Is Flat Design a Growing Phase? Since hitting the design scene in early 2012, Flat design or Flat UI has took the web world by storm. Flat Design can be seen everywhere from Apple iPhone interface to Microsoft’s Windows 9 layout. The argument whether the Flat Design Phenomenon will stand the test of time has been debated by designers with questions arising over it will be a lasting trend or just another passing fad.
Before we get into the great flat design examples, let me give you a little background into Flat Design and it’s history. Flat Design is explained as the flatness of style, or simplification of user interface elements. Flat Design is created by removing extra elements such as textures, 3 dimensional elements, gradients and shadows from the design. Flat design exploits the use of minimalistic icons while following the Principles of Flat Design (you can read more about the Understanding the Principles of Flat Design here)
The idea of Flat Design comes from the basis of a finished design being two-dimensional rather then three-dimensional. Flat UI was creating as a direct result of our growing use of mobile devices. The design aspect behind Flat Design was created as a way to ease navigation on mobile devices by simplifying icons. This design concept is prevalent in the UI development of Microsoft’s Windows 9 tile layout and Mac OSX icons.
The forefather of Flat Design is Microsoft who in 2006 was the first major corporation to show the aspect of Flat Design when they launched their Zune Music player. Even though the music player wasn’t commercially successful. the aspect of using minimalistic icons to allow user to navigate digital scenes was hitting the limelight. Ever since, the Microsoft Flat UI design along side with Microsoft Tile Layout have been the standard for all Flat Design layouts.
Steps to Creating a Flat Design Web Layout
Colors of the Flat Design are expressed in a variety of ways. Color palettes and schemes are displayed with brighter and bolder colors. A great example of Flat Design Color schemes can be viewed below or on Flat UI colors ,which show you, the most popular Flat Design colors being used today
Buttons play a major role in developing a Flat Design layout. In the past web designers would use gradients and drop shadows to develop the aspect of depth when designing buttons. Flat design on the other hand doesn’t use any of these principles rather uses flat colors and borders to display the use of depth.
Plays an important role in the development of a flat design layout. Since the design is more minimalistic. Typography helps display the designer’s mood when designing. Check out The Top 20 Best Flat UI Design Web Fonts
Shapes play a crucial role in developing flat design layout. Flat design allows you to be more creative. By using a variety of shapes such as triangles, circles and squares.
When designing forms for flat design. Remember minimalistic is the key meaning input areas should not have shadows. Since most drop downs in forms have shadows by default. Make sure you change the style of the form in CSS to display a more flat layout. To learn more about Flat Design Login Form using PHP Free Download Click Here.
Flat Design Sum Up
Flat Design is a great design concept when developing more modern designs. Flat design should be used sparingly, every website is different and depending of the site, Flat Design may limit you when developing for more complex websites. Always remember usability is the key. Run live user tests with real people and also do A/B testing as a way to test two different designs to see which one converts more (Learn more about Understanding User Tests, a Important Part of Web Design here). You can create a very unique and beautiful design but if users can not understand it, then you take away from the main purpose.
Is Flat Design a Growing Phase, at the moment this can be debated. At the end of the day the priority in designing a website is to not only create an aesthetically pleasing website, but one that is functional, easy to use, and right for you specific target user.
Written by Jibari Daniels