Web Design Trends: What The H*ll Is Flat Design?

Flat design is a term being thrown around by web designers everywhere at the moment. Not only do Google seem to have a more ‘flat’ logo, Apple’s iPhone interface seems to have gone all ‘flat’ on us too. But what the h*ll is flat, exactly? And why is everyone going so crazy over it? Read on to learn more about the flat design trend:

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People who think flat design is the way forward don’t believe in all of the fancy, extra details you get with some programs and interfaces. Instead, these people believe that graphical user interfaces should forget about style for the moment, and go for functionality. This means getting rid of your fancy beveled edges, forgetting all about gradients, shadows, and reflections, and creating a great user experience that can play to the strength of most digital interfaces.

In web design, flat pages rarely use multi dimensions, shadows, or textures. Instead, designs offering only visual clarity are created.

Great Examples of Flat Design

  • Google Now – this uses a card like system to display it’s information. The information is easy to read and swipe away.
  • Windows 8 – this values the delivery of information with typography over fancy design and graphics.

Against Skeuomorphism

Do you know what skeuomorphism is? It’s an awfully long word, that’s what! It’s also the act of making something look like it’s not, in laymen’s terms. For example, skeuomorphism can be used in web design to make something look like it’s from the physical world; wood textures, leather stitching bordering pages, that kind of thing. Well, flat design is against this completely. Don’t get us wrong, skeuomorphism helped us humans when the internet, computers, and other things were alien to us. The design helped us learn and become familiar with unfamiliar things!

We aren’t saying flat design will last forever, either. Of course web design will move on like it always has, and other design trends will take flat design’s place.

What to Do to Create Your Own Flat Design

To create your own flat design, you’ll need to take a minimalistic approach to designing, that emphasises usability. You’ll have lots of clean, crisp, open space, bright colours, and only two dimensional or flat illustrations. If this sounds too much for you, try out Ahoy, who specialise in web design, Manchester.

Don’t worry though – just because flat design lacks flashy features, it doesn’t have to be boring. Use bright, contrasting colours to make buttons pop out of backgrounds and grab attention. Centre all of your design elements on the idea of simplicity; use solid colours to replace illustrative detail, keep your text clear and to the point, and make sure your buttons and links remain clear and noticeable.

The way big companies like Google and Microsoft have gone for flat design proves that it’s the way forward…for now. At the moment, simple, clear, concise sites are highly sought after, but that’s not to say that skeuomorphic design or another kind of design won’t take it’s place in the future. Go with the flow of web design trends to create amazing sites for your clients!