We’ve briefly discussed Web 2.0. To clear up a commonly held yet mistaken belief, I quote Wikipedia:

It is a common misconception that “Web 2.0” refers to various visual design elements such as rounded corners or drop shadows. While such design elements have commonly been found on popular Web 2.0 sites, the association is more one of fashion, a designer preference which became popular around the same time that “Web 2.0” became a buzz word.

Still, whether they are a part of Web 2.0 or not, it is fairly clear that rounded corners are all the rage right now, and if you feel like jumping on the bandwagon, the above link can teach you how. But it doesn’t just teach you how–it gives you 25 different ways to do it, linking you to tutorials on other sites that all take slightly different approaches to the problem. Yes, there’s that many possibilities.

I’m not going to get into why one should or should not adopt the rounded corners trend. It is, in the end, still a matter of personal preference, and I’m sure we, as designers, can all form our own opinions of whether they are stylish or tacky. It is, however, important to note rounded corners’ impact on web design. Because of the way HTML and CSS are designed, following a box model, it’s always been easy to set up a layout with rectangles and squares–in other words, hard 90-degree angles. The “discovery” of rounded corners represents web designers finding a way to free themselves of traditional constraints of HTML and CSS. It also represents the fact that it is possible to do virtually anything in CSS, even if at first glance it might not seem like you’d be able to do such a thing, just as long as you get creative and/or sneaky with your code.