One of the hallmarks of flat design is the absence of elements that appear three-dimensional. This includes design elements like textures, drop shadows, and gradients. Those effects attempt to give users the impression that their screen has depth, while flat design is about emphasizing function and content instead of form.
Flat design is about presenting information in a clean, readable manner. Since readability is so important in flat design, typefaces are a very important element. So it’s easy to see how flat design has been heavily influenced by print media designs, particularly print designs that use grids and other layouts that put the focus squarely on the content.
One big reason for the growing popularity of flat design is that it works well with responsive web designs. A responsive design is one that adjusts to the dimensions of the user’s screen. The responsiveness makes it look good on desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Stylized elements like textures have less of an impact when viewed on smaller screens, while a clean, flat presentation displays well on different devices. The fact that flat designs have fewer visual elements means that it’s easier to display the website on any screen.
Flat design’s natural compatibility with responsive designs is one reason that Google has developed its own version and set of principles, called material design. Google has already implemented material design across its Android mobile apps. It has also begun to incorporate it into the Chrome browser and its own web properties like Google Drive. Material design does include many elements that flat design moved away from, but its influence is still readily visible.
Microsoft has also done quite a bit to popularize flat design. The Windows Phone 7 was one of the big early examples of flat design. It proved to be a popular design as well as influential on both Microsoft and other companies. Microsoft has adopted flat design across most of its properties, including on Windows 8 and even Xboxes.
If you’re thinking about building a new website for your business or updating an old one, consider web design with BSG. Our web design experts have experience building websites that make an impression on potential customers. We know that cluttered websites confuse users and are more likely to drive them away than to reel them in. That is why we emphasize smooth transitions and straightforward navigation. So contact BSG today to start the process of building a website that will make your business stand out from the crowd.