There was a time when web design has to realistic with reference to real-world objects. CTA buttons used to look like real buttons. The navigation menu and everything else mimicked the real world objects. This was the era of skeuomorphism. However, the design trends come and go. The era of skeuomorphism was long, but it came to an end as the design standards evolved.
Now is the era of flat design. Instead of focusing on realism in graphical objects, designs now focus on providing a clean and simple interface that does the job. Here, we take a look at some of the good things and then the bad things about flat design.
Simple, Clean and Focused
Skeuomorphic design got really cluttered. There was information overload, unnecessary graphic elements, and colors that made a simple task difficult or distracting for users. This is why the need for flat design arose. Flat designs are simple, yet attractive and modern. The minimalism in flat design makes users feel comfortable while they are interacting with it. There are no unnecessary objects or details. The clean interface helps the user focus on the main tasks.
Another reason why skeuomorphic design got redundant and flat design got trendy was the arrival of mobile and mobile internet. Today, mobile internet users have surpassed desktop users. Flat design is easy to translate on small screens. Since it is simple, there is no cluttering on small screens either.
Colorful and Lively
Flat designs rely on colors and typography to engage the audience. This makes flat design simple, but colorful and lively. Simple and plain typography without shadow and other effects make the text legible and readable.
While there are some good things about flat design, there are also some bad things about it.
Dependance on Colors and Typography
Since flat design heavily depends on colors and typography, a weak color scheme or poor typography choice can make a website unusable or perform poorly.
There are a lot of things about flat design that can hinder the usability of a web design other than colors and typography. In an effort to make a design simple and clean, some graphic elements can become confusing for users. For example, users might get confused what is clickable on a website.
Lack of Uniqueness
Creating a web design that simple and clean, yet also unique is quite difficult. You have limited options as a designer, you need to use available options to create a design that is distinctive when compared to other designs.