Web 3.0 otherwise known as the third generation internet is the next evolution of the World Wide Web. Web 3.0 is a paradigm shift in the internet that employs a more machine based understanding of data with the objective of developing a more intelligent and connected web experience for users.
Web 2.0 or as we are currently experiencing it is static. It does not cater or adjust to the individual needs of different users experiencing it. Web 3.0 promises to be more dynamic and interactive. It uses artificial intelligence and blockchain to completely redefine the web experience with structural changes to create a lot more transparency across all aspects of the internet. In Web 3.0 data is stored more securely, thus ensuring more privacy for users and completely eliminating the need for centralized servers. This kind of data design significantly reduces the risk of massive data leaks. Since data is no longer on a centralized server, it cannot be easily compromised.
What is Web 3.0?
To understand Web 3.0 components let’s go back to the start of and first understand the roots of Web 1.0.
Web 1.0 was nothing but a set of links, and the creation of content was limited to an exclusive group of people. Other users were simply consumers, who consumed the content provided by this exclusive group.
Web 2.0 evolved to allow anyone to create content on the platform. Now everyone could be both a consumer and creator. The platform that was created was facilitated by centralized organizations that controlled all the content. Popular pages that emerged during this time were Facebook, and Google, that were majorly responsible for user’s data, search results, friends list etc.
Now we come to Web 3.0 that is moving towards a fully decentralized application of the internet. The term Web 3.0, was coined by reporter John Markoff of The New York Times in 2006, refers to a new evolution of the Web which includes specific innovations and practices. Data that belongs to users is anonymous and the internet runs on blockchain technology. For designers wanting to enter this new industry, an understanding of blockchain technology is crucial for designing for this newer audience.
Users have more control over their data and content and they can sell and trade their data without losing ownership, risking their privacy or relying on intermediaries. In this kind of business model, users can log into a website without fearing that their identity is being tracked.
The key to the innovation in Web 3.0 is the digitisation of assets via tokenization. Tokenization converts assets and rights into a digital representation, or token, on a blockchain network. These fungible tokens and cryptocurrency are a new form of digital currency that can be easily exchanged across networks. This makes commerce and finance a lot more democratized as anyone can sell and buy these tokens. Non fungible tokens (NFTs) are units of data that represent unique assets such as avatars, digital art, or trading cards, that can be owned by users and monetised for their own gain.
8 Features That Can Help Us Distinguish Web 3.0
- Semantic Web: Semantic web essentially improves the abilities of web technologies to generate, share and connect content through search and analysis by understanding the meaning of words (or semantics) rather than filtering through them on the basis of keywords and numbers.
- Artificial Intelligence: By combining semantic capabilities with natural language processing, computers have the capability of becoming more intelligent and better satisfying the needs of users.
- 3D Graphics: Three dimensional design will be used extensively in websites and services in Web 3.0
- Connectivity: With Web 3.0, information is more connected thanks to semantic metadata.
- Ubiquity: Internet content and services can be accessed anywhere at any time via any number of devices, rather than exclusively via computers and smartphones. The growth of IoT devices will take this feature to new levels.
- Blockchain: With blockchain technology, user data is protected and encrypted. This prevents large companies from controlling and/or using users’ personal data for their gain.
- Decentralized: Users maintain ownership over their data and digital assets and are able to log in securely over the internet without being tracked.
- Edge Computing: Web 3.0 relies on the advance of edge computing in which apps and data are processed at the network edge on devices such as mobile phones, laptops, appliances, sensors and even smart cars.
How Can Designers Enter This New Industry?
Case studies are a good starting point for designers looking to understand more about Web 3.0. After you have a decent understanding of the blockchain from a design perspective, you can start to get a feel for the current ecosystem. Follow the trendsetters and forerunners in different niches in this industry. Web 3.0 is no longer a distant dream but a very foreseeable reality. Understanding the language, design principles of Web 3.0 and knowing how to design for the user is something that all designers will need to learn how to do. By making semantics and natural language processing central components to it, the possibilities are endless.