Flat is in Vogue

Who doesn’t love flat? Right from the stomach to the smartphone screen, ‘Flat & Thin’ is very much in. Till sometime, the skeuomorphic design was in wherein the web designers freely designed patterns that looked very realistic and involved 3D extensively. Everything in nature has its own saturation point and following this universal patter, the love for texture, drop shadow and the clutter of information gradually started fading. This was the time when the need for a little visual Zen arose wherein the critical information had to be automatically offered in a structured and a filtered way. With this trend picking up, there was an increasing demand to hire web designers who could visualize the bringing together  ‘flat’ and ‘thin’ elements on the screen.

So let’s understand what is flat design.  Any design that lacks the elements that contribute to the realistic effect is flat design. The look is absolutely minimalistic with simple user interface. The most popular example of such a design is that of the Windows phone interface. It might seem simple but from the user experience perspective, it is extremely intuitive and classy. Another important thing is that in any kind of application, the content is the most important part and if the design interferes with the accessibility of the content, then that design, howsoever realistic and sophisticated, is bound to become redundant. Following this thumb rule for user-friendly interface design, the design practices recognized the importance of flat and sleek design. Another important development that greatly promoted the rapid adoption of the flat design is the increasing understanding of technology. The growing consciousness of people regarding the user friendliness has made it very clear that not anything can be dished out to them. As the market is flooded with tablets and smartphones, the control points have decreased. No longer does one wonder that one would miss a control if one forgets to press a button. Controls over the device and applications have become more subtle and this has become possible because of the simplistic design.

Typically, screen dimension and pixel density are two critical factors when it comes to designing for any platform. So, the design palette has to be according to the given parameters. Having a flat design is to have limited design palette that infers that the core elements needs to stand out. Now how the critical elements would stand out entirely depends on the skills and designing caliber of the web designer. Most digital marketing enterprises that offer web design services prefer to hire a web designer with considerable experience in designing for multiple devices with different screen dimensions and pixilation standards and preferably with fair design knowledge on the minimalistic lines. The designers can be judged basis their understanding of the best practices for the flat or minimalistic design. Some of these industry acknowledged best practices that a web designer has to know are:

  • Grid- The web designers need to use the grid to define the various functional elements of the screen including the content. It is important to establish a powerful visual hierarchy through a basic layout comprising of the scale and the placement.
  • Color- This is one of the key components of anything that is related to visual arts or design.  The first and foremost thing is to select a palette and then test the hues for their suitability based on the broader spectrum. The designer has to open enough to experiment with multiple palettes so as to have a sufficient range for high and low contrast elements.
  • Typography- The approach here is also very similar to the use of colors. The web designers should be mindful enough to choose a font family that a broad variety of weights and styles. Legibility should be one important factor that needs to justify the selected fonts.

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