We love the Swizz, for the chocolates and the picturesque, and now we have the Swiss to thank (or not so much) for the flat design. Yes, the same flat design which most of the iOS 7 users are gushing about, or are they? Is flat website design a revolution or just a twisted attempt as counterfeit creativity? Is it the future of web design, or just a fad which most of the ‘actual’ designers simply cannot wait to get over with? Let us find out, we attempt to rightfully discuss the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of this new approach towards designing for web and digital media. You may want to grab that bowl of popcorns, because we see ‘intense knock down’ lay down on the cards, and as it so happens, we do have certain fortune telling skills, especially if it is the very blog post that we have written.
Understanding Flat Designs
Worry not fellow bloggers and readers, this is not going to be a boring history lecture, because we fully intend in wrapping up quick and getting down and dirty with the knockdown. But before we get there, let us first understand the origin and ideology of Flat design.
In the very beginning, Flat design was still popular as the Swiss Style or the International Typographic Style, and actively voiced in the favor of better content presentation, cleanliness and minimalism. Although the design ideology was actively accepted and practiced by the Russians, the Germans and the Netherlands, it was primarily the Swiss that actually gave this design ideology the global recognition in the 50’s.
Where it was the Swizz in the 1950s, today we have the likes of Apple Inc, fiercely accepting and thereby promoting the design ideology. Their latest operating system update, iOS 7, makes complete use of the flat design ideology and is a stark drift from the usually visually exuberant and strong design interface, which the previous Apple’s system updates were so popular for. This is a narrow representation of the worldwide trend, where Flat designs are actively taking over the conventional Skeumorphic design ideology. Where the Skeumorphic designs have their focus set on glitz, glamour and hardcore design elements, flat designing is a complete 180 degree shift, and is more focused at involving the complex human imagination and perception into the picture.
Is Flat Design worth its Mettle?
All the talks about imagination and perception and creativity are all good, and quite tempting too frankly, but does this recent trend has what it takes to become the next big thing in the world of digital media? Are we ready to unleash the power of our creativity and solely depend on the power of good quality content and typography with barely any design elements? Let us find out below, as we discuss the various merits and demerits of the design philosophy.
The Merits of Flat Design
First, let us just hear the case out, which the flat web design enthusiasts have been trying to make. It is okay if you are a Skeumorphic loyalist, it would still not hurt to know what the other party is bringing to the table, right? So, bear with us, as we count the merits of this design concept, and those of you who are in the favor of Flat Designing, do remind us of any feature which we forget underneath, in the comments section at the end of the post. So, here go the merits:
Well yeah, this is the case with flat web designs – they are naturally responsive. Although that is not really a technical term, but we know we cannot get arrested for conducting our own experiments with the language. Anyway, so a definite merit of flat design is that it can be easily viewed from different devices, including smart phones, tablets, desktops and laptops – so the user can view the website from practically any source.
Flat design is Trendy!
Well, you may like it or hate it, but you simply cannot deny the fact that the Flat designs are the latest talk of the town. Enough of those colossal and copious 3-D effects and cumbersome designs, looking at a simplistic and minimal flat design, is actually a visual retreat of the sorts. In the present day world, where there is an overwhelming need for simplifying things, Flat Design is as simple and uncomplicated as it can ever possibly get.
Visually appealing designs
As we have already mentioned and we would like to reiterate the fact that flat designs do visually stimulate and appeal to us at an altogether different level. They have actually totally defined and revamped user experience.
As discussed above, flat design is all about beautiful and though provoking representation of the content, and it hardly come a surprise to see Flat design and the developments in the field of Typography are supplementing each other. Simply abiding by the present day trends, typography and minimalistic flat designs is exceptionally eye catching and superlatively alluring.
Demerits of Flat Design
Okay, the conventional Skeumorphic Nazis can rejoice now, as we are going to elucidate upon the bad and the ugly part of Flat web designs:
- It limits the scope available for designers, since they are more concerned about keeping things simple. And there is only so much that you can do to render justice to functionality, while keeping things simple.
- Flat designs limits the usage of various tools and techniques which the designers and developers have grown used to as of now. It does not support animation and is not really an ideal situation for utilizing other tricks and tips.
- It is time consuming to adjust the complex and chunks of data and functionalities into uber minimal and simple flat design. The design concept may be ideal, but we live in the real world, where we have to cater to the needs of time and money both.
Thus, it is really a personal call to opt for flat design or not. There is no doubting the fact that the popularity of flat designs is alarming, and with due stress being laid on content marketing optimization and infographics, flat designs is a trend one must definitely consider, if not completely acquire.