Minimalism and simplicity don’t always come cheap and they certainly aren’t chosen for their low-budget appeal. Apple, Microsoft and Android have all embraced the Flat Design mentality when it has come to some of their applications as well as their Web properties and the concept has been widely extended from examples like e-Wallet sites to News sites who wish to offer a cleaner and more user-friendly option to their customers. But with all that in mind, is Flat Design here to stay or is it just a fad that’s been picked up by some big admirers?
The Bauhaus-inspired theme has fast become a hit-sensation for large swathes of the web and with industry-leaders like Microsoft paying homage to the style, it does look set to stay at least for the meanwhile. But what makes it so appealing? As a user, when you go to a website that inundates you with flashy pop-ups and exploding colours, the text and purpose of it is often over-powered and even lost. Imagine a stock trader looking at the latest markets news and instead of seeing the normal green and red numbers, they were lambasted with each line of stock on their screen being presented in a different colour or typeface and with figures jumping all over the place – that would be the antithesis of a satisfactory user experience! Information needs to be presented clearly and in preferably in a straightforward manner, and this is something that flat design can offer.
There are many examples of designers who have tried to over-complicate the true purpose of flat design and in an attempt to make their sites more user-friendly, only to end up with an adverse effect. Long-shadows need to be used sparingly and skeuomorphic background textures need to stay true to form rather than take on an interpretation of the real-world alternative they are trying to portray. Buttons need not be grotesque 3D pop-outs, but only needs to bear some resemblance to the shape or style in which a user will recognize and not be confused as to what you are offering.
We will delve deeper into this topic in the near future with more article posts to come – in the meantime, be sure to take a look at some of the examples we’ve highlighted throughout our site, and keep the mantra of ‘less is more’ of minimalism in mind as you go on your journey!