Since I first started this series, the goal has been to showcase websites that did not feature the design conventions that have stereotypically accompanied web 2.0 sites. Since the beginning there have been some comments stating that web 2.0 is about the interactivity between users. I have always been aware of this however the goal was not to feature sites that necessarily were 2.0 but ones that did not “catch the trend.” That being said, I also have been challenged by some of the readers to find web 2.0 sites that do feature some amazing design.
Finding amazing websites that were 2.0 proved to be a larger challenge than I had anticipated. This list is much smaller than I had originally wanted due to the lack of sites that were able to meet my criteria. That being said, each of these sites deserve special acknowledgement for their ability to break web 2.0 design convention and maintain effective presence (every site selected was a webware 100 awards 2008 winner).
What an obstacle to tackle, this site is responsible for directly competing with the ipod the coolest gadget on the planet. The design is minimal and sleek with great hierarchy and a use of gradient that is actually effective rather than an easy way to “fill space.”
For a community of designers run by designers, it is no surprise that threadless is a well designed site. While the design of the site has changed quite a bit over the last couple of years, the use of illustration has remained. The great little illustrations make the site both fun and interesting.
This site is pretty much everything that a web 2.0 site should be. The site has a great conceptual approach to the design that dares to be different. I am in awe that this site came from a group of developers, the functional nature of the content could have easily resulted in a typical 2.0 result.
Skype has really changed their appearance over the years, however the current version is definitely my favorite. Previous versions of the site were extremely glossy, however the newest version has managed to tone it down to an acceptable level yet still remain bright fun and approachable.
The recent overhaul of the WordPress website is both welcome and exceptional. While there are better designs in this list, this one is well executed and helps to display the almost endless amount of technical information in an extremely improved format. After a couple of hours browsing the Codex you are sure to appreciate the redesign.