> definition and examples of digital minimalism
“Flat” design is a graphic concept getting very popular these days – but let’s note it’s not as recent as we may think… (iPod People Campaign – 2006):
So this “new” approach of design is more and more used in websites and mobile applications. But what exactly is Flat webdesign? Well, it is characterized over all by simplicity: no depth or embossed effects, no gradients or shadows, no sophisticated textures – in other words, no purely decorative elements.
Instead efforts are focused on the following notions:
And the combination of these elements is what makes Flat design a minimalist representation where in theory each element of the design has its own function, without anything superfluous.
- Clean layouts, with open space
- Bright (and often vivid), solid blocks of colors, no gradients and no drop shadows
- Crisp edges, basic items shapes
- Two-dimensional illustrations
- Trendy sets of icons
- Carefully chosen typos, with a preference for sans-serif
Usability > Flat design calls for clarity and readability: reduction of visual “noise” helps improving ergonomics and functionality of pages and interfaces.
Content > Texts are generally concise, highlighting strong messages – we can definitely say Flat design is about content too, as form is at the service of information with structured layouts and hierarchized contents.
Universality > Also, this notion of design aims at being timeless as well as allowing better display compatibility between different types of devices – laptops, tablets, smartphones. That’s how Flat is no doubt directly linked to “Think Mobile” as well as Responsive webdesign.
- Flat UI Design Pinterest board by War Marc
- Now Theme – 40+ Cool Examples of Flat Web Design
- Specky Boy – Examples of ‘Flat’ in Web Design
- Flat UI Pinterest board by Marco Heutink
I’m clearly fond of Flat design as it’s uncluttered, modern and visually effective – haven’t you noticed my own website design is clearly Flat-inspired ?
Critics of this movement would say that Flat designs lack work and research, but to me that’s simply not a strong argument since I think clear and useful layouts are even harder to create. Indeed behind apparently simple interfaces or pages are actually pixel-perfect production!