Flat web design has gained increasing popularity over the recent years. Microsoft was among the first organizations to use this style in interface. Some people saw it as a backlash against skeuomorphic design that was kicked off by Apple with the iOS interface. Simple images that look like icons are used in identifying apps instead of real-life conversion of objects such as calendar into tiny realistic illustrations. Instead of bringing real life aspects into the interface, this design demonstrates a clear different between tactile objects and technology.
What exactly is flat web design?
Basically, flat web design refers to a minimalistic approach that gives more emphasis to usability. This design approach features open and clean space, bright colors, crisp edges and flat or two-dimensional illustrations.
Before the invention of flat web design, web designers would package websites with animations and flashy illustrations to show off their skills. However, flat web design was discovered and changed all this. It is a pretty straight forward design. Just like the name suggests, it is a flat design and it allows designers to create a website without having to add dimensional attributes, gradients, shadows or bevels and other effects. It is important to note that being flat doesn’t mean that the design does not have effects at all. It simply means that it does not use effects in creating dimension and depth. It focuses more on solid colors, simpler UI elements and typography. Over the recent past, flat design has become a dominant trend causing debate among website owners and designers. Currently, there are many sites that are using this design technique.
Websites that are using flat web design
Among the examples of flat web design websites include:
v SpellTower. This is a puzzle game site by Android. It uses different color backgrounds in the layout. To ensure that the game has a simple and clean menu, the site uses some buttons and big images. http://www.spelltower.com
v Microsoft’s web page. This website uses similar approach with large text and big images. It uses the entire width of the browser when it is resized. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/stories/design/
v Build windows. Flat web design is also used in Build windows which is another website by Microsoft. This website works great on mobile and full size browsers. http://www.buildwindows.com/
v Kickfolio: This is a slick site for iPhone. It uses buttons and solid colors as well as modern effects. https://app.io/
v Oak.is. this site creates graphic solutions such as fonts. Flat web design makes this website responsive with a fantastic look. http://oak.is/
v Plover. This is a website that allows users to create photo galleries and sell prints. Through this website, users can also save images in the cloud. The design makes this site simple and responsive. https://plover.co/
v Rdio: This site works as a web library for songs that users can listen online. It is a nice website with sections that can be viewed as screenshots. The grids of this site are very responsive. http://www.rdio.com/
v Osborn Barr: This website features easy to read text and huge pictures that everybody appreciates upon visiting this website. Flat web design makes the site responsive despite having huge pictures and texts. http://www.osborn-barr.com/
These are examples of flat web design websites. There are many other websites that use this design such as CottagePages, CreativeStatus, and Lowdi amongst others. Recently, companies like Google and Windows paved way to the renaissance of flat web design. Many companies are moving towards a clean and effortless approach that gives the user a better experience, which is essential for the success of any business. Perhaps, you may still be wondering what is so great about flat web design.
(Xero's guide to cloud computing uses flat design to make its message easy to follow)
What is so great about flat web design?
Essentially, there are many factors that influence companies and businesses to prefer this web design process. Among the major reasons for choosing flat web design include:
By using fresh coding, flat design has enabled designers and creatives to come up with attractive websites with ease. In the past, fancy graphics had to be used to make a website attractive. However, technological advancement that comes with this design allows the creation of fancy websites to be simple and easy.
v Content focus
The main purpose of developing a website is to sell a product, service or communicate with the audience. As such, content plays a very significant role in ensuring that a website serves the purpose for which it was established. Flat design creates a straightforward way for the users to get a better experience while using the content of the website.
v Efficient and responsive
Using flat web design is making it easy for web designers to come up with responsive website designs. Using this design, designers are able to come up with sites that look great from laptops and Smartphone. Basically, with flat design there is a lot that can be achieved. The load time of websites that use flat design is quicker.
v Clear marketing
Clear marketing is very important for the success of any company. Flat web design makes websites clear and user-friendly. This increases the conversion rate of such companies. The sites are uncomplicated and attractive enabling them to draw more internet users. Call for action buttons are easily accessible to the internet users. This make many people want to use a website because it is attractive, easy to use and access any information that they want.
Basically, the future of user interface design is flat web design. The use of flat design by major technology giants, Google and Microsoft is a clear indication that this design is gaining popularity. Microsoft introduced Windows 8 recently that is being used on PCs and notebooks. The flat design user interface makes perfect for most touchscreen devices such as Ultyrabooks and Surface tablets. The sharp and clean look of Windows 8 makes it perfect for Smartphones.
Google has also started to embrace flat web design by using it in resources and sites catalogue. GoogleNow has also removed static icons replacing them with displays that are of a card size. This has made data making easy. With major technology giants embracing flat web design, it is no doubt that this is the future of user interface.