As technology changes, visual language is moving by natural course as well. Flat design is a word of the year in today`s web. «Less is more» is not just about making beautiful things, but about visual storytelling that communicate with less elements.
Perfection is Achieved Not When There Is Nothing More to Add, But When There Is Nothing Left to Take Away
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Content first, please
Flat design highlights usability and have minimalistic design style. With clean space, crisp edges, very bright solid colors, without strong contrast and simple 2D illustration, it has changed visual web surroundings.
Flat design on the web happened because average user has been evaluated. He uses content on different devices, many of them with small screens. Overwhelmed with information he needs interface that is simple and visually clean. Flat design celebrates content! And just because it is visually simplified, it does not mean it is dull. Minimalistic graphic forms easily grab our attention and highlight functionality of design. Apple did it with its iOS interface, Windows did it with Windows 8. Now creating apps for flat user interface demands different approach as well. Flat style spread on the web. Last year was a year of redesigning old pages for many famous websites. All of them have one thing in common- flat UI design.
Some history repeating
It happened before. Before web. It happened in architecture, painting, graphic and product design. «Less is more» was once written in a poem by Robert Browning, lately has been adopted by the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as a precept for minimalist design. Not to forget about famous Swiss Style where «the beauty in the underlines of a purpose, not beauty as a purpose in itself». Swiss Style is devoted to grid based design where content is presented mainly by typography. Modernists in architecture in their manifesto use a catchphrase “form follows function”. It all happened at the right moment in all those fields when simplicity was needed in a way to emphasize content before esthetics.
Balancing on the flat surface
With all simplicity and clarity that go with flat designs, finding a right balance between trends and users needs is probably the best choice. No meter how popular and usable flat design is, blindly following trends does not always comply with users request