Erik Adigard, multimedia artist and co-founder of M-A-D, an interdisciplinary design agency, believes that web designers must recognize that design is “a mix of craft, science, storytelling, propaganda, and philosophy.” Simply, companies providing web design services should strive to bridge the gap between designs and users.
The Dawn of Flat Design
In 2012, web designers adopted the flat design, lulling skeuomorphism. Flat design is a simplistic approach that utilizes minimalism and excludes textures and lighting effects. It became more prominent with the release of Windows 8 and iOS 7. Since then, most businesses offering web design services embraced the style. Web sites, computers and mobile phones were revamped. Soon, flat design became a fad.
Now, the question remains: Can a flat design keep up with innovations in technology, style and user preference?
Principles of Flat Design
In a 2013 report by Usabilla, a web-based usability-testing tool, showed that 68 percent of web professionals believed that flat design has a long-term effect on the industry.
Listed below are principles of flat design that you should consider.
Web designers stick to simple elements when using flat design. They utilize basic shapes such as rectangle, square or circle and allow them to stand alone. Moreover, they avoid added decorations such as drop shadows, gradients, embossing and any other tools that add depth.
Focus on typography to set the mood of the design. You can use custom or specific fonts to let it pop out of the background. Web designers usually use Sans Serif typefaces in flat schemes. Another technique is to use bold face to highlight the clickable icons to avoid confusion.
Color Flat designs are typically composed of monotone color palettes. Meanwhile, some companies offering web design services choose vibrant and bold color combinations. In reality, it depends on the material’s purpose.
It focuses on white space, sharp shapes, bright colors and clean lines. Furthermore, it does not use animations, UI elements and 3D effects. You can place some graphics, but be sure to use simple photography.
The downside of flat designs is the lack of distinction between different elements. Create a visual hierarchy by varying color combinations and emphasizing on the clickable aspects. After all, you create designs not just for aesthetics but also for functionality.
In this digital age, what is “in” today may be passé tomorrow. Keep in mind that every web design and development company know the key to an effective web design is to stay unique and timeless. Avoid conforming to what people want to see today. Consider how much their tastes would change over time. Do not compromise style with user-interactivity.