Elliot Jay Stocks is a designer, speaker, and author. He is the Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, the founder of typography magazine 8 Faces, one half of Viewport Industries, and an electronic musician.

‘Destroy The Web 2.0 Look’ @ Future of Web Design, New York

Posted on 13 November 2007 137 comments

Article illustration for Destroy The Web 2.0 Look @ Future of Web Design

UPDATE: The video is now available to view on Viddler. Hurrah!

On Wednesday, I spoke at the Future of Web Design event in New York with a talk called ‘Destroy The Web 2.0 Look’. Thanks to everyone who’s been coming up to me and saying you enjoyed it – that kind of thing really makes my day. It was great to have so many of you say hi at the after-party and I think the talk had the desired effect: to encourage people to break with overused web design trends and emphasise that ‘web 2.0’ is not a design aesthetic.

I’ve put the slides online using Slideshare, which seems pretty useful. You can view them below or on the Slideshare site, and if you’d like to have a PDF to pass around, Here you go. Hopefully it still makes sense even without my commentary, but as soon as we’ve edited the video, I’ll post the link here (please note that the video will only be viewable by conference attendees).

Did anyone happen to take any shots while I was speaking? If you could send me links to photos, that’d be great! Or just tag them with my name.

Thanks again to everyone who listened, laughed, and clapped during the presentation, and to those of you showed your support afterwards. It’s always appreciated and the audience response made this my favourite speaking gig so far. Cheers guys!

Photo credit: Jonathan Christopher


  1. Ritchie


    13 November 2007 @ 04:42PM #

    WOW! That was a great presentation.. _

    Thanks for the post. It really helps me understand more about web 2.0.

  2. Stevie K

    Stevie K

    13 November 2007 @ 05:13PM #

    Great presentation Elliot!

    On a similar note, I explained to a programmer mate of mine about the web 2.0 look and he looked at me as if I’d gone mad. He knew what web 2.0 was and was a big advocate of it but only as a programming term, webapps, live search etc.

    “Web 2.0 look” is a term that seems to exist in the minds of clients and designers and has nothing to do with the real term at all. The sooner the two terms are seperated, the sooner the look will disappear.

    @Ritchie: This is more about the “web 2.0 look” as opposed to web 2.0.

  3. Tim Van Damme

    Tim Van Damme

    13 November 2007 @ 05:28PM #

    Looked like a great presentation! Thanks a lot for the slides, it’s always a pleasure to have them, even if you weren’t able to attend conference! (looking angry at my bosses…)

  4. Dominik Lenk

    Dominik Lenk

    13 November 2007 @ 05:57PM #

    When I saw the sheep I thought you were talking about typography… but then sheep can be used for anyhing can’t they?

    I liked your presentation although I do disagree do an extent: If used ‘properly’, the web2.0 look can work. Unfortunately, most people do not use it properly. Also the ‘look’ is slowly becoming overused.

  5. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    13 November 2007 @ 06:14PM #

    Thanks ever so much, guys.

    @ Stevie K: You hit the nail on the head!

    @ Dominik: Don’t worry, I agree with you. This is a message that unfortunately has been lost when viewing the slides without my commentary: I don’t think that the typical ‘Web 2.0 Look’ elements are a bad thing at all; they just need to be used in moderation and with care.

  6. Jeremy Davis

    Jeremy Davis

    13 November 2007 @ 08:09PM #

    Great slides on a much needed topic. Very helpful.

  7. Matthew Munsey

    Matthew Munsey

    13 November 2007 @ 09:08PM #

    I wish I could have attended. Unfortunately the holiday season is a very busy time for me now with the new job. I will see you at SXSW though.

  8. Alcides Fonseca

    Alcides Fonseca

    14 November 2007 @ 02:42AM #

    A pretty awesome presentation. And a lot of people should take a look at it.

    Many end-users (and designers) have the idea that the web2.0 is that gradient and squared corners things and that you host your stuff on the cloud.

    They don’t get the important concept of the real web2.0 and this is a pretty cool way of telling them that.

    Congrats Elliot!

  9. patoa


    14 November 2007 @ 03:19AM #

    The most interesting thing about the presentation is, that it is so easy to explain some of the most discussed aspects about web 2.0. Everybody has to say something about the possibilities of web 2.0 but only a handful is able to explain the fundamental functions. Great way how you did it – especially the sheeps are a good choice….

  10. iamww.com [PING]

    iamww.com [PING]

    14 November 2007 @ 09:17AM #

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  11. Jack


    14 November 2007 @ 09:15PM #

    I attended the conference in NYC and thoroughly enjoyed your presentation. You had a great blend of humor and information, which made it quite engaging.

    The most valuable points for me:
    1) I can now effectively (and politely) articulate the differences between concept and style to clients who really “want the ‘Web 2.0’ look”.

    2) I can encourage my clients to be trend setters, rather than sheep (as you put it) by showing them examples of design cliche. Hey, no one wants to blend into the wood work, right?

    I hope our paths cross again. Thanks.

  12. Jason


    14 November 2007 @ 09:35PM #

    Hi Elliot,

    I really liked your presentation and I think it will help people understand that the current term, “Web 2.0”, is not necessarily associated with the look or design or a website.

    I do however disagree a certain amount. Although the term wasn’t originally associated with what Web 2.0 is technically, I do believe that if people want to associate that style of design with the term, then it should be adapted into the definition… or be a separate definition of the term. I definitely agree that is is a trend and is becoming over used.

    Regardless, enjoy your thoughts around it and as always enjoy your site very much. :)

  13. Brendan Gramer

    Brendan Gramer

    14 November 2007 @ 11:37PM #

    I wished I attended this conference.

    To sum this up really quick, I want to say that I think a big part of this trend is due to developer’s overreliance on templates and online generators without giving good honest conceptual design a chance to shine through. Either these developers didn’t see the value of hiring a designer to create an unique personality or they just needed something quick to put online and slap with a “beta” label.

    The lack of that devotion to concepting a branding approach prevents them from owning any particular element as part of their brand character – hence the sheep-ish or pack mentality. It’s not just about the interface, it’s about the big branding idea too!


  14. Jack


    15 November 2007 @ 12:13AM #

    @ Brendan

    You make some really valid points here, but uninspired or incapable designers cannot shoulder ALL the blame. Elliot’s mention of the Make MY Logo Bigger Cream brings into the limelight a large and more disturbing problem: The fact that clients try ( and are frequently successful) in defining visual elements. Elliot goes on to to say that it is up to the designer to assert their role in the design process.

    So my takeaway on his point is that when clients ask for a “Web 2.0” look, what they really mean is that they want it to look “modern”, maybe even “trendy”. And hey, let’s face it, it can take some work to convince many clients that they should be trend-setters instead of sheep. What I got from Elliott’s presentation is that it’s up to us as designers to use our expertise accordingly and not bow down to the Gods of beveled edges, shiny elements, and reflected logos. What we really need to do is find out what they really wants and then deliver something meets their needs, while being both unique and rich in concept—instead of heading right for the gradient tool.

  15. Cam


    15 November 2007 @ 03:24AM #

    Great talk Elliot – I thoroughly enjoyed it man, and thought you spoke super well.

    You mention Apple as the undisputed kings of sheen. I’d tend to agree, but I note that whenever anyone mentions Apple.com as an example, there’s never any reference to the actual designer of their site.

    And I have no idea who that is! Where is this person whose work we love so much?

    Can anyone put a face and a website to the design(ers) behind Apple.com?

    Let’s get THIS person speaking at a conference. I know i’d love to hear what they have to say about their work and the ‘Web 2.0 look’.

  16. James


    15 November 2007 @ 03:04PM #

    hey Elliot, good to see you again briefly yesterday – definately should catch up properly some time. really like the presentation – so web 2.5 is the grunge look, right…? ;)

  17. boz


    15 November 2007 @ 04:36PM #

    would the “grunge” or “worn edges” effect come under the web 2.0 banner? That’s something I have to admit that I use to often, but clients do often request it.

  18. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    15 November 2007 @ 04:51PM #

    Thanks for all the kind words, guys. I’m really glad everyone feels quite passionately about this and shares the desire to break away from these cliches.

    @ Jason: I do actually agree with you to a certain extent (as you’ll hear once the audio and video from the conference are made available). it can be useful to describe this kind of aesthetic with the term ‘Web 2.0’ if people are used to it; my problem is that in doing so, we’d be actively encouraging the misuse of the term.

    @ Cam: I think the fact that the designers behind apple.com remain faceless is a very intentional attempt to continue the ‘mystery’ of the Apple brand. And Apple only ever let Steve Jobs speak publically on behalf of the company.

    @ James & Boz: It’s interesting you should mention the ‘grunge look’: I’m writing a blog post now about it, so check back tomorrow! :)

  19. Brian Artka

    Brian Artka

    15 November 2007 @ 08:01PM #

    Thanks for the post Elliot, the slides are excellent and I gained some good stuff from them (and your thoughts).

  20. Jason Long

    Jason Long

    15 November 2007 @ 08:08PM #

    Great stuff, Elliot. Thank you for posting the slides (including the Keynote file).

  21. r-echos.net [PING]

    r-echos.net [PING]

    15 November 2007 @ 09:26PM #

    […] Elliot Jay Stocks » ‘Destroy The Web 2.0 Look’ @ Future of Web Design, New York […]

  22. zinni


    15 November 2007 @ 10:12PM #

    Great presentation, I wish I could have been there. The slides are great, I think that I might start sending them out every time I have a client ask about getting a “web 2.0” style. If only it were soo easy to break away from these trends, when your clients ask for the beveled edges and reflected logos because they see it all day long it can become really frustrating and easy to cave in.

  23. Gabriel


    15 November 2007 @ 10:15PM #

    Thanks for your excellent breakdown of the current design trends. I would totally agree that just going with them because they are currently trendy and popular is something to consider avoiding.

    I think it may be somewhat of a similar situation though to when we were in school. The artsy design kids would dress however they wanted to, and as a result, they were the most interesting people to look at. Also they were the ones who usually got made fun of the most.

    But, for the majority of people, looking current with the latest fashions is a requirement for being socially accepted. Websites are subject to fashion and the whims of the masses. When I have a client who wants to be current with the latest “technology” (meaning mostly the look of the latest trendy sites) who am I to argue that they’re wrong. They’re simply responding to their current environment.

    People, like bonobos, ravens and racoons, like shiny things.

    As designers, it is our job to make sure we help them pick out the right ones.

  24. Barry Ramsay

    Barry Ramsay

    15 November 2007 @ 10:33PM #

    if the slide show is anything to go by the presentation must be worth listening to. Thank you for sharing it.

    I feel the Web 2.0 style is also born out of a larger focus on usability with it’s strong colours, bigger type and clearer layout. It’s nice not to see so many pastels, shades of brown, grey websites which used to clutter the internet. So I thank the style/trend for this, although this might just be down to the natural improvement of web designers.

    I’ve worked in (profit led) companies where the websites we’ve built haven’t had a big budget but do have a tight deadline and therefore you end up resorting to a default style to get the job done without heart failure. As long as these type of project and companies exist I think there will be an over use in styles and themes to cut cost and make things easy. Spare a thought for them poor designers this Christmas

  25. akiramedia.com [PING]

    akiramedia.com [PING]

    15 November 2007 @ 10:52PM #

    […] Today, I can across a item that makes me hopeful:‘Destroy The Web 2.0 Look’ @ Future of Web Design, New York […]

  26. philcrissman.com [PING]

    philcrissman.com [PING]

    15 November 2007 @ 11:30PM #

    […] Dovetailing nicely with my appeal for some new cliches, Elliot Jay Stocks of Carsonified recently did a talk called “Destroy The Web 2.0 Look.” […]

  27. Martin Ringlein

    Martin Ringlein

    16 November 2007 @ 01:17AM #

    I was at your presentation and was inspired and laughed — you picked a great controversial topic that the audience loves to b!tch about, but was your overlying point right?

    You use FAMFAMFAM on your site — isn’t that like one of the most over-used “web 2.0” icon sets on the web to-date?

    I feel your point as a designer — but its your inability to remove yourself from that position that I sense keeps you from seeing the big picture. You may be an artist, but are all things designed art? Should they be?

    I wrote an article over a year ago that sort of touched on this point:
    The Reflection: In defense of a Web 2.0 Design Trend!

  28. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    16 November 2007 @ 01:44AM #

    @ Martin: One of the things I unfortunately forgot to say in my talk was that I don’t consider myself exampt from my own criticisms. I’ve certainly been guilty of using all of the cliches at one point or another. Hell, at EMI I went through a stage of using diagonal lines all over the place – it was ridiculous!

    But I want people to understand that I’m not actually criticising these various stylistics motifs; I’m just criticising their overuse, and / or the notion that they have to be used. I don’t really care if Famfamfam’s ‘Silk’ icon set (elements of which I use) is all over the web – I use them very sparingly and I think they’re extremely well-designed icons. It’s about being aware of why you’re using them.

    So, no offence, but I don’t really think that I have an “inability to remove [myself] from the big picture.” I’m also not sure when exactly we entered into an “are all things designed art?” argument.

    Lastly, having read your article, I see where you’re coming from – the crux of your argument seems to be that ‘the client gets what the client pays for and that’s why we’re in a job’ – but it also sounds like you’re asking designers to just give up and stop trying to fight for what they believe in. Well, there’s nothing wrong with that, and it’ll certainly help with job security and bill-paying, but I personally couldn’t just sit there and take the shit ideas that clients throw at me. It would sap my creativity and my desire to be a designer.

  29. Martin Ringlein

    Martin Ringlein

    16 November 2007 @ 03:31AM #

    @Elliot — don’t get me wrong, I love your work and your style. And as I mentioned before, I really did enjoy your presentation.

    I am just wondering (not sure as to the answer myself) — is all design work done for hire worth fighting for? Is there a need to fight for it? Does the real designer say yes and the chump who has a copy of photoshop say no? If your mom asks for a fax cover sheet Word template — are there elements that need fighting or can simple elements relying on common convention suffice?

    Does “web 2.0” mean something to the masses? Does the elements that designers are sick of actually convey meaning to the masses? Can joe user see gradients, rounded corners and drop-shadows and think “impressive”. Can “web 2.0” design trends actually leave the user with a better first impression than without (in particular situations)?

    I love your style though — and I am a hypocrite of sorts. I complain about the term “web 2.0” but sell-out to clients when they seek it out.

  30. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    16 November 2007 @ 03:50AM #

    @ Martin: You’ve raised some really good points there. You’re right: there certainly is a level of complication or sophistication we simply just don’t need to address when asked for something simple. And of course there’s the possibility that – as you say – ‘Web 2.0’ may simply translate as ‘quality’ to the average consumer. It’s a depressing reality, and one that I hope we can fight against whenever possible.

  31. programavostok.com [PING]

    programavostok.com [PING]

    16 November 2007 @ 03:54AM #

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  32. AndrewSkinner.name [PING]

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    16 November 2007 @ 06:22AM #

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  33. jcorrea.es [PING]

    jcorrea.es [PING]

    16 November 2007 @ 12:58PM #

    […] que el amigo cosmonauta, reivindico ciertas cosas muy bien explicadas en esta presentación de Elliot Jay Stocks para Future of Web […]

  34. ervdesign.net [PING]

    ervdesign.net [PING]

    16 November 2007 @ 06:21PM #

    […] resulta que ahora todo tiene que tener look 2.0?. La presentación corrió a cargo de Elliot Jay Stocks, en Future of Web […]

  35. Rich


    17 November 2007 @ 12:30AM #

    Forwarding to all my clients now…

  36. Tink


    17 November 2007 @ 02:26AM #

    Good stuff, much appreciated

  37. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    17 November 2007 @ 04:24AM #

    Thanks for taking the time to leave your thoughts, everyone. I’m amazed at this response this post has generated, and at the time of writing, this is now the most commented-on article on the entire site! Cheers! A ‘sequel’ post is on its way…

  38. Tyler Lange

    Tyler Lange

    17 November 2007 @ 05:40AM #

    Good presentation. I agree and I promise to never do a reflecting logo again.

    Web 3.0 will be all SVG??


  39. Nick La

    Nick La

    18 November 2007 @ 10:56AM #

    Hey Elliot,

    It was nice meeting you at the FOWD event. Your presentation is great. Good job man!


  40. Ståle Raknes

    Ståle Raknes

    19 November 2007 @ 05:07PM #

    Very nice work here Elliot!

    Is there any audio or video from the Future of Web Design, New York event available?

  41. Hamish M

    Hamish M

    20 November 2007 @ 03:40AM #

    Elliot, that was a fantastic presentation. I think you really hit home with that one — so keep on preachin’ brotha!

    By the way, I absolutely love your website’s design. Keep up the good work.

  42. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    20 November 2007 @ 03:58PM #

    Thanks again, everyone!

    @ Nick: It was great to meet you too! I hope the next time we meet, there’ll be time to have a proper sit-down chat. Are you going to SXSW?

    @ Ståle: It’s all being prepared as we speak. The audio will soon be on the site in the form of free MP3s for everyone; the video will be accessible online too, but only for conference attendees, unfortunately,

    @ Hamish: Thanks! I’ve been meaning to install wp-typogrify and your comment has reminded me that I need to do it asap!

  43. stfalx


    21 November 2007 @ 03:06AM #

    I personally think web 2.0 is for blind people. And it’s not the best style for a site. Off the records, i think web 2.0 is crap, but i can’t say that out loud. Nice article and nice slide show. I admire your work. Have a nice day.

  44. Kyle Meyer

    Kyle Meyer

    21 November 2007 @ 03:35AM #

    Hey mate,

    I read this the day you posted it but was in a bit of a hurry (very busy of late) so I didn’t get to post. You were a natural on stage by the way, tell Ryan to give you more than 10 minutes next time!

    One thing I wanted to follow up on after reading the comments was your use of the FamFamFam icons, I’m using them as well in a major project at work and just today was suggested a different set (the excellent Chalkwork icons from Mezzoblue) because the Silk icons seem to be everywhere.

    But when I thought about it, the Silk icons were more explanatory to their purpose and just seemed a better fit for “at a glance recognition.” And I plan to continue using the Silk set for that very reason even though the Mezzoblue icons would be more unique, they don’t really fulfill the purpose.

    By the way, the folks at Clockwork enjoyed the slides during our FOWD discussion meeting. ;)


  45. snap2objects.com [PING]

    snap2objects.com [PING]

    21 November 2007 @ 06:09AM #

    […] There are some people getting tired of that. Call them revolutionaries, or trend setters. I call them visionaries. Elliot Jay Stocks is my new hero. He took part on Future of Web Design event, held in NY, with a talk called “Destroy The Web 2.0 Look“. […]

  46. Cam


    21 November 2007 @ 07:36AM #

    Perhaps this is/was (one of) the Apple designers:

  47. Whatever-ishere


    21 November 2007 @ 09:52PM #

    thanks for the GREAT post! Very useful…

  48. Paul Bloch

    Paul Bloch

    21 November 2007 @ 10:49PM #

    While I agree with the general premise I still think there needs to be room to appreciate what the web 2.0 design trend is and was. I think it’s been this trend that brought us completely out of the 90s era of personal site design that had NO design sense whatsoever. The web 2.0 look established a number of usability and design standards. Standard being, if you’re going to make a site at least design it to meet the web 2.0 level of quality which embraces a lot of good design principles and can be implemented by a large number of people. It also helped to establish a general tone or emotional quality of making the internet a friendly place to use and to look at. So while it’s easy to reject the old in favor of the new, we don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water. The web 2.0 look was very successful for a number of reasons. And those reasons need to be acknowledged and respected as a part of needs of the internet as a whole (not everyone can afford a designer) and part of our heritage as designers.

  49. monsieur-alex.com [PING]

    monsieur-alex.com [PING]

    21 November 2007 @ 11:35PM #

    […] interessante conférence du FOWD à New York  durant laquelle Elliot Jay expose sa théorie concernant le look web 2.0 et l’avenir proche […]

  50. Pablo


    22 November 2007 @ 08:20PM #

    Great slides

    ! At the end, everything boils down to communication. Apple.com has round corners because their products do and they want to be consistent.

    This website has a grungy texture and typeface because probably Elliot is a bad ass :) (In a good way)……

    So people out there: Try spend at least a couple of focused hours thinking how you are gonna sell the client the idea that the reflected panels and exploding badges do not match the look of the kitchenware they are trying to promote online…or may be they do……in that case do use them


  51. asourceof... [PING]

    asourceof... [PING]

    22 November 2007 @ 11:50PM #

    […] Last week i was amused with a drinking challenge, with one shot for each time that “2.0″ was spoken. While the other challengers were all geeks, i suddenly realized that we have to let go of this naming. And web designers are also starting to get fed up, as pointed out by Elliot Jay. […]

  52. davidwalsh.name


    23 November 2007 @ 08:17AM #

    […] http://elliotjaystocks.com/blog/archive/2007/destroy-the-web-20-look-future-of-web-design-new-york/ […]

  53. Mae


    23 November 2007 @ 10:39AM #

    thanks I learned a lot. I’m just starting in the business (though I’ve been working for a year now already) and I still couldn’t do the “2.0 look” I guess that’s a good thing now :)

  54. phpcurious


    23 November 2007 @ 02:06PM #

    I agree that “Web 2.0” is so much used as a tool to determine or classify ones who are going with the trend. When you see a website having gradient backgrounds, their logos with reflection, you already assume “this is a web 2.0 website!” but really, is that how you base your opinion?

  55. kappa-8.com [PING]

    kappa-8.com [PING]

    23 November 2007 @ 06:00PM #

    […] componen una interfaz web. Elliot Jay Stanz hace un divertido resumen de ellos en su post “Destroy de Web 2.0 Look“. En resumen los elementos […]

  56. snap2objects.com [PING]

    snap2objects.com [PING]

    23 November 2007 @ 06:24PM #

    […] my last post “How To Destroy The Web 2.0 Look” based on Elliot Jay Stocks’ proposal I showed some sites that illustrate the opposite trend to our current style, with its rich textures […]

  57. Missy


    24 November 2007 @ 01:28AM #

    Well I’m glad someone else out there is fed up to their back teeth with Web 2. Clunky buttons, kindergarden sized text and peppered with (anti)social networking buttons… jeez – enough already!

    Earlier this year and after months of toil with various Web 2 designs for myself, I realised that it was going to be almost impossible to come up with something that didn’t look like everything else.

    This week I rebooted with a design I feel actually gives a feel for who and what I am – a female designer who refuses to be hemmed in by so called web fashion.

  58. turkpano.net [PING]

    turkpano.net [PING]

    25 November 2007 @ 01:19AM #

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  59. works4sure.nl [PING]

    works4sure.nl [PING]

    25 November 2007 @ 03:35AM #

    […] de term Web 2.0 dus wél gaat. Vandaar dat ik er niet meer aandacht aan besteed, dat hebben anderen al veel beter gedaan. Punt voor mij is dat het niks met design heeft te maken, al wordt een bepaalde stijl dus wel zo […]

  60. douglaskarr.com [PING]

    douglaskarr.com [PING]

    25 November 2007 @ 09:27PM #

    […] Jay Stocks is putting out the battle cry for designers… abandon the Web 2.0 look and fight your clients who push for it. Be sure to visit Elliot’s site, the design is […]

  61. searchpeers.com [PING]

    searchpeers.com [PING]

    25 November 2007 @ 11:07PM #

    […] arresting presentation at the Future of Web Design event in New York City, Elliot Jay Stocks dissassembles the Web2.0 “look” very effectively.  Stocks makes some very good points here – I’ve had to deal with clients […]

  62. Mike Schinkel

    Mike Schinkel

    26 November 2007 @ 02:00AM #

    Uh, exactly how does “destroying web 2.0 design” actually help achieve business goals (as opposed to just empowering designers with ‘creative freedom?’)

    Frankly I’d rather follow Jakob ’s Law and make websites like others so that my site would be more usable with the result that my users would be more effective using my site and thus help achieve business goals.

    Also, seems you missed this great blog post about Web 2.0 Visual Design.

  63. jay-han.com [PING]

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    26 November 2007 @ 07:07PM #

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  64. herenotthere.com [PING]

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    27 November 2007 @ 12:20AM #

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    29 November 2007 @ 05:42AM #

    […] Elliot Jay Stocks » ‘Destroy The Web 2.0 Look’ @ Future of Web Design, New York Astringent presentation from Carsonified’s lead designer — steer clear of the cliches. (tags: webdesign web2.0 designtrends designcliches) […]

  66. myfavoritething.net [PING]

    myfavoritething.net [PING]

    29 November 2007 @ 05:43AM #

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  67. bobo.chinavisual.com [PING]

    bobo.chinavisual.com [PING]

    29 November 2007 @ 07:05PM #

    […] There are some people getting tired of that. Call them revolutionaries, or trend setters. I call them visionaries. Elliot Jay Stocks is my new hero. He took part on Future of Web Design event, held in NY, with a talk called “Destroy The Web 2.0 Look“. […]

  68. Replete


    30 November 2007 @ 01:57AM #

    Great looking presentation. Wish I was there for it.

  69. flipthedolphin.com [PING]

    flipthedolphin.com [PING]

    03 December 2007 @ 02:48PM #

    […] Jay Stocks extensively talks about this in his “destroy the web 2.0 look” presentation. He talked about this topic in the “Future of Web Design” speaking […]

  70. snap2objects.com [PING]

    snap2objects.com [PING]

    04 December 2007 @ 06:33AM #

    […] publications such as .net, a speaker at conferences and events (in his last one he told us to “destroy the Web 2.0 look”) and also a copious blogger at his own blog and at […]

  71. andrew


    04 December 2007 @ 11:48PM #

    1. Excellent presentation: insightful and important. 2. I really love your site design here. I’ve been sort of obsessed with it for a while. Nice.

  72. designlab.no [PING]

    designlab.no [PING]

    06 December 2007 @ 03:50AM #

    […] A very nice article here about the whole web 2.0 scene, I must admit i’m getting pretty fed up with making web 2.0 type sites myself (They all look the same.. lol)  Dont forget to check out his presentation slide in the article! Very  informative! :o) Click here to visit >> […]

  73. Kuddl


    07 December 2007 @ 01:30PM #

    THANKS !!!!

    Showed this to my Boss !

    Got promotet !

    Now I am LEAD “web 2.0 designer”.

    Spoke my mind !!! Thanks !!

  74. snap2objects.com [PING]

    snap2objects.com [PING]

    07 December 2007 @ 05:32PM #

    […] web2.0 look” I had the pleasure to speak Elliot Jay Stocks, the guy who told us about “Destroy the web2.o look” at the Future of Web Design event held in NY. Elliot answered some questions about the […]

  75. 風デザインを打ち破る [PING]

    風デザインを打ち破る [PING]

    07 December 2007 @ 06:05PM #

    […] 11月ニューヨークで開催された『Future of Web Design』というイベントでElliot Jay Stocksが『Destroy The Web 2.0 Look』というお題目で語った内容が公開されていたので、興味深い内容だったのでしっかりと読んでみることにしました。 […]

  76. Marc Calatayud

    Marc Calatayud

    08 December 2007 @ 09:29PM #

    I posted about this very same subject two weeks later than you and I recently read your contribution.

    Also the presentation file is really fun and informative. I posted it in my blog along an English entry (I never posted in English before).

    Thank you!! :D

  77. BobCFC


    11 December 2007 @ 04:57PM #

    I like glossy toolbars and buttons. Second only to dropshadow. I guess web design really is different from desktop UI

  78. Missy


    12 December 2007 @ 11:56PM #

    There’s nothing wrong with glossy toolbars and buttons per se… it’s about overkill. And now that people are finding ways to make PNG work better in IE, I’m sure we’re going to see a lot more designs (like this, no doubt) that will use it to good effect.

    Let’s just hope that browsers keep improving, and all those style goodies that CSS3 promise to deliver actually happen. In a few years’ time we will have the ability to create semantic, accessible sites that are as every bit as engaging as some of the best Flash sites out there.

    And that doesn’t mean making a site any less usable. UX is a combination of many factors – not just design & usability. But I digress… the Web 2 look is wearing thin for many people and more designers would do well to broaden their repertoire.

  79. Shane


    14 December 2007 @ 12:52AM #

    Wow! Excuse me for saying this on a comment about a particular post, but this site is gorgeous. However, I am concerned about the lack of reflections, gradients, stripey lines and large logo. Nah – only joking.

    Your presentation was great, and I only saw it inline on this page. Would have loved to have seen it in NYC, but alas, I don’t get out much.

    Can I get the background on my kitchen worktops?


  80. Missy


    14 December 2007 @ 12:59AM #

    Spooky or what… I was thinking how much I’d like this texture on my bathroom floor!

  81. Shane


    14 December 2007 @ 01:54AM #

    Well, if there are parallels between web design and bathroom floor tile designers, expect to see this background very soon.

  82. Missy


    14 December 2007 @ 02:45AM #

    Ha ha… it’s just that I like the feel of cold stone underfoot. But enough by my fetishes ;-)

  83. Devin


    15 December 2007 @ 03:36AM #

    I agree with some of these points. I think you can make a site look nice without the use of reflections and gradients and shadows…but at the same time it doesn’t bug me, either.

    The “2.0” look does what it sets out to do…give a site a clean, crisp look.

    But it’s a trend that’s not unlike a million other web trends. There’s the “Overused Photoshop Flower Brush” site (which I’m guilty of owning). The “Grungy Punk Rock / Water Color” looking site. The “Bling” or “WAY too much After Effects” site…etc., etc….I mean stone / grunge backgrounds aren’t exactly breaking new ground. It’s a trend just like so many elements of the 2.0 look.

    I’m totally guilty of using 2.0 elements in my sites. I think in moderation they can look good! But I do acknowledge I need to grow some more as a designer, so I could be wrong. Who knows, in a year I may scoff at web 2.0.

  84. psdtalk.ru [PING]

    psdtalk.ru [PING]

    18 December 2007 @ 01:26AM #

    […] Уже сейчас есть люди порядком утомленные web2.0 стилем. Назовите их революционерами или законодателями новых тенденций. Я называю их провидцами. Мой новый герой – Elliot Jay Stocks. В этом году он принимал участие в конференции Future of Web Design, которая прошла в начале ноября в Нью Йорке. Mr. Stocks выступил там с сообщением, которое он назвал: “Разрушь web2.0 стиль” (Destroy The Web 2.0 Look). […]

  85. digitalking.it [PING]

    digitalking.it [PING]

    18 December 2007 @ 03:55AM #

    […] trasparenze, effetto glossy, ecc…). Ciò che Elliot Jay Stocks illustra in modo esemplare in questo articolo è che è sbagliato intendere il web 2.0 dal punto di vista grafico, perchè semplicemente […]

  86. Steve Killen

    Steve Killen

    18 December 2007 @ 09:49PM #

    I wouldn’t look at BBC’s proposed new redesign if I were you Elliot, you may not like what you see.

    I will put a link to it anyway in case the temptations there but don’t say I didn’t warn you!

    BBC’s beta redesign

  87. rabbitvalleyroad.com [PING]

    rabbitvalleyroad.com [PING]

    18 December 2007 @ 11:10PM #

    […] Jay Stocks’ presentation, Destroy the Web 2.0 Look, identifies the clichés and common practices of modern web […]

  88. Sebhelyesfarku


    19 December 2007 @ 03:44AM #

    Yeah, the wet floor effect is fockin boring already. Most designers are dumbass Mactards that’s why they overuse this crap overused by Apple as well (coverflow etc.)

  89. edge3sixty.com [PING]

    edge3sixty.com [PING]

    19 December 2007 @ 09:41PM #

    […] PSA by Elliot Jay Stocks Enough said. Experience more:Design,designers,web 2.0,web […]

  90. Jermayn Parker

    Jermayn Parker

    20 December 2007 @ 11:18AM #

    What really interests me is the line between web 2.0 as a style (gradients etc) or web 2.0 as a period/ type of web sites.

    I personally see gradients, reflections and what else you hate as a style and not classified as web 2.0 seeing web 2.0 is more about social networks, state of the web etc.

  91. sensifreak


    21 December 2007 @ 02:12AM #

    I think some people think anti web 2.0 is the trend if they read this article, and i dont belive that you ment this. I think an intelligent mix of both is the future and not just the good old web or only web 2.0.

    But Thanks for this nice article and i think it was necessary that someone tells his opinion about web2.0 .
    You Are Not The Only One I Think

  92. The Peach

    The Peach

    21 December 2007 @ 05:42AM #

    Finally someone said that!!!
    Thanks for your post.

  93. roger warner

    roger warner

    23 December 2007 @ 02:43AM #

    hey elliot

    spot on sir

    as a progression, i think this era (of ‘everything 2.0’) has been good for design – we’ve gotten back to some good usability basics through the use of much of the stuff you mention here.

    but there’s so much more we can now do with the web, now that design is cleaner. bandwidth is high, hardware is abundant – there’s none of the old restrictions to doing innovative work.

    the underlying technology of sites is also now much more flexible. CMS’s can give designers their head AND make sites easy to maintain for clients.

    i think the most important point you make is that whats needed is strong leadership from our industry to inform clients as to whats achievable and sensible.

    clients are using budgets in better ways now – we need to channel it to functional innovation. get them thinking more about how things like video, widgets and new design perspectives can help their brands…. instead of just being content to ‘look a bit cool like apple’ and having us knock out clone after clone of web 2 style sites.

    anyways – BRAVO! this really needed to be said.

  94. zinnidesign.com [PING]

    zinnidesign.com [PING]

    24 December 2007 @ 01:36AM #

    […] the “web 2.0″ look, read Elliot’s Presentation from the Future of Web Design […]

  95. jack butler

    jack butler

    25 December 2007 @ 06:28AM #

    This is great vision tired of this web 2.0 design trends already

  96. Steph Sawchenko

    Steph Sawchenko

    27 December 2007 @ 02:18AM #

    I came across your “destroy the web 2.0” presentation and found it very amusing. I myself am in Silicon Valley even as I type where I have spent the past year actually designing websites with a “web 2.0” look. So your presentation made me think a lot about what the heck is going on with interaction design.

    A week after you posted this I was re-designing a logo and website for a dotcom here in San Francisco and the creative brief stated (over several paragraphs) “Our new logo will have a web 2.0 look”. Literally. A few days, and few mock-up versions later I approached the CEO of the company I was working for and told him, “You know, the design community is now making fun of the web 2.0 look. I’m pretty sure it’s played out.” His reply, “I like the web 2.0 look, it’s cool. Drop shadows are nice, don’t you think?” Um…. sure.

    Part of me thinks this “web 2.0” look is a west coast, silicon valley driven aesthetic caused by cheapness, and simple design ignorance.

    The truth is, in Silicon Valley very little is actually designed by designers. Most web products you use are really designed by product managers. People with business sensibility and financial goals, but with no design literacy. The start-up culture here likes to cut corners, a lot. Consequently, a lot of designers here just “implement” other people’s ideas without being able to bring their design skills to the job.

    We all already know know what good design is. Does your message about design ever get to the right people?

  97. darrenhoyt.com [PING]

    darrenhoyt.com [PING]

    27 December 2007 @ 01:05PM #

    […] positive bi-product of the much-maligned “Web 2.0 look” is large section headers. They’re eye-catching and usually improve page […]

  98. maestrosdelweb.com [PING]

    maestrosdelweb.com [PING]

    27 December 2007 @ 06:31PM #

    […] Creando efectos 2.0 con Photoshop. Aunque estoy más de acuerdo con Elliot y su propuesta de destruir el look web 2.0 […]

  99. Steve


    27 December 2007 @ 09:31PM #

    Excellent slides. However, after viewing the slide show I clicked on your portfolio. The first item:


    • Vibrant contrast
    • Gloss
    • Special offer badge
    • Beveled edges
    • Gradients
    • Soft outer glow

    …it’s got them all!

  100. blog.bitassa.cat [PING]

    blog.bitassa.cat [PING]

    27 December 2007 @ 09:38PM #

    […] és un lloc ben pensat que té prou èxit. Després de tanta collonada 2.0 encara valoro més els llocs de disseny minimalista que cuiden més les comunitats que no pas els […]

  101. Max


    28 December 2007 @ 12:32PM #

    “The serious issue that non-creative clients often have too much power over designers.”

    Yes, how dare clients expect to exert control over what they are paying for?


  102. exvertebrum.wordpress.com [PING]

    exvertebrum.wordpress.com [PING]

    28 December 2007 @ 07:02PM #

    […] de partidários da causa da criatividade e daqueles que amam a estética 2.0. Até o momento, há 104 comentários em seu blog sobre a […]

  103. colmeia.tv [PING]

    colmeia.tv [PING]

    30 December 2007 @ 10:10PM #

    […] do Elliot Jay Stocks sobre os clichês de design aplicados em sites web […]

  104. ssummers


    03 January 2008 @ 09:13PM #

    Now if we could just get EVERYONE in the industry to read this…
    Nice work, you nailed it.

  105. Fredrik


    04 January 2008 @ 03:21PM #

    Just watched the presentation. You’re right about the inflation of these elements. But there are trends everywhere.

    The Subtraction site in the slides is all trend but it’s just that the trend passed a few years ago. Grids, helvetica in the corner, monochrome solid colors.

    Four of the sites in the next few slides (plus this very site) runs with another trend that’s blossoming right now. Paint, earthy tones, freehand form elements, organic natural look. Just visit www.csstux.com and see that almost half of all the sites is made in this aesthetic trend.

    I think the most important thing to see (which has already been mentioned in these comments) is that the web look so much better now than a few years ago. People care more for their design, and that’s a good trend.

  106. Dario de Judicibus

    Dario de Judicibus

    04 January 2008 @ 04:05PM #

    Great article. Very appropriate. By the way, I saw that you mentioned Tim’s definition of Web 2.0. In my last article on social networking I propose a new definition of Web 2.0 and highlight a critical aspect of global networking related to a language issue. I also throw out the idea of assessing every concept developed in any culture to create a Global Dictionary which can be used by web services to provide people with highly reliable translations of web pages. If you are interested to read it, you can find it in my blog (World 2.0). Comments, criticisms and opinions are welcome.

  107. jeremyadamdavis.com [PING]

    jeremyadamdavis.com [PING]

    05 January 2008 @ 12:06AM #

    […] quickly becoming one of the most respected web designers. He gained much popularity for his article Destroy the Web 2.0 Look. Although I wish he would do more tutorial-type posts, I can’t wait to see what he will […]

  108. badassideas.com [PING]

    badassideas.com [PING]

    06 January 2008 @ 07:46AM #

    […] Martin’s comment may be a direct result of a backlash happening in the design community since Elliot Jay Stock’s Presentation “Destroying the Web 2.0 Look” at the Future of Web Design Conference. I hadn’t seen the video of this presentation and […]

  109. abvmob.de [PING]

    abvmob.de [PING]

    08 January 2008 @ 06:54PM #

    […] zu einem Klischee, wenn sie bedenkenlos und immer wieder zum Einsatz kommen, sagt Senior Designer Elliot Jay Stocks. In dem Artikel lohnt es sich, die Slideshow anzuschauen, die das Phänomen illustriert und […]

  110. beemarketing.info [PING]

    beemarketing.info [PING]

    11 January 2008 @ 08:56PM #

    […] positive bi-product of the much-maligned “Web 2.0 look” is large section headers. They’re eye-catching and usually improve page […]

  111. picspack.de [PING]

    picspack.de [PING]

    12 January 2008 @ 11:54PM #

    […] sind, wenn man eben keinen Web2.0-Look erzielen möchte. Inspiriert wird er dabei wiederum von Elliot Jay Stocks, der Vorträge über zukünftige Webdesign-Trends hält, sich also auszukennen […]

  112. Mig


    14 January 2008 @ 03:19PM #

    Great stuff… It can open some minds and give them the chance to avoid glossy and reflected stuff. Thank you!!

  113. germworks.net [PING]

    germworks.net [PING]

    21 January 2008 @ 07:36AM #

    […] non-bias towards one style like other collction of websites focusing on styles like retro, web 2.0 (even though its not a style), illustration plus […]

  114. Troy Dunn

    Troy Dunn

    23 January 2008 @ 08:31AM #

    Web 2.0 is a design style. It’s the name of a movement or ear and it’s not going to just go away. This sounds like the people that said, “rap is a fad.”

    Web 2.0 is both an approach to web development AND a web design movement. Before there was a 2.0 style, there was Grunge. Before Grunge, there was the First Generation. Before that there was BBS’s and ANSI graphics…

    You’re dead on that a new “look” will emerge, but what that look is…we don’t yet know.

  115. Idea Grapes » 2008年的blog設計趨勢

    Idea Grapes » 2008年的blog設計趨勢

    25 January 2008 @ 04:04PM #

    […] 其實所謂「Web 2.0的設計風格」這種東西一直是個假議題,我很同意Elliot的看法。從前面提到手繪風的流行,也表現出大家對於圓角、漸層、閃亮按鈕(rounded corners, gradients, shiny buttons)這些東西膩了,相信大部份的設計師都會對此感到很開心。 […]

  116. saforge.com [PING]

    saforge.com [PING]

    25 January 2008 @ 08:22PM #

    […] Jay Stocks hinterfragt in seinem Blog-Eintrag den vorherrschenden Trend. Und ich selber schwanke zwischen einem hin und her… Warum? Ist es […]

  117. joergmeyer.de » Destroy the “Web 2.0 Look”

    joergmeyer.de » Destroy the “Web 2.0 Look”

    26 January 2008 @ 12:22AM #

    […] Elliot Jay Stocks, for your wise words at Future of Web Design, New York. Lest every client and every project manager understand the background behind the buzz word […]

  118. positivespaceblog.com [PING]

    positivespaceblog.com [PING]

    26 January 2008 @ 10:31PM #

    […] the “web 2.0″ look, read Elliot’s Presentation from the Future of Web Design […]

  119. joergmeyer.de [PING]

    joergmeyer.de [PING]

    02 February 2008 @ 08:14AM #

    […] Elliot Jay Stocks, for your wise words at Future of Web Design, New York. Lest every client and every project manager understands the meaning of the buzz word “Web […]

  120. monofactor.com [PING]

    monofactor.com [PING]

    11 February 2008 @ 04:28PM #

    […] and, please also check out Elliot Jay Stocks “Destroy the Web 2.0 Look” presentation at Future of Web Design, New York. He explains tons of times better what I […]

  121. Mika Tuupola

    Mika Tuupola

    03 April 2008 @ 03:59PM #

    It just occurred to me that retro and grunge design is trendy at the moment. Wouldn’t that make grungy fonts and textures baa baa of 2008?

    At some point (maybe mid 90’s) black background was considered hip. Then came the anti-black-background movement. There even was a save neutrons campaign. Apparently CRT monitors killed more neutrons producing black pixels. Go figure. Afterwards white became the popular background.

    Web design is like fashion world. Trends come and go. In book Creating Killer Websites from year 1997 Davig Siegel shows people how to make a website which looks like it is drawn on a paper. Coffee cup stains and all. All which Smashing Magazine lists as trendy design elements at the moment.

    Yes, so called web 2.0 style is overused. But it is not all bad. It has made websites more usable.

  122. Malik


    26 May 2008 @ 07:03AM #

    This is soooo hilarious and I can’t wait to finish going through it haha

  123. Clem


    24 June 2008 @ 07:20PM #

    Didn’t the interface designer for http://www.delicious-monster.com move over to that in-house design team at Apple? :/

  124. Clem


    24 June 2008 @ 07:21PM #


  125. barry


    24 June 2008 @ 09:09PM #

    Love it, you have expressed my thoughts exactly!

    I think the reflective logo is the biggest crime of the so called web 2.0 aesthetic. The way I see it, a webpage is a flat document, trying to introduce some extra dimension and depth in the form of making the logo appear to be standing on a reflective surface will more often than not cause confusion.

    I also loathe the special offer stamp, so tacky but unfortunately it works in the same way as it does on a cereal pack, which is why businesses like them.

  126. llustre


    25 June 2008 @ 07:21PM #


    it’s great!!

    thanks for your help!!


  127. Caleb


    01 July 2008 @ 05:32AM #

    I agree with your point about destroying web 2.0, but it seemed to me that all of your examples of websites breaking away from this “trend” were also examples of WebDesignerWall’s number one 2008 trend: grunge. Theres a point when everything gets old. So i think that rather than just destroying web 2.0, we need to destroy trend.

  128. mga/blog » ¿qué es diseño web?

    mga/blog » ¿qué es diseño web?

    19 July 2009 @ 01:51AM #

    […] Hoy día no nos libramos de esas “modas de diseño web”: ahora se habla de una tal Web 2.0 y un tal AJAX (y no es el héroe mitológico ni el detergente) y que en realidad no son más que apodos (también conocidos como buzzwords) a estilos de diseño, tecnologías o metodologías que existen desde hace rato (más de diez años en el caso de AJAX). No pongo links intencionalmente :). Al parecer no soy el único que detesta (sí, detesta) la compulsividad de algunos a reempaquetar conceptos/ideas/modas en “nuevos e innovadores” conceptos y de otros de seguirlos ciegamente: en 2007 se llevó a cabo la charla Destroy The Web 2.0 Look: […]

  129. .tw | the oeuvre of Tommy Wong

    .tw | the oeuvre of Tommy Wong

    05 January 2010 @ 07:59AM #

    […] Jay Stocks posed a good question in his ‘Destroy The Web 2.0 Look‘ presentation: what is […]

  130. La analogización de lo digital

    La analogización de lo digital

    04 March 2010 @ 03:09PM #

    […] Tras el estadillo punto com, surgió una nueva tendencia liderada de redondeces, brillos y pulidos, según algunos, por Apple. Dicha tendencia acabó degenerando en la mal llamada –por confundir conceptos: lo gráfico con las consecuencias relacionales–  Web2.0. Aquel look, que podríamos comparar en este caso al Styling (vender como nuevo un mismo producto pero con un nuevo aspecto) se puso de moda, y estuvo bien visto durante un tiempo hasta que, como toda moda, acabó dejando de estar vigente y empezó a ser demonizada como, por ejemplo, el siempre interesante Elliot J. Stocks (Destroy the 2.0 look). […]

  131. Web 2.0 « Jay George

    Web 2.0 « Jay George

    14 April 2010 @ 12:39PM #

    […] This post is really in response to a post by Elliot Jay Stocks about the Web 2.0 look. […]

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