A huge trend in web design lately has been FLAT design. If you have just shown up to this party, flat design refers to zero gradients, letterpress, shadows, lighting etc… that give a design dimension. It is fitting that this trend has followed both a previous trend of Apple-like dimensional design, and Microsoft’s push on it’s flat Metro interface.
But some naysayers out there claim that flat design is sometimes just a cheap cop out, where actual design is avoided.
So, let’s sum it up:
The Flat Supporters
Flat UI Kit by Riki Tanone
Somewhat obviously spearheaded by the folks in Redmond (Microsoft) and their adoption of classic swiss design style they refer to as Metro.
It is has been also said this has been caused by designers working with smart phones, but I believe it might be a bit more than that:
“Every so often there is a new fashion that comes about in design for any number of reasons, not the least of which is technology, and now there has been a reaction to mechanistic-looking design where you press a button and get a specific look,” Mr. Heller said. “In response, designers have started to turn to flatness.”
“…part of the push toward flat design was to try to escape the overabundance of design that looks digital, where things “have started to look cliché.
Read more: The Flattening of Design
The Dimensional Party
TwitSpark Betadesign 1 by Davy Kestens
If we join (or stay with) the dimensional party goers, we get to use all of those beautiful, albeit sometimes distracting, design elements.
This seems to sum up the difference quite well:
“The fundamental thing about flat design is that it is a restrictive trend that ought to be questioned. Perhaps it’s cheaper to develop, design or maintain, but if taken in its literal interpretation it could result in a lower quality user interface.” Source
However, what I believe is the more important thing to note about these two design trends, is what the designer is doing with them.
Read more: Calling Bull$#!%: On Flat Design