Textures, shadows, and gradients are out, solid colors are in. Flat design rose in popularity a few years ago and seems like its here to stay. Flat design is not just popular in UI design but in brand identity as well, effecting every facet of design, from operating systems, websites, web applications, mobile apps, to logos.
What is Flat Design?
Flat design is a style of interface design highlighting minimum use of stylistic elements that avoids excessive use of drop shadows, gradients or textures. Simply put, it’s a design that’s stripped of any sort of impression of the third dimension.
Microsoft was one of the first to implement flat design to the mainstream consumer with Zune, a portable media player. After Zune was surpassed by the increased sales of the iPod and then later discontinued, Microsoft applied a similar design approach to their Windows phone.
Zune and Windows Phone
Content is becoming the central part of our design, it forces us to think about how to present information in a more compelling way that is truly intuitive for the user. Flat design, without any bias looks cleaner, sharper, modern, and looks good in all types of tablets and mobile devices. Many websites and mobile apps have already tailored their design into a modern flat appearance, which reduces loading time and enhances user experience.
Here you can see Apple adopted this trend a couple of years ago when they introduced iOS 7 to the iPhone.
iOS 6 vs iOS 7 Icon Comparison
Below are some major brands like Netflix, Southwest, and Paypal that have recently redesigned their logos to jump on the flat design trend.