Flat design isn’t a new thing, but it’s widespread adoption is definitely more recent. I’ll admit I’m biased, I prefer flat design over the look of Web 2.0 or the most recent Apple-perpetrated skeuomorphism. But the question is: trend or here to stay?
Flat design is taking over, and, at least in my opinion, seems like the last stop on the train that is web design. You know, until we all have subretinal implants and holograph technology (Windows is trying their little heart out on that one). Flat design is simple, clean and straight-forward. It is scalable, and more or less distraction-free. In a world dominated by mobile interaction and boundless digital noise it seems that flat design makes evermore sense.
Flat design tells me that we’ve evolved a greater understanding of web design, information flow and how we interact online. A sort of belated supply and demand. Thinking back, the internet’s really only been a thing since the mid 90s and even more realistically most of us probably didn’t have regular interaction online until social networks exploded in the early aughts. So it took time, but we finally have design for the masses.
Let’s break it down.
- Flat design doesn’t try to hide anything. It’s simple. The main focus is content.
- The lack of clutter makes it clean and understandable.
- With simplicity comes an easily scalable design framework, perfect for a mobile-first approach, and mobile devices.
- A simple and understandable website affords us all more time watching youtube videos of that cat doing that thing. Okay, admittedly that’s still the internet, but my point is we spend less time looking for info because we know where it should be.
The learning curve for flat design is far smaller than any other design, because there are fewer elements to distract from the flow.
Allow me to play devil’s advocate here for a second. For web designers and developers alike, skeuomorphism is a word we shall not speak (Voldemort, Voldemort, Voldemort!), but there is something inherently understandable about a button that looks and acts like a button. Flat buttons, or buttons that are simply an outline with text may not be inherently understandable as buttons to an older demographic. The same can be said about the hamburger menu icon. These are new design elements that came right in with the mobile revolution.
You can’t win them all, but I believe flat design is here to stay. I for one welcome it with open arms. I mean, how much more can we streamline design online? What do you guys think? Tell us in the comments below.