When the internet was first created, web pages were unidirectional – you could read them, but couldn’t do much else. But then, slowly, more and more interactive sites were created, where a user could collaborate with others to create something, or communicate with people all over the world – Web 2.0!
Web 2.0 is the ‘second generation’ of the Web. It is known for it’s flexibility, simplicity and ease of use. Web 2.0 sites are ones where the site can be edited and uploaded, or people can leave comments. These websites include social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, blogs (like this one) wikis and many more.
What about Web 3.0?
Web 3.0 is a step up from Web 2.0. There is no set definition of Web 3.0, it is still unclear as to what it actually is. However, many people are describing Web 3.0 as taking the internet a step further, moving towards computers helping humans more online. The big parts of Web 3.0 are the Semantic Web and the ‘Internet of Things’.
“The semantic web is an extension of the current web in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation” – Tim Berners-Lee
The semantic web involves computer programmes being able to ‘learn’ what data means so it can be processed easier, making less of a job for humans. Ajax is a great example of the semantic web. Ajax is a client-side script that allows computers to process data to assist people. Features such as type assist, where the computer will give suggestions for you to finish your sentence, like Google suggest; or form assist, where the computer remembers your details so when you start adding them in again the rest will pop up. Another part of Ajax and the semantic web is that it allows you to just refresh part of a page, instead of needing to refresh the whole page.
The ‘Internet of Things’ is commonly referred to as part of Web 3.0. The Internet of Things regards all physical objects that are connected to a network or software. this is very common now in many of the things we use every day, for example – cars, phones, smart watches and GPS’.
The differences between Web 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 can be seen in this table below:
Web 4.0 and 5.0?
Yes, Web 4.0 and 5.0 apparently do also exist. But in my opinion, it’s hard to say what they are, I mean, we aren’t even clear on what exactly Web 3.0 is! But I guess that’s up to the experts to decide. These experts state that Web 4.0 is the ‘Mobile Web’ – connecting devices with the internet.
Web 5.0 is then the ‘Emotional Web’, which is still in development, but it includes the web communicating with people just like a human.
Information Architecture is all about how a website looks and works. It takes into account the functionality, attractiveness, accessibility and usability of a website. Every website must be carefully planned to make a user want to be on the website.
Information architecture plays a big part in letting people have Web 2.0 and 3.0 websites. It is the people that create the websites – the information architects, if you will – that create a website that will let people communicate on the site, or let more than one person edit the site at the same time, like on Google Docs.
When it comes to usability, an information architect also has to consider not only usability on a computer, but on a mobile device also. For web 3.0, having accessible mobile sites that are easy to use is important.