There was a time when web designers believed in showing off their skills with flashy animations and illustrations as then, those were supposed to wow viewers. The emphasis then shifted towards skeuomorphic design, a layout that tried to bring real life to computer screens, with the help of drop shadows, faux-realistic textures and real object characteristics. However, today, the scenario is pretty different. Nowadays, a web design company is more in favor of flat user interface, which is quite the opposite of all the former trends.
What is flat UI design?
It is a minimalistic design approach that focuses on usability. It features neat and clean design, open space, bright colors, crisp edges and two dimensional or flat illustrations. It is different from the former trends in the sense that it is not into realistic illustration but a flat design that uses apps with simple, icon-styled images. Rather than bringing in several aspects of real life to an interface, a flat UI showcases distinct tactile objects and technology.
Minimalist does not have to be boring
Ornamental elements are as good as clutter to a flat UI. It believes that an aspect that serves no purpose is simply a distraction for the user. Countering exactly this is the main motto of a flat design. However, only because it does not include flashy design elements does not mean that it is boring. Bright and contrasting colors are used to make the buttons and illustrations pop from the backgrounds, easily grab attention and guide the eyes of the user. The main purpose of keeping the design minimalistic is not to make it decorative but functional.
Easy to grasp
Simple images are easier to grasp as compared to detailed illustrations. The icon-like images indicate universal purposes and actions so that every user can understand them.
When should a web design company use a Flat UI?
Flat user interface is an extremely modern, clean and stylish design that go well with SEO, web design and marketing and digital industries. However, it is certainly not fit for being used in industries like dry cleaning. It is better used for web related and technical websites.
A flat user interface has been used by Apple, Google+ and Microsoft; hence, you need not worry about it affecting your programs and OSes in any way. If you need further assurance, let me tell you that experts have predicted that the trend is here to stay. Blogs especially look great in such a layout, as things look clean, simple and fresh, which is obviously much better than having a site that is cluttered with ads and graphics. Moreover, it is also an exciting challenge for the designers, as they need to create sites that have no room for errors.
Why should you use it?
Firstly, it looks very good on all computers and browsers. You won’t have to deal with cross compatibility browser issues that you get with shadows, gradients etc.; it also looks good in different screen resolutions. Using such a site is also easier on the eyes as it is less cluttered and easy to navigate as well.
Benefits outweigh its downfalls
Its first drawback is that flat UI may be stylish and modern, but the people using it may not be. Some people who may be using it, won’t just get it and this is exactly what will put them off. We cannot really imagine our parents using it without any problem. Or can we?
This obviously is no issue at all if you have a defined target audience; if it’s the young lot, it’s absolutely well and good. Flat UI is also great from the point of view of a designer, as it leaves very little room for making mistakes. You cannot cover up the imperfections with a gradient or a shadow. It is clean, sharp and crisp, very visible to all users. Do not take me wrong, as I am not saying that designers cover up errors, all I am trying to say is that it is just another pain in coding and designing.
The sharp and clean flat UI design can be simply great when a web design company manages to do it properly. It is obviously not meant for all types of websites and for all sorts of users; nonetheless, it is here to stay, influencing a great number of websites, programs, apps, graphic design etc.