Online Design II: Inspiration Log 2-14

Flat design has proven to be a continued trend throughout the web designing population. Flat design is an approach to design that favors simplicity and minimalism. Features include clean designs, open space, crisp edges, bright colors, and two-dimensional illustrations. Microsoft was one of the first entities to employ this design style which prefers simple icon-like images over real-life photos or objects. There are a few characteristics of flat design that must be understood before a designer can effectively generate such a design style. Most importantly, minimalist does not mean boring. Flat design treats ornamental elements as unnecessary an confusing to a user’s experience. If the element does not serve a purpose then it is not included in the design. However, bright, vivid colors alongside elegant illustrations and backgrounds serve to capture user attention and guide direction. The minimalist appearance also contributes to flat design’s functional character. Furthermore, simple images and content are understood more easily and quickly by all users. Icon-like images can identify universal actions which virtually everyone can understand. Simple icons also convey meaning as to avoid presenting users with too much copy or information.

There are also many benefits to learning from aspects of flat design. Flat design takes it back to the fundamental features of design as a functional tool. A website is judged off of how well it performs and functions as opposed to the appearance of the webpages. In order to effectively construct a flat design, all elements must be focused on this encompassing idea of simplicity. Each element within the site should be produced with the same overall goal to establish a visually cohesive and properly functioning web design.


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