Tips from NextWeb on how to make your Web 2.0 site look great, without the now typical shadow effects, 3d and bling.
Main points: use lots of whitespace, carefull selection of typography, and grey scaling.
So what is it that all these site have in common?
1. Grids and white space
Order your site with mathematical precision, create a grid where each column has a certain width, and stick to that format. Another thing is making things stand out not by making them really big, but by adding a lot of white space around it, some things on Hulu just needs to be clicked because there is noting else that catches the eye. Mark Boulton wrote a good tutorial about it, Khoi Vinh wrote a blog post accompanied with a pdf for it.
There is a lot more into typography than only choosing which font you are going to use. Without even changing the font you can already differ two text blocks from each other in different line-height, different grey scales, and different sizes. Once again Mark Boulton wrote a wonderful series. Another good point to start with is Oliver Reichensteins article about typography.
3. Colors, and shades of grey
I already mentioned the use of different shades of grey to differ texts in importance, and especially sticking to one or two colors and grey can be easy tools to create an attractive yet clean site. Flickr especially manages the grey tones pallet very well. Veerle wrote a good article and ColorLovers and Adobe’s Kuler are worth visiting too