Flat Design is Here! How You Can Take Advantage of this Trend

Thursday - June 20th, 2013

Written by: Tristan Pelligrino

Flat Design is Here! How You Can Take Advantage of this Trend

With an increase of minimalism, skeuomorphism (what an awful word!) is so last year. Flat design is here for sure. Before, designers were focused on three-dimensional design and realism to get user attention and increase conversion rates. Now, flat design is a popular trend for mobile and desktop design that focuses on being – you guessed it – flat.

So why is skeuomorphism so popular? With brands everywhere vying for consumer attention, you’d think that everyone would be trying to be bold and pop out as much as possible. Well, with the increase of mobile users, skeuomorphism took away from the browsing experience with imagery that was too realistic and often times confusing. When confusing design resulted in poor conversion rates, the industry realized something needed to change, and flat design was born!

Flat design includes numerous benefits such as:

  • Simplicity. The simplicity of flat design not only takes advantage of the minimalist trend occurring right now, but also ensures that the mobile and desktop experiences are equal. It’s incredible design is intuitive for all users. Only displaying interfaces on a two-dimensional plane keeps the focus on the content and various pages of the site.

    Simplicity also helps improve conversion rates. Because users aren’t distracted by unnecessary page elements, they have an easier time navigating through your site. This means that your content – and products! – are spending increased quality time in front of consumers’ eyes.

  • Focus. Along with simplicity comes focus. Flat design allows you and your visitors to focus on the color of your site. The typography. Pages. Content. Suddenly, the essential elements of your site are magnified in everyone’s eyes.

    This is where it becomes your brand’s responsibility to ensure that the site is optimized for simplicity and driving traffic. Consider the typography, for instance. Is it engaging? Varied? Interesting? By asking these questions, you’ll be able to ensure that the typography enhances your content despite the simplicity of the overall design. Just because the design is simple, it doesn’t mean that everything else needs to be simplified as well. In fact, the opposite is true! A simple design gives you the opportunity to focus on other elements that draw attention.

  • Hierarchy. Whether it’s through a larger box or bold color, flat design makes it easy to create a distinct sense of where a user should click. Shadows, gradients, and other elements create a natural navigation path for users, thereby improving your sales channel.

Remember, minimalist doesn’t mean boring. In fact, it can be an exciting time for you and your brand. Avoiding skeuomorphism makes the concept of your brand quick and easy to grasp. There are also endless design options available to ensure that your flat design is anything but boring.

Just as skeuomorphism flew out the window to usher in flat design, the web development community will continue to create ideas that improve the user experience. But as these trends change, one goal remains constant: it’s all about simplifying the consumer experience, and flat design is definitely the best vehicle to accomplish that in 2013.

*Note – header image provided by Softpedia.

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