Flat design is quickly becoming a design standard and this is not a trend business owners should ignore. Flat design is characterized by simple interfaces that lack 3D elements such as shadowing, bevels, gradients, and textures. Flat design favors function over style; there is an emphasis on solid colors, typography, and simplicity. In the early days of mobile technology and website design, realistic and textured design helped provide visual cues so users could navigate these new environments. As nearly all users are now familiar with these functions, flat design is more desirable.
What are the Advantages of Flat Design?
Flat design makes much more sense for mobile platforms and smaller tablet screens. Minimal user interfaces make the best use of white space, are faster to render, and utilize clearer and less cluttered navigation elements. Flat design often requires fewer images and is less complicated to code. This type of design translates more easily to mobile devices, so designers can spend less time designing mobile pages. Browser compatibility is also rarely an issue with flat interfaces, since the features are so simple and fewer images are used. Flat design also features clean and modern branding and graphic design elements that are more appealing to younger audiences, yet easier to navigate to older users.
Flat Design in Action
When Microsoft unveiled the Windows 8 operating system earlier this year, it was praised as embracing flat design. In this newest operating system, Miscrosoft removed superfluous clutter and simplified icons. Windows 8 utilizes a tile interface that allows users to access apps, programs, and favorite websites directly from the start screen. The result is improved clarity and ease of use. Microsoft's move toward embracing simplicity is also an intentional move to cater to the needs of younger, savvier technology users. For example, users who grew up primarily dealing with technology are less likely to relate to the textures and dimensionality that once characterized app and web design.
While it's wise to be cautious of embracing every branding and graphic design trend that comes along, you also don't want to be left behind. Your customers will definitely take notice. Flat design makes sense from a design perspective, but also for the functionality of your website. As this design trend makes the move toward the design standard, don't wait too long to redesign your website.
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