Exploring the Evolution of the Flat Design Revolution
The Appeal of Flat DesignThe benefits of flat design are written right on the surface. Take a good, long, look at a flat UI and you’ll really start to appreciate how what you see is what you get.
For example, as shown by the Danish home goods retailer Helbak (above), flat design gives users exactly what they want and need: the content. In this case, there’s only enough navigation for someone to browse products, while the rest of the interface dedicates itself to high-resolution product images. Set against a grid of muted colors, the interface is meticulously organized yet visually interesting.
In fact, the three main reasons flat design is thriving today are:
- It’s simple and intuitive – As modern technology (both software and hardware) strives for simpler learning curves, simple interfaces feel like a very natural means to that end. Like we described in Web Design for the Human Eye, removing unnecessary clutter and sticking with the basics allows users to focus on their tasks and experiences, which themselves are becoming more involved.
- It’s perfect for responsive and adaptive design – Because flat design is naturally minimalist and grid-dependent, the content easily shifts whether you’re working with an adaptive framework (one design per device) or a responsive framework (one design that shifts based on device). Less items on screen also means less data to process on the back-end, which speeds up load times for all devices.
- Self-perpetuating popularity – No one admits to following the crowd, but when all the big players in web design are doing something similar, the smaller players are going to take notice and do the same. While this wave will crest at some point, flat design is built upon enough solid usability principles that it will certainly reincarnate (to a certain degree) in whatever new design philosophy strikes next.