Flat User interface design is one of the most popular and talked about trends on the web. It is opposite to the skeuomorphic style that produces the effect of real-life properties through three-dimensional illusions. The increase in popularity of the flat ui design started with the release of Apple iOS 7, Windows 8 and Google’s material design.
The Flat design originally developed for responsive design that scales the content of a website to fit with the screen size of the device. Flat design is very effective for responsive design work with the use of minimal textures and simple shapes and it can help to load fast. A streamlined and optimal User Experience can be there with flat design because of the reduced amount of visual noise.
Designers often voice their concerns about whether the flat design trend will be a lasting one or will simply be a fad. Moreover, the absence of three-dimensional effects can take away the cues that can help to know how a user makes interaction with the design. Regardless of the concern for the future of flat design, most designers try to implement the trend in their work, and in the following paragraphs, you can find about the design in more detail.
What is Flat Design?
Flat design as indicated by its name, defines the flatness of style, and it simplifies an interface and removes the extra elements like the textures, bevels, shadows, and gradients that create a 3D look. The idea behind the flat design is to create a finished design based on two dimensions without sacrificing the functionality of a regular interface. It can become harder for the designer as it may become difficult to define the main elements and actions in a design without decorations and effects.
The flat design originates from the wish to create an open canvas and a more digital interface design in digital applications. It does not abandon skeuomorphism entirely; rather it focuses on rendering the objects in a flat minimalist form. Flat designs try to produce the best effects with simple flat elements like flat color schemes, typography, etc.
Flat design can have added benefit as it is not restricted for providing aesthetics only. The use of a 2-dimensional approach can be easier for responsive design buildings that can adapt to different browser sizes and different screens. The introduction of flat design is mainly due to the advent of mobile users where it can perform excellently.
A flat design can be appealing based on the way for implementation like the use of attention-grabbing bright colors can be useful to make images or icons that can be stand out from background easily. The clever use of the design can be very helpful to guide the user’s eyes to see what the designers want them to see. Simplicity in flat design by removing unnecessary clutters can convey the message more clearly and help the users to understand it easily.
How you can create a flat design?
The ui design approach for flat designs can be easy for the designers if the designers can focus on a few fundamental processes. Here you can find the few important actions that you need to take as a designer to make a brilliant flat design.
While creating a button, the use of a gradient, border, and drop-shadow can make the element stand prominent against the content and background. However, for creating a flat button, you cannot use these details and your focus should be on the color contrast and grid organization. You can use shadow and bevel as long as you can keep the button look flat and simple.
Forms remain a crucial element to make the right quality of flat design and here the text areas, dropdowns, and inputs should not use inset shadows. You can try to change it by styling the form elements with CSS by yourself or you can try using a plugin in the way you want.
In flat design, typography remains a very important element and it has a very minimalistic interface. You can make use of typography to create the mood and style that you are looking for. By making custom and specific font having a flat design outline, you can easily set a mood.
Color palette remains the fundamental aspect of designing an interface and in flat design interface, the color scheme tends to be brighter and bolder than other color palates. The ui design maker always ensures to maintain the same color for buttons like the ‘Send’, ‘Submit’ or ‘See More’, etc. You may also decide to choose a secondary button color and use one button like ‘submit’ with the primary color and ‘cancel’ with the secondary color.
Apart from making the button square or square with rounded shapes, you can use other shapes too like circles or triangles and even you can use custom shapes creatively. You need to maintain consistency throughout the interface controls and need to organize the content in such a way that the users can identify or recognize the totes, controls, and content easily.
Use of flat design
Though it may be simple to create a minimalistic and light interface, you should use flat design moderately, as it may not be right for every website. It may be great while designing a web tech startup site or a portfolio, but there can be a limitation when you try to create something more complex. For example, to make a website for children, the use of animation and colorful fun elements may be excellent or on a gaming website, you may need to use graphics and effects extensively.
You can make such a website with the flat design but it can do more harm to your website. Therefore, you need to keep in mind the target audience and message that you are trying to convey. Do not try to make a visual style more important than the content of your website as usability in flat design is more important than looks.
You can carry out a test for prototypes or mockups with real people to ascertain that your efforts for flat design will meet its objectives. A/B testing can also be effective to test two types of design and to understand which design will be effective. It will be the job of a designer to ensure that the design aesthetics do not hurt usability. Tests with the users can always be better than making a brilliant visual work of the design for a false satisfaction.
The minimalist approach in UI design is the basis of flat design and it tries to reduce the complexity of the design and focus on providing enhanced user experience. You need to research to understand what your users want and you should not rely on any standard UI design approach, before getting the input of your users.