Past, Present and Future
Just Like the fashion industry, design industry too has its own trending styles/themes and or, evergreen style statements that become an all-time favourite among the designers and the market as well. User Interface walks on the same path wherein styles, colour scheme, themes and typography keep on changing along with the trends of the present time period. But, sometimes a style may outlive much longer than perceived and become a safe mode for anybody to play. Flat Design for User Interface is one such design that has become a constant for the design industry and preferred by many for its simplicity and authenticity.
But, what is Flat Design?
User Interface can be created by using any of the multiple design styles available and one of those styles is Flat design. This type of design style is a minimalistic approach towards the creation of a user interface by using simple elements, typography and bright-flat colours. And, the features in flat designs are visually represented using only 2-dimensional details. Flat design has been practised the most as per many experts and if you look hard you will definitely find it prevailing on most of the UI designs you come across on an everyday basis.
A Brief History
There is a story behind everything that ever began. The design too has its history and just like that, Flat Design too has its recorded origin the books of design history. Flat design can be labelled as a generation to Swiss Style which is also known as International Typographic Style or Shorter International Style. In 2002, the user interface of Microsoft launched Window’s Media Centre and later, Zune MP3 Player in 2006 possessed the traits of Flat Design.
In the very beginning of its appearance, Flat Design faced a lot of criticism as it was just opposing the trending design style Skeuomorphism. And, Flat Design presented a direct contrast to this prevailing design style in the market. Skeuomorphic design is also known as rich design and as per this design style, a particular emphasis is given on realistic illustration whereas Flat Design is all about the minimalistic approach to the user interface.
Features of Flat Design
Flat Design promotes the usage of flat buttons and icons rather than giving it a realistic, 3D or shadow effects. Further, the shapes too should be simple and regular ones like rectangular, square or circle.
No Special Effects
Flat Design is inclined towards 2-Dimensional elements and urges to avoid a decoration or use effects that can make a user interface complex in nature for the users. Shadows, emboss, gradients, realistic or 3-Dimensional effects are usually neglected.
Typography plays the role of a protagonist in the flat design where the happy ending of such a style depends on the happiness of the user with the typography. The textual consistency of the font and size in terms of thickness or weight should be selected in such a way that it is not over but still manages to complete the design.
Designers know how colours can change the entire visual appearance of a user interface and how it can rejuvenate the design itself. Therefore, the flat design encourages the usage of bright and environmental colour, though; the colours can be retro colours like salmon, purple or primary colours green.
Flat Design is a hardcore believer of minimalistic tone in the design where the elements which promote realism are neglected altogether. It fences the designer to go out of the minimalistic and drives it away from the realistic elements by applying the principles of grids, geometrical approach and visual balance.
Benefits of Flat Design
Designs are clean and simple which makes them more user-friendly.
Promotes function first approach which enhances the functionality of the interface.
Typography is highly readable and legible for any kind of user.
The clarity in visuals like shapes, fonts and colours.
Easy for developers to quickly adapt the design and design effortlessly becomes responsive.
Lastly, all of the above reasons lead to a better experience for the user as it will boost the loading speed of web page and, the users can easily navigate the functioning as well.