Flat design is a simple graphic style with no visual excesses. The flat style contrasts with skepticism , or realism, an approach that seeks to represent effects that bring created items closer to reality.
A realistic icon representing a phone function, for example, creates an instant association with the image of a physical phone with all the shadows, highlights, and details; the flat design , by contrast, is a simple, recognizable and representative image, but without trying to mimic 3D effects.
Realism enthusiasts claim that style provides objects that are more visually appealing and therefore more recognizable. Flat designers argue that users of digital devices have become technology natives and no longer need the high degree of fidelity to real objects. For flat fans, simpler designs are more honest and reliable because they do not try to forge 3D effects.
The launch of Windows 8 is considered by many to be the milestone of the emergence of Flat Design as a trend. Of course, before that practice was already on several other products (mainly mobile), but once a software giant applies new aesthetic rules on its flagship product, it carries a legion of followers.
It was enough to ensure the popularization of this style. After Windows, the entire Office suite became Flat and Apple surprised everyone by announcing the iOS7 with minimalist applications and without its traditional decorativism.
From night to day the collective conscience decided to stop loving the textures and started to want simple interfaces, vibrant colors and light fonts. We were behind the main factors responsible for this trend. Here are some of them:
As a connected culture, we deal with a flow of information that never stops. Part of it is important and relevant, most do not. We are constantly evaluating, filtering and creating content: this is very exhaustive.
Much of our content consumption is now on mobile phones and tablets, small screens increase the feeling of overhead. It is very easy to feel bombarded by information and a reduction in this mess will surely create a greater tranquility for the user.
It is consensual among users, developers, and designers that the functionality of a tool, coupled with its design, can not fail. Simple, niche-focused ideas are being developed faster and faster with more agile methodologies (such as Lean UX ) – Flat design has enabled more functionality to be delivered in less time with an MVP to users.
When a new device or technology enters the market, we are fascinated by what they can do and by the way they can improve interactivity; and the focus on the interfaces turns out to be focused on content as well. We want to consume text, audio and video in the most intuitive way possible, so we do not want interfaces that hinder us instead of helping.
We saw that smartphones and tablets quickly penetrated all demographic markets and this made worrying about teaching the obvious device controls lessened. Unlike when the concern of the designer was that the user failed to push a button if it does not emerge as a pop-up on the screen, we are now looking to explore the microinteracoes , more subtle and persuasive.
As the range of device screen sizes increased, interfaces needed to be more fluid. The Design Responsive attended this flexibility demands, but without being attached to any aesthetic style. Flat interfaces certainly fit better than other styles.
To the extent that the size of the screens and pixel density begins to increase in mobile devices, smaller letters and thinner ( light ) can be displayed with clarity. Another advantage of the minimalist design is the reduction of page size and load time.
This new way of designing is not just another trend. We have seen the reasons that make Flat Design a manifestation of the desire for more authenticity in the interfaces. But calm down! Placing the Flat as the opposite of Realism does not mean that you should abolish the texture, shadows, etc. The important thing remains to design unique interfaces that are intuitive for users and that support the developer’s goals.
Is that you? Do you think that the Flat is here to stay, or is there going to be another fashion style? Leave a Reply We want your opinion!