12 February 2016

Flat Design 2.0 − what’s the fuss all about?


Flat Design 2.0 offers an evolution of flat design, ironing out some of the issues identified in the initial user experience. Designers worldwide have utilised the flat format within web design; however, as with most things, some subtle changes were required to improve usability. This is exactly what the latest iteration offers.

Flat Design 2

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Retaining many of the original features that made it so popular back in 2012, there have been just a few alterations to provide a better experience for those using it. These modifications were inevitable as many web designers became more and more familiar with flat and thus increasingly identified what needed addressing to improve it.

Where did flat design come from?

As the BBC reported when Windows 8 was launched, flat design was a rebellion against skeuomorphism (a design principle where cues are taken from real-word counterparts), which was the popular design style at the time.

For many designers, including Hemel Hempstead web design companies, this became vastly popular. With minimalism heralded as the way forward, flat has been at the forefront of design for the last few years. It utilised raised icons, which users had to click, and hollow or sunken elements, which were search functions or input fields.

What was wrong with the initial user experience?

As the use of flat removes a user’s need for funky visuals, it could consequently remove some of the usability and functionality of the website. With the emphasis of flat design being placed on simplicity and boldness, this could often make the pages less practical and functional for the end user.

For companies such as http://24-7website.co.uk/, there could be problems when it came to the absence of familiar patterns, signifiers and contextual indications. Windows 8 itself was criticised, as the interface did not provide enough clues for the user with regard to what they could and couldn’t click. This resulted in users spending more time than necessary trying to figure out the platform and/or performing the incorrect function as a result of the lack of clarity.

Websites incorporating Flat Design 2.0

As the changes made to flat have been very understated, it may be difficult at first to identify who has used the new design within their website; however, some good examples of websites already in operation are Dropbox and Google Santa Tracker.