Web 2.0 in itself is an ever-evolving definition of design standards.
At best, Web 2.0 stands as an equal to the traditional design rules and principles practiced for centuries and it will inevitably merge with Web 3.0.
Countless examples of Web 2.0 sites have pushed the bouderies of what was once considered strong design. In many cases Web 2.0 has strengthened common design misnomers; it places a focus on usability, User eXperience, and readability.
Web 2.0 websites allow users to do more than just retrieve information. They can build on the interactive facilities of "Web 1.0" to provide "Network as platform" computing, allowing users to run software-applications entirely through a browser. Users can own the data on a Web 2.0 site and exercise control over that data. These sites may have an "Architecture of participation" that encourages users to add value to the application as they use it.
The concept of Web-as-participation-platform captures many of these characteristics. Often refered to as, Web 2.0 the "participatory Web" and regards the Web-as-information-source as Web 1.0.
The main characteristics of Web 2.0 are: rich user experience, user participation, dynamic content, metadata, web standards and scalability.
Further characteristics, such as openness, freedom and collective intelligence by way of user participation, can also be viewed as essential attributes of Web 2.0.
Web 2.0 draws together the capabilities of client- and server-side software, content syndication and the use of network protocols. Standards-oriented web browsers may use plug-ins and software extensions to handle the content and the user interactions. Web 2.0 sites provide users with information storage, creation, and dissemination capabilities that were not possible in the environment now known as "Web 1.0".
Web 2.0 websites typically include some of the following features and techniques. Andrew McAfee used the acronym SLATES to refer to them:
Finding information through keyword search.
Connects information together into a meaningful information ecosystem using the model of the Web, and provides low-barrier social tools.
The ability to create and update content leads to the collaborative work of many rather than just a few web authors. In wikis, users may extend, undo and redo each other's work. In blogs, posts and the comments of individuals build up over time.
Categorization of content by users adding "tags" - short, usually one-word descriptions - to facilitate searching, without dependence on pre-made categories. Collections of tags created by many users within a single system may be referred to as "folksonomies" (i.e., folk taxonomies).
Software that makes the Web an application platform as well as a document server.
The use of syndication technology such as RSS to notify users of content changes.