Why Flat Design is Significant to Attract More Viewers?

Flat designs put all the noise of artificial design techniques to rest. It paves way for simple and clean web designs that look classy and elegant.

So why flat designs when we can reproduce the best web designs with colorful illustrations and flashy animations, not to mention the faux-realistic structures and drop shadows which have real life characteristics.

Phew, too much to handle all at once for the viewer’s senses.

Principles of Flat Design

Let’s understand the basic aim/utility of a good website design -> to create a seamless user experience so that the user comes back for more; which eventually leads to the generation of revenues. A user understands and interacts better with flat designs as the interfaces are clean and the designs are much more responsive than their 3D counterparts. As a result of their simple structure, these designs are easier to grasp and they easily attract the viewer’s attention.

Flat designs also offer a colorful palette to construct bigger and bolder icons. Functionality is a prime consideration of flat design principles. Hence it is a task bestowed upon designers to work keeping in mind the principles of UX and UI.

iOS Transformation

Features of Flat design are:

  • Simplicity– With no 3D effects and flash presentations, the focus is on creating simple designs, effective layouts, and clean interfaces so that users can have a seamless experience in navigating/browsing. Even though the flat designs look easy to construct, they are in fact tricky for developers who do not have a sound knowledge of the design principles.
  • Minimalism– Following the concept ‘less is more’, the principle of minimalism is used to avoid clutter and confusion. Yet again, the principles of UI/UX are kept in mind and just a few elements are used to design the app. Here the focus is more on content and uses rather than the ‘dressing up the website’.
  • Colors– Since we use simple elements to define functions and structures, the use of colors becomes crucial to make the designs vibrant and appealing. Perfect use of colors is pivotal in making a website stand ahead of its competitors. Just because you have to define your designs using colors, you cannot just add blobs of bright colors to get noticed. Different colors evoke different emotions. The science of colors should be understood by the designer and then applied in the design. And yes, do try and experiment as the options are endless.
  • Typography– With no 3D effects, no gradients and shadows, and no use of textures, the onus of an appealing web design lie largely on TYPOGRAPHY. Selection of the correct fonts is essential to convey the right mood and message. Beautiful fonts that are used effectively form an important element of flat designs.

Angle

Angle is a very well-designed WordPress theme that has all the four elements of a flat design woven perfectly to create an exemplary design. Colors and fonts have been beautifully used to display the clean and clear images and icons. Designing and personalizing this theme, therefore, becomes very easy for the user.

The Long and Short History of Flat Designs

Flat design was Microsoft’s baby. Microsoft was one of the pioneers in using flat design and was followed by Google. Google introduced a new concept called Material design, which differs from flat, but uses the same concepts of functionality. It was later that Apple too embraced the flat design techniques with iOS7. Other popular brands to adopt flat designs liberally are Twitter and eBay.

History of Flat Designs

Flat designs are got a big push with the advent of the concept of responsive designs. Elaborate designs are difficult to load on mobile devices, hence simple and minimal designs started getting popular.

History of Flat Designs

So does flat design have a future in the web world? Or will it be completely replaced by its offspring- the material design.

Let’s find out.

Some Characteristics of Flat Designs

Honest and clean design

Honest and clean design

The simple minimalistic nature of flat design exudes one point very vividly- it’s honesty. With no frills and fancies, these designs hit the nail on its head. They are precise, to-the-point and show the user the exact details of the app/website. When 3-dimensional effects, drop shadows and gradients are not visible, there is no element of surprise. The user sees what is offered on his computer/mobile screen. Hence flat designs represent honest real life elements.

Trendy

Trendy

In keeping with the latest trends, Flat designs are truly in vogue. White spaces, typography and bright colors are back and hence everyone wants to incorporate these elements into their web designs, as they are trendy and fashionable. It could be a trend, it might be a revolution, but with such user-friendly aspects, it seems this fashionable trend of using flat designs will last a long time.

Usability

Usability

With designs and structures reduced to a bare minimum, flat designs are highly usable and meaningful. All buttons, icons and other elements that are present in a flat design have specific tasks associated with them. There is nothing out of place and all distracting elements are removed from the design (it has to be done correctly, though). The idea is to allow the user to concentrate on the useful elements of the web design to improve his user experience. The users can make use of colors and fonts to reach their point of interest.

Note- Using simple designs definitely simplifies the user experience, but these aesthetics involved in designing. Care should be taken to include all functional elements in the design, while still maintaining its simplicity.

Responsive

Responsive

Flat designs have grid-based layouts and graphics all that are well-suited for mobile and web designs. Owing to their layouts, they can be easily resized and restructured for various devices.

As we see, the website has simplified the same web design for use on a mobile device. It provides a consistent user experience where the user can easily switch between gadgets and browse without any blocks and hindrances. 3D effects, detailing, and shadows do not transcend effectively when resized for different devices and platforms. Flat designs, therefore, is the best technique applied to dynamically scaling the matter on a website. It is owing to this reason, that giant companies like Microsoft and Apple have extensively used flat design principles in their web designs.

Flexibility

Flexibility

With responsiveness, also comes along the element of flexibility. The grids, cards, blocks have defined geometrical shapes which make them easy to resize and restructure. They have specific placements in the layouts and hence designers can allocate them areas and change their placements easily as per design requirements. Grids can be shaped into many configurations and it provides the web designers flexibility to showcase content as per design aesthetics and needs, rather than fitting them into predefined areas.

The layout by Bureau of Betterment uses a grid-style brochure to highlight the colors, typography, and the icons. The uniform colors add to the flat design effect, making is appealing yet simple.

Typography

Typography

Since typography forms a vital part of flat designs, they are more streamlined and readable. There are no extra add-ons and special effects and therefore the fonts are clear and easier to read. The use of bright (and right) colors in typography takes to web design to a higher level. Simple fonts with colorful palettes manage not only to attract the viewers but retain them for further browsing.

Quick to grasp attention

Quick to grasp attention

Simple designs make way faster into the user’s mind. Result- they get attracted to the design and the messages are conveyed easily. The grids and blocks with images and illustrations depict actions which are quick to grasp. Skeuomorphic designs, on the other hand, take longer to decipher and register in the user’s mind. Since attention spans are becoming shorter, too much detailing in the design will compel the user to divert his attention and move forward. It is the simplicity of the icons takes keeps the viewers glued to the website/ app.

These solid color blocks are very attractive to the eye and easily demonstrate different actions, guiding the user in every step of navigation.

Quick and efficient

Quick and efficient

Simple designs accelerate the job processing and quickly commence the work to be done.

Flat designs are quick to grasp the user’s attention and therefore lead to efficiency. We can focus on the essential elements of the design and that too in a shorter span of time. Fonts are clear and instructions are simple, aiding the user in reaching his goal quickly and seamlessly. Flat designs are not just quick to grasp, they adhere to the main goal of any web design- to get the work done efficiently and quickly.

Some Great Flat Design Examples

Uncode

Uncode

Uncode is a WordPress theme with a flat design style. Websites designed using this theme has a clean layout with clear fonts and bright colors. The interface is interactive and flexible. It can be totally customized as per the user’s need and resized to fit different devices. You can view the website on a mobile or tablet with the same ease that you view it on your desktop/laptop. The strong aesthetic designs are practical and do not carry any extra flairs. This feature makes the user experience seamless while the designers have to freedom to experiment with creative designs.

Due to its flat designs, the site is easy to load and hence reduces work time of the user and increases their efficiency. Flat designs are in vogue and this WordPress theme showcases styles and layouts that keep the user ahead of their competitors.

National geographic

National geographic

In keeping with the changing trends, National Geographic got itself a stylish makeover. The dark yellow and black combinations are the same and still as striking. They have been accompanied with the white fonts which are clear and readable. The Flat design concept with the good use of colors and fonts, and no extra fuss, yet again makes the National geographic web design an iconic design example.

Trip finder app

Trip finder app

Trip finder is a trip planning app by Indonesian designer Bady. The interface is simple to understand and easy to use. Everything is laid out in blocks and grids making it convenient for the user to operate. The intelligent use of colors and fonts give meaning to the icons which are thereby easy to spot. All aspects of UI are given great emphasis while designing the web app. Your search for the right flight could not be easier that the interface provided by the Trip Finder app.

Alarm clock App by Samuel Bednar

Alarm clock App by Samuel Bednar

Plain graphics, gray color scale and vibrant features – these minimal elements also make up a remarkable web design. Flat does not really mean just colorful, it means good usability with the given functional elements. The Alarm clock App by Samuel Bednar is yet another remarkable app that uses flat design technique but in a different way that does attract the viewer’s attention. Its clean interface is its USP and allures the viewer to the website.

Wrap-up

So are you now thoroughly convinced that flat designs are significant in attracting visitors? I’m sure as the aim of all web designs is to get noticed by potential customers. The colors and typography attract the viewers to the website, and the simplicity and minimalism lead to a great user experience. These elements ensure that the viewer is glued to the website and does not leave till the job is done. With attention spans being less and people being short of time, flat designs are well-suited for the changing trends.

A designer/developer has to first analyze the functionality and usability of a web design. And then, keeping the user’s requirements in mind has to go ahead and design the app. Flat designs involve lesser flairs, but the web designer should have technical and sound knowledge of the design principles. If not so, there is a risk of a major rollback where the flat design would fail to impress viewers and generate leads. Texts must be clear and concise; Buttons and links should be noticeable, and icons and imagery should define its purpose clearly.

Responsive design is making huge waves has become synonymous with mobile designs. Flat designs are compatible with responsive designs flat design principles can be easily applied to responsive designs. So do we see a future where the visual simplicity of flat designs can be paired with skeuomorphism? Flat designs look robust and ready to take on the future of web design currently. They are in vogue and will continue to be so for a long time to come.

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