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Every now and then, web designers and website owners rethink the way they’ve been reaching their visitors. Largely to embrace new technologies, these “re-thinking” periods resulted in the transition to more interactive, Web 2.0-style designs roughly a decade ago. Over the course of 2012 web designers and developers really began adopting and implementing this so-called Web 3.0 approach.
Now, even more so, over the course of 2013, website operators and developers will begin moving toward a revised, Web 3.0 approach that once again transform’s the Internet’s appearance, functionality, and utility, for large amounts of users around the world. Internet users and consumers have seen other trends like this come and go without ever really knowing what came and went. From the other side of the table, webmasters, designers, programmers and marketers get the priviledge of seeing these changes to the web from the front row. So, let’s take a closer look at Web 3.0.
Introducing the Semantic Web
Generally speaking, “Web 3.0” and “Semantic Web” are interchangeable terms used in many high-tech circles. The term refers to an Internet experience that actually allows direct interaction between human users and the computers that serve them websites, blog posts, and more. The hope is that Web 3.0 will arrive as a way for hyper-intelligent software programs and applications to actually generate information on websites with little to no user intervention.
One way to understand just how this differs from the way people use the Internet at the present time is to consider a basic search using a major search engine like Google. Today, people type in choppy keywords and phrases that they hope will lead them to the best results. A Google visitor looking for nearby gyms might type “fitness centers Los Angeles CA.” While this makes sense to Google, and it returns extremely helpful results, it doesn’t make much sense in typical human conversation. Though it makes sense to Google, wouldn’t the technology better serve the human if the human could communicate with the technology in a more cogent way?
In a Web 3.0 world, visitors will head to Google and say, “I’m looking for a gym close to home.” A list will be returned of the nearest gyms to the browser’s geographic location. The same thing will happen on smaller sites when conducting searches of content, or engaging with other users. The Semantic Web is one that polishes the interaction between human conversation and digital content delivery. In other words, it makes this transfer of data and information more seamless and fluid.
With Web 3.0, A Commitment to Fluid Design
The focus of Web 2.0 was on basic user engagement, including anything from commenting on a blog post to sharing that blog post via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other services. Design reflected this rather quickly, with large and highly visible buttons that mimicked real-life textures. The goal was to combine the offline world with online convenience, catering to new Internet users and seasoned pros alike.
Design is about to undergo another major change on the back of Web 3.0’s mainstream adoption. Designs will become more reactive and responsive, as is already being seen when websites adapt their width and typography to mobile or desktop screen resolutions. Websites will respond intelligently and highlight their more semantic features, turning the Internet into more of a conversation and less of a keyword-targeted point-and-click routine. This is a very important point for marketers to start grasping.
All told, it’s an exciting time to be using the Internet. With more semantic tools and more highly evolved designs than ever before, the next chapter in humanity’s shared online experience looks to be the most natural and usable one to date.
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