Flat design: An Emerging Trend That Focuses on Simplicity

When it comes to interface design today, simplicity and user friendly design is key.  Two words I’ve been hearing frequently this past year are FLAT DESIGN.  And without realizing it, my design style has been evolving into this flat design technique.

The new Midwest Digital Marketing site, which will be going live next month, has many characteristics of this flat design look and feel.  And it’s obvious most clients want this clean, crisp, simple and user-centric web design style.  Flat Design is not for everyone, so I wouldn’t use a fully flat design concept for clients that want to bring real life to their interface.  Frankly, I was not so keen on the style when I first heard about it. I didn’t care for the flat colored shapes and icons and everything seemed to lack dimension.  But, there was something about the simplicity that intrigued me.  Flat design illustrates a clear separation between technology and tactile objects.  That doesn’t mean people who are looking for a tangible look and feel for their interface can’t have the flat design look.

You’re probably wondering how can I have both?  After researching this topic, I’ve noticed that by mixing clean and focused photography in shapes through out the website gives visitors the tactile connection they need.  Also, by cutting out the focal point of a photograph from its background and placing the image on a flat colored background also works.  Having the right photography is essential to pulling this off.  You can also get this same connection by creating simple illustrated graphics with a texture overlay.

Below are some examples I found of flat design with a twist of the tactile look and feel.