Designing flat is something 2013 has brought to the table. In fact it's now the standard for new websites. For a change we have Microsoft to blame (or thank depending on how you look at it) instead of Apple. With iOS7, Apple have actually taken on board what others are doing.
So will flat designs be the future or is it just a fad?
We feel that web design is like any market, it follows a fashion. Whether you are talking about clothes, furniture or cars, there’s a trend that is followed. The difference is that web design despite being old is still a young industry and it is moving at an amazing rate. What is possible today with HTML5 and CSS3 is only the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to come.
Flat design is something that is certainly popular now and everyone is designing to match. 2014 will be the year of flat, simple colours and clear graphics. If you’re not going flat before or in 2014, then you’re going to look dated.
Fluid layouts lend themselves to flat designs. The lack of shadows, bevels or any gradients make it easy to ensure your web design is multi-platform and resolution compatible.
Why is flat website design only becoming popular now?
In the earlier days of web design everyone was obsessed with certain graphical characteristics that could enhance the appearance. In the early days bevelled edges was a big craze, then came gradients followed by shadows. Soon enough each one began to look dated as time went on.
Now all of those methods have been used, a bare bones approach was the only plausible solution left. Many print designers will tell you ”simplicity is best” or “less is more”. 2013 and 2014 are years of ideas and principles from graphic and print design migrating themselves on to the web.
Flat design can come across as boring. If we had flat design in the early days of the web it have been the wrong time to do it. Flat graphics need other characteristics to give them the impact. Prior to CSS3, we were unable to use custom fonts, something that modern design relies heavily upon.
Combined with User Experience (UX), using flat principles can make modern designs come to life. UX is an integral part of website design. The little details are what make modern designs so good. It’s only when you use these principles as standard, you realise just how important they are. Their absence stands out straight away.
Drawbacks of flat design
With flat design it can be a difficult process of giving that impact. Use of either high quality imagery or standout icons is a must.
Colour pallets play a huge part too. It can become time consuming choosing the right combination to give the design its own unique feel as well as standing out from the crowd.
The year ahead
As mobile phones and their apps approach these new flat design ideas, we will see all new websites take that approach. It is not only about joining he craze but being consistent across the board.
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