Design, CG Graphics & Inspiration

What You Should Know About Flat Web Design

Flat Design is the latest, minimalist trend in web design that makes use of simple forms in order to enhance visual impact. It uses a combination of bright colors, special fonts and interesting images to highlight the beauty of simple gestures. What developers had in mind when they first created this trend was to return to basic forms, and experiment with innovative web design techniques. The reason for which flat design was so well received is because it looks really good on smart-phones, it is fast and it focuses only on content. Nevertheless, many designers are still in the dark when it comes to this type of design, not because it is new, but because it has only recently become more popular.

A few Things You Should Know About Flat Web Design

Popularity of Flat Websites

According to recent studies, flat website design has matured, and it is now a coveted look in the website industry. It has forfeited textures, patterns and gradients all for the sake of simplicity. The key to success is to make the icons look clickable even if they have a two-dimensional aspect. I suspect that the reason for which it has become so popular is Windows 8, which is almost entirely made up of flat icons and widgets. In addition to this, responsive design has also become increasingly popular, because it is probably the most viable solution for optimizing websites for mobile use. This means that the simple icons that are created with the help of flat design are going to enhance loading speed for smart-phones, while also creating a beautiful interface.

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All of these things may sound pretty cool and easy to achieve, but they are not. Flat design has a set of challenges that you should solve. Here are a few guidelines that will help you correctly develop flat design widgets:

  • Because Flat Design is still unknown to many, there are not many “general guidelines” that are applicable for every situation. First of all, flat UI should help you solve the designing problems because it will automatically strip away textures and other visual enhancers that hinder your efforts.
  • Consider the fact that as interesting as flat design looks, it is not suitable for every site. You should make sure, before investing your time and efforts into flat design, that it is actually suitable for your page. Many webmasters rush into things simply because they are “trendy”, but everybody knows that trends change quickly, and if you provide your users with an inconsistent looking site they will probably become confused.
  • The most important thing is to focus on content hierarchy within the page. In other words, elements on the page should not intersect in order to look natural. You should also pay close attention to typography and image type if you want things flat widgets to work. As simple as flat design is, it still needs a special something to make it attractive, and that special something could be a unique calligraphy character, or icon.
  • DesignModo has published an impressive collection of resources that work with the help of flat design. They have also chosen a few colors that are especially interesting for people who like flat design. The conclusion is that bright, vivid colors look best when associated with flat web design. This is because bright colors stand out better on default backgrounds. There are also many free flat UI kits available online that will help you in the creative process.

Flat Illustrations in Web Design

The best way to find inspiration is by checking out already existing Flat Web Design sites, apps, or tools. Here are five great examples of Flat Web Design:

1. Built by Buffalo

Built by Buffallo is a web design company that has embraced the beauty of flat design, but which has also customized it in order to show its capabilities. The overall look is not something you see every day in the world of Flat web design because it also incorporates interesting images and shapes.

Built by Buffalo

2. Hundreds

Hundreds is the perfect example of flat design that benefits mobile devices. It is basically a smart-phone game, that also has a beautiful site. What is unique about it is the fact that the flat icons are also animated, and they make use of only two colors that have different shades and intensities.

Hundreds

3. Polaris UI Kit

We were talking earlier about Designmodo, so here is a kit developed by them. Polaris is a kit that mymics the appearance of Windows 8, only it has a darker background, and some skeumorphic elements. (The concept of skeumorphims refers to the mimesis of an original structure or element, without necessarily retaining its functions).

Polaris UI Kit

4. Flat UI Kit by Freepik

I have fancied the idea of flat design for a while now, so I decided to try it out. Having had little to no experience with flat web design in the past, I turned to Freepik’s free Flat UI kit that offers all the essential tools, interface components and graphs for designers. You will notice the tasteful use of flat design within the app.

Flat UI Kit by Freepik

5. SumAll

Since you probably work in the internet marketing field, here is a tool that will help you with data monitoring, analytics and social tracking. But this is not all, besides being a great software for web developers and retailers, SumAll also showcases a beautiful collection of Flat Design Icons and elements that interact with you as you discover the site.

SumAll

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are some who would consider that flat design is just a solution for a problem, but it is more. It has predicted the needs of multiple channels and come up with an elegant solution. There is much to say about flat web design, but the truth is that if you are a web developer it would be better to experiment with it. In my opinion, flat design is aesthetically pleasing, and interesting.

Flat Design Resources

Would you like to experiment with flat web design? Splashnology has made a list of free flat icons for you to enjoy. If you haven’t had enough, here are a few resources that will help you on your way:

  • Anna Robeson,
  • September 17, 2013

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Anna Robeson works for a guest post service company, while overseeing a team of SEO experts. Trying to offer her clients the best solutions possible to grow their business, Anna is also teaching them how to survive the competitive and complicated jungle of online marketing.

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