It probably hasn't escaped your notice that there's a quiet revolution taking place in the world of web design. The Flat Design 'trend' has now become almost ubiquitous in web design circles, and now it's seeping into the mainstream. Wherever you look there's a new UI kit, a blog post or a fervent discussion about the benefits of Flat Design vs 'skeumorphism'.
Welcoming the change
Let's face it Web 2.0 and all its shiny gradients have been around for nearly a decade and had almost gone beyond cliché. And with Apple's new iOS ditching its skeumorphism - a visual language they pretty much popularised - it's apparent that something more than a trend was emerging, this was beginning to look like a sea change.
The Seedr 'Flat Earth' visual language
The Seedr web site, redesigned last year, was a conscious effort on our part to create a visual language that worked for our brand and helped our audience to see that we were different. So the starting point for us wasn't flat or skeumorphic, it was how can we create something that supports our content and reinforces our personality, our design persona?How can we create a modern looking aesthetic that evokes our brand values, something almost 'organic', friendly and personal? For us that meant a natural colour scheme, a modern more-rounded serif font for headings, clean, unfussy button styles and careful use of hand drawn illustrations. This approach is true for us, and it's true for the work we produce for our clients: building personality into brands and their online presence is something we continue to champion tirelessly.
Making smart design decisions
So (as obvious as this might sound) as responsible designers we need to make decisions based on the needs of our clients and their audiences. Simply following trends isn't going to help brands differentiate or create emotionally engaged customers. Sometimes a 'flat' design will be appropriate, but not always and it's certainly not a starting point for any design decisions. Making smart decisions about design will help us to make visual languages for brands that transcend the latest trends to create designs that truly resonate with audiences.
Useful links on Flat Design