In the years preceding, several web developers have been focusing on showcasing their skills with several complicated illustrations alongside many faux-realistic designs and textures that claimed to grab the visitor’s attention. These over the top skeuomorphic illustrative designs made a way for the introduction of one of the latest type of design technique which is known as the Flat Design which is exactly the antonym of what the word complicated suggests.
Flat Design is the latest addition to the web design techniques with the minimalist user interface design and even the language or the design genre. It is one of the prominent expressions of a simple yet clean and open style of web interface design. The most prevalent use of it is in the graphical user interfaces mainly in the graphical illustrative materials like posters or even the publishing products.
The pivotal characteristic points that need to be known when talking about the Flat Design and its trends apart from the minimalism and its clean typography are:
- The Flat Design lacks the addition of the contemporary effects that are usually seen like the drops shadows or embossing or even the gradients.
- A set focus on a clean and crisp yet edgy typography is one of the most important attractions of this new design type.
- Iconography coupled with usage simple and transparent elements is yet another factor to be kept into account.
- It is always clear that vibrant and bold hues are sure to catch people’s attention. Flat Design keeps that into account and the design format is accompanied with bolder and more vibrant colour palette that is sure to snatch away and grab the visitor’s attention.
Minimalism is the new thing:
We live in a world where everything in life is stressful and complicated, and we definitely do not want our web pages to add to the ever building stress in the mind, now, do we? Well, all thanks to the concept of Flat Design which has made every visitor’s web experience smooth and easy. The Flat Design, everything is to the point without overdue addition of ornamental elements which only add to the complication and the unnecessary clutter.
But never let the “way too simple” outlook let you confuse you with the word “bland” or “boring” because Flat Design illustrations are anything but that. Recent statistics have given the proof that these minimalistic features are what are drawing all the visitor’s attentions.
With the passing time, every single bit of the features and illustrations are involving for the better outlook of the designs of the web pages and the usage of several of the effects are becoming coincident and alike with the flat design.
Some effects to add to the better look:
While it might have been mentioned prior to this that effects may not have been introduced when the Flat Design first started off, with time and several changes, the design styles has rapidly changed for better and addition of effects to the designing illustrations has resolved many issues that rose with the design style. Some of the mostly used effects are:
Don’t be scared off with the name. Ghost Buttons are basically the transparent and the “empty” buttons that come in its traditional rectangular or square shapes. Usually surrounded by a bordered thin line around it, the internal text in the buttons mainly consists of simple texts that are written in simple Sans serif font. These buttons are larger in comparison to the other traditional clickable buttons and are mainly located in specific and prominent locations of the web page. This addition has tended to attract a lot of attention with its trendy and great contrast providing the “flat” design a new spin.
Addition of a subtle amount of background shadow without overdoing the main element of the illustration is yet another evolved change in the Flat Design techniques. The addition of the shadow tends to provide a bit of depth and helps to lift-off the background element. The shadow is so minimal that it hardly stands out visually in the background but helps in making the element more prominent.
One of the major helpful navigation tools is the Hover Animations. This helps in letting the user decide what action to perform with just small and intricate movements across the screen. Some of the hover animations like spin bump or even colour change aids the user in focusing on their future actions. This type of additional tool has proved to be a way lot helpful for the more complicated websites.
The previous iterations that mainly focused on the background colour gradient, the newest evolved changes focuses on the duotone effect with the illustrations and the elements changing and switching between two distinct yet vibrant colour themes.
While these might be some of the evolving additions to the pre-existing layouts, there are some of the web pages and apps that have taken up to these changes and have the most simple yet the most beautiful illustrative look to their layouts.
Spotify, one of the most sought after music app has taken up all the design trends of the Flat Design with the simple and minimalistic look to it but with a closer look, the users can surely point out the intricate detailing that have gone into it.
Changing how one sees the typography:
Typography is one of the key elements when it comes to flat design because it tends to help the user in selecting and viewing specific and essential parts in the design trend of it. A good typography is something that can be interesting and at the same time easy to read. The typography that comes alongside with flat design is the one that works well with the simple font pairings.
While many can use just a single typeface, many others and the more evolved ones are starting to focus on the typeface in pairs. This addition of the fonts in pairs helps the user stick around with their traditional and the most viewed fonts like Sans serif or Open Sans but with a definitive addition of a trendy and quirky surprise element to it with any fun script to go along with it. It’s finally time to bid adieu to the monotonous monogamous typography and rather spice up the look by mixing and matching from the wide variety of designs.
Some of the websites like Dinng have taken this new additional typography technique and showcased it on their website. The typeface is paired with Sans serif that goes throughout the entire homepage while the rest of the site has a serif typeface that pops up in their display and even in their pop-out navigation.
Obsession with “Circles”:
With the predecessor of Google’s Material Design, one of the main influences from it was the usage of the shape “circle” in the design and the layout and incorporating the same in the illustrative element, be it in the layout or simply the buttons. There is more and more usage of the rounded shapes in the flat design.
This obsession with the rounded shapes has a pretty good advantage to it with its rather mobile advantage. The circle shape has an easy user interface outlook to it with the layout almost being similar to as the outline of that of a fingerprint. The circular buttons are now a lot more prevalent, be it for playing any videos or even for navigating through contents in the web page.
Zoom is one such example of the rounded shapes being put to use. The site has beautifully showcased its menu buttons with circles that comes well in handy and even looks simple and clean.
Following the trend:
It is a very common to simply follow the trend but when the trendsetters are one of the major mainstream adopters; the change is definitely bound to happen. After flat design was introduced, Google, Microsoft and many other famous organisations have opted for the transformation and several others have followed their footsteps.
The trend has followed up with the organisations, be it big or small, changing their layouts with flat logos, adding several minimalistic touches to their layouts and even restricting to the usage of a specific brand colour along with a classy yet trendy typography.
Radish Lab is one such instance of an organisation online that mainly focuses on great designs and projects. The layout and design of the website is one of the most important factors of its success. With the flat design, minimalistic and clean layout and beautiful colour scheme along with the trendy typography, this web page definitely stands out in the crowd.
Chrome and the types:
The colour scheme of a web page is one of the main factors of the design and layout. The determinant of the amount of saturation or the dual tone colour scheme that is required in the back ground or the homepage of the website. While vibrant and multiple colour schemes with higher saturation were something prevalent in the primary days of the launch of the flat design, the shades have toned down to bare minimum and pastel and neutral shades with the passing time.
Images play a pivotal role with the colour schemes of the web page. In the initial days, flat design came with very restricted amount of image usage but that has gradually evolved with the passing time and now-a-days support large imaging options. Due to this change, the colour preferences have changed too.
The colour palette used in the Banana Cafe is one of the best example showcasing minimal colour schemes with a clean and sharp edge look to it. The colour palette is a neutral shade but the design and layout is simple with a clean look to it.
The newest upgrade:
After taking a detour around the whole Flat design and its features and characteristics, it is time to take a peek at the newest upgrade of the Flat design, or otherwise known as Flat 2.0. There may not be any distinctive characteristics with the flat design and it newest version, except for the enhanced usability and the three dimensional styling.
The newest additions to the Flat design 2.0 are:
- The raised and sunken look to the letters in the typography is indeed adding the three dimensional look, which is helping the user in making an action, be it the click or tap action.
- Actionable elements are a lot easier to be accessed with the added animated elements to the upgraded version. The animations in the newest version are way lot simpler and don’t hamper the design or layout of the web page.
- The 360-degree animation is yet another tool that has proven to be a lot helpful for the organisations dealing with e-commerce letting the user view an item or product way more easily.
- Oversized typography and imaging is yet another addition to the upgrade.
To conclude it all:
If you own a web page and are looking for a customisable and simple look to it, Flat design is the solution to all your problems. This newest design type is sure to stay in the market and evolve over the time with addition of newest upgrades and features.
It is never late to opt for the better option and upgrade your existing layout for the web page and switch to flat design, be it the initial or the latest version of it. Flat design adds that classy and uncomplicated look to the webpage with the minimalistic look to it.
Some pivotal points to be kept in mind about the flat design trends:
- Minimalism with a simple outlook.
- Dual typography helps in adding the classy yet trendy look to the fonts used in the page.
- The vibrant usage of colour is one of the most attracting features of the flat design. Dual tone colours being one of the most popular elements.
- Prevalent upgrades with the flat 2.0 have been yet another additional feature. The three dimensional effect adding a better look to the layout and design of the web page.