I need to get our website redesigned. But I have a question – What is the latest trend in website design? We want the latest but we need something creative, something cleaner, but appealing. Do you know what I mean? Can you help us with this?
It was how the conversation started. A customer calls up from Bangalore this morning and comes up with this series of questions.
The latest trend in website design is – FlatUI. It focuses more on user-experience, faster page load time, and of course – conversions – I replied.
It sounds great. Perhaps its exactly what we want. And he continues…
Finally, we hang up discussing the further steps.
This is where I got the idea for this blog post.
FlatUI designs are becoming very much popular these days since the time Windows 8 Start Menu styles started luring the designers all over the world. But ironically, it is still not that popular in India. Maybe there is less awareness here.
Let’s now understand what it is…?
A Flat User Interface design is a specific style of interface design that avoids the use of stylistic choices. It removes any design element that gives the illusion of three dimension shapes or graphics. Thus, it does not integrate elements like gradients, textures, shadows etc.
Even the colors used in such designs are specific to make the overall design appear minimalist, clean, and real. Information presented through this interface is easier to understand. But, it all does not mean that the visual appearance is sidelined. Such designs still look appealing to the eyes. Practically, this kind of interfaces looks sharper even on hi-definition screens.
Flat UI makes it easier to efficiently convey information to the readers. At the same time, it is considerably less time consuming for designers and developers to design and code. However, more time and effort is required in the step of conceptualization.
Technically, this design style is very often compared to skeumorphic designs as it a sheer contrast of its principles and styles.
Let’s take a closer look to know the real difference between flat and skeuporphic designs –
What makes a successful flat user interface?
The cleaner, the better
Allan Grinshtein, who supposedly coned this ‘flatUI’ term, says – “elegant interfaces are ones that have the most impact with the fewest element”.
It applies perfectly here.
Focus more on creating it more appealing but make it easy-to-eyes. Keep it as clean as you can. Avoid styles like shadow, gradient, texture etc.
Intelligent colors do the trick
When we talk about Flat UI, the selection of colors is confined to a certain lot. The weight obviously is given to the colors that have the right amount of temperature and contrast. This is the reason, they appear highlighted yet avoid unnecessary hues.
Flatuicolors.com is a website that lists all popular colors used in flat UI these days. Take a look at their color blocks to see how it is different…
Typography is more important
You know it is all about minimalist and cleaner layouts. A result, typography plays a great role here. A highly adorned font style is bound to look strange and odd on a simple design. Select a smoother font and use spaced-out lines and headlines to keep the readers’ focus on the right areas of the layout.
Use realistic elements
Graphics elements are very important for any type of design projects. There’s always a need to design them wisely so that they fit in well with the overall layout. In a Flat Interface, it becomes even more important. The use of highly embellished elements on a rather cleaner layout will definitely look awkward. You know what it would look like, don’t you?
It goes without saying that Flat User Interface is here to stay. It already has started ruling the design trends. But, it honestly does not mean that it is the best method.
Remember, the focus of web design should more be on creating solutions and experience which are required. If the demand of the project is a highly embellished design and layout, flat UI will obviously fall flat here.
So, the need is to understand the purpose first and then create the design accordingly.