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6 Reasons Why Flat Design Will Die Soon

We have been talking a lot about flat design ever since Apple launched its iOS7 in which flat design was of prime focus. It wasn’t the first time when we got acquainted with flat design. It was long back since it came into existence but it got much hype with the release of iOS7.

Well, iOS7 is not the topic of the day, here we have picked up a sort of argument regarding the life of Flat design. After a lot of hype which it got with iOS7 people started talking about it being the future design trend infact we too mentioned about it being the design trend to be followed in the current year in our article Best Web Design Trends you Should Follow in 2014.

Now a days many major companies are opting for flat design which is the in thing and is sweeping all over the web but how long will this trend last. What I am trying to say here is undoubtedly flat design has attracted and inspired the designers or it has proved to be failure or something like that.

It undeniably has lot many good aspects like calming and friendly aesthetic, simple interface, positive wire-framing effect for users to know what is important and worth clicking and checking out.

Despite the fact that it has appealed lot many users, it has other side too. There is a possibility it might die a slow death for miscellaneous good reasons. Here, I have listed down few reasons that will contribute in making the flat design die.

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Why Flat Design Will Die Soon

1. Its a Trendy Thing

Now you all might be wondering as to how being trendy gets flat design a thumbs down. Its trendy means you never know how long a trend will last. We are witnessing some changes already like people are liking almost flat designs, flat designs with long shadows and likewise instead of simple flat designs. Flat design is trend of the day and might give you good response but then it might not have long shelf life as they say.

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2. Little too Simple

Being simple is the golden rule but being too simple can sometimes make the whole effort go down the drain. Incase of flat design, it becomes difficult to convey a complicated visual message. Besides, its simple user-interface tools too contribute in getting it a thumbs down.

To be a successful user-interface, adding a sense of realism in tools add to the user-friendliness which is of prime importance. Too much simplicity in interface design has not attracted manny users towards flat design.

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3. Color Palettes Issue

Sometimes more is merrier but at times and in some cases like flat design, it might not be true instead it might become a hinderance as more options you have more likely you will be confused. In case of color palettes, more the choices you have tougher it gets to match them properly.

If you have many options available, it will get difficult to create a harmonious color palette. Keeping it simple and sticking to a uniform look in terms of saturation and brightness is the simple rule which will help you get the desired results.

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4. Lack of any decoration

We agree to the fact that odd animations, use of shadows and other decorative stuff is not the in thing. Flat design has no such decorations at all but then bit of it could get it a thumbs up. Flat design has limited in decorative factor which makes it look totally flat and that definitely is not a positive factor.

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5. Usability Factor

Flat design is not for all. I mean there are lot many people who are not comfortable with the style of interface and at times keep wondering as to what and where to click/tap. Flat design can possibly hinder usability for the fact that users might get confused as to what is clickable and what’s not. Besides, it comprises of less information density which is essential for keeping it simple.

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6. Typography Factor

If flat design claims of focusing on good typography, it is certain to make the bad typography stand out as well. Thin primary interface is one example which added to the downside of iOS 7. Good typography in flat design is a pro on one hand and con on the other hand. Some users are not comfortable pairing various fonts and flat design has definitely not appealed them.

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To sum up, all I would say is timeless design is hard to come by in the web world. Allow me to leave the concluding part open ended. It is up to you to decide if you all agree with the points I have mentioned above and decide if you genuinely agree on this and yes, don’t forget to share your viewpoint with us by dropping in your valuable comments.

28 Comments

  • I see what you mean, but I doubt it will completely die.

    It’s just being overused right now.

    It’ll become a design principle.

    Just like you’re taught to pair serifs with sans-serifs, flat elements will be paired with or contrasted against non-flat and skeuomorphic elements.

    • I agree wit Adam. It just can’t die. It’s like fashion. It doesn’t matter if it’s a trend now. People in 2050 might still use it as an influence from the “old school”. It might just die temporarily, but it’ll come back for sure. Simplicity can’t be vaporized so easily.

  • 1. I believe you are confusing trend with fad. Trends continue while fads die.

    2. I believe this simplicity is a reaction to designers using complex elements as a crutch. Instead of a clean design with proper data architecture gradients, shadows, and other design flare is used for compensation. I think that as flat design evolves we will move away from some of the simplicity.

    3. I’m a bit confused on what choosing a color palette has to do with flat design, this is an issue regardless of design style used.

    4. I agree, a mostly flat design with some additional elements for emphasis can have great results.

    5. Usability is a skill that many people lack. If users can’t find actionable items it’s a failing of the overall design, not the design paradigm. I’ve seen the same issues in all sorts of designs, with flat design interface elements are often to subtle, with other designs they often compete for attention.

    6. Poor typography always has a negative impact on overall experience. It may seem more obvious in flat design as we are paying more attention given the unfamiliar look and feel.

    You mention IO7 multiple times, but it seems like they were late in moving away from skeuomorphic design, even being beaten out by Microsoft who seems to always be a late adopter of design trends.

    Overall I think it’s good to take a critical view of any new trends calling out the faults. In this case I think it will help find improvements and new techniques evolving our designs as opposed to an outright death.

  • This is a very, very poorly written article. Next time, please proof read your blog post at least once if you hope anyone will take you seriously.

  • From the looks of what she has written, it seems the author is not a designer. Flat design if I may remind her was more of a practical necessity than a design choice. Handheld, mobile devices don’t seem to be dying any soon. Neither would flat design.

    Non designers writing about design is a sin.

  • Hey Rajni, I agree with you that sometimes Flat Design can bring up usability issues.

    Where it can turn ugly is when a designer takes this style to an extreme and removes all user-guides and suggestions from an element. You can see this on some websites where it’s hard to tell what is a button, or a clickable link.

    The worst example would be a button to buy a product, except there’s no way to tell it’s a button unless you actually start clicking around. When you hover or “press” the button, nothing happens – there is no visual indication that something is happening or will happen in response to your action.

    This is very frustrating to users – it’s just all around bad usability.

    Btw, next time you use an image from our blog “Webinsation”, it would be nice it you would attribute the source: http://www.webinsation.com/flat-design-trend-or-revolution/

    Thanks again.
    – Caleb

  • Leaving aside the point that oversimplifying too much makes interfaces less intuitive (a big problem), the larger problem, as I see it, is that flat design does not offer enough variation or creative freedom.

    Unique design is the cornerstone of any successful brand. If everyone is designing in the same limited way, your brand no longer stands out, but instead just becomes one of many similar brands.

    Because of this, flat design needs to evolve and will.

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