then you would be able to build a strong web presence and trust.

Having a custom designed website from a design Company has a number of benefits. You will never have to compromise on your requirements and coming to your website will be an experience in itself for your customers. A web design company can help you save money by including extensive features in your company’s website and avoiding complete rebuild. Keep in mind that you should always choose a web design firm that gives you the full ownership of the website once it is designed and charges no royalty fees.

When you start searching for a web Company, you will come across numerous firms that offer fake promises. If you want your website to attract more customers while being light on your pocket, choose a web design London firm that is affordable and has an impressive portfolio. Research the portfolio of the website design firm thoroughly and then decide over handling your project to them. Choosing a company to offer web design is not an easy task but with the help of the points mentioned above, you will be able to make a right decision.