Webdesign Trend : Flat Design

> 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):

iPod people

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:

  • Space
  • Typography
  • Color

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


  • Contrast


  • 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.




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!

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