There have been quite a few leaps and bounds that web design has taken in the recent years. Simplifications and minimalism is amongst the few that have drastically changed the entire realm of design in the digital space hence the emergency of ‘flat design’. What we would see in the yester years was web designers showing off all their skills and knowledge in their sites by over packing then with animation, graphics, over the top textures, shadow work and illustrations to grab and wow the traffic.
But today it’s the new world; we are dealing with highly evolved traffic. And our visitors are more visually exposed and developed. The designs today are more user-centric being easy to get around and comprehend. And we see the trend of flat design, a classic and simplified design philosophy that is way more aesthetic than its ancestors.
What is this so called Flat Design?
A design approach that uses minimalist and concentrates on usability is flat design. A great example is the UI of Windows 8. This design philosophy employs clean element with sharp edges, oodles of open spaces and a bright color palette. Even the illustrations seen on such designs are either flat or 2 dimensional. The images are all icon like and highly simplified.
Flat design stands on the principle of minimalist
This philosophy regards ornamentation as clutter and pointless. It is believed that if an element has no function it is just a hindrance to the user and should not be there. Hence, the emergence and belief of the principle of minimalism.
But do not confuse this with ‘being boring’, these design use bright colours and smart edgy illustrations that engage the user and guide him around the pages. Flat design is brilliant because it concentrates solely on the content and usability subtracting needless distractions, that usually loose traffic.
With responsive design being the need of the hour, flat UI design is also on the rise. Since this allows seamless transitions between the mobile and desktop layouts.
Much easier to understand
The simplification of images to convey the message of the content makes them easier to understand. Thereby, taking away the requirement for long copy and excessive content. Since icons are universal understood and images in flat design are over simplifies giving them an icon-like feel.
What flat design teaches us?
This type of design principle is taking us back to the basics in many ways. You need to unlearn a lot of stuff that you may have collected over the years. Showing only what is really necessary. The website must work well not just look good. Focusing solely on the user and his experience when he visits the website.
How exactly does flat design work?
-In order to design a flat website, you must concentrate on the concept of simplicity.
-Make use of solid and vivid colors and their tones that emphasis the elements that need importance.
-Use san-serif fonts that will add to the clean, sharp imagery.
-Have to the point concise content and text .i.e remove anything that is not necessary.
-Buttons, links and click-able parts must be apparent. And only elements that have a function should find a place on the page.
-Visitors must know what is click-able and what is not. Maybe use light, 2 dimensional shadows to show click-able elements.
-The over all flow of the page must be seamless.
Not all website can use flat design. It depends on the purpose of the site. You should check out this link to see some amazing examples of flat designs used on the web to get inspired. Look around to see what some great sites are doing with this style and see what you can do for your next assignment with these principles.
To know about other emerging trends in web design check out this article.