The beginner’s guide to flat design


We examine the continuing trend for flat design and what you can learn from it.
In the past, web designers place a specific target showing off their skills and design portfolios by packing sites with flashy illustrations and animations that purportedly wowed their guests. Then came a shift toward skeuomorphic design, that tried to bring reality to the screen, with faux-realistic textures, drop-shadows and real object characteristics.

That gave thanks to flat design, that opposed all of those ‘artificial’ design techniques in favour of a additional simplified, classically digital aesthetic. And whereas this user-centric web design vogue has been around for several years currently, remains as relevant and widespread as ever. so if you are still unsure what it’s all concerning this guide may be simply what you would like…

What is flat design?

What is flat design

Flat design could be a minimalistic design approach that emphasises usability. It options clean, open space, crisp edges, bright colors and two-dimensional illustrations.

Microsoft was one amongst the primary to use this design vogue to its interface, seen by some as a backlash against the favored skeuomorphic design that Apple taken off with its iOS interface. rather than changing a real-life object, like a calendar, into a small realistic illustration, advocates of flat design determine apps with straightforward, icon-like pictures.

Rather than transfer aspects of reality to Associate in Nursing interface, this illustrates a transparent separation between technology and tactile objects.

Minimalist doesn’t suggest boring

In flat design, decorative parts square measure viewed as excess muddle. If a side serves no purposeful purpose, it is a distraction from user expertise. this is often the rationale for the minimalistic nature of flat design.

However, simply because it lacks any flashy design doesn’t suggest this vogue is boring. Bright, different colors build illustrations and buttons pop from backgrounds, simply grab attention, and guide the user’s eye. the aim of minimalistic imaging additionally contributes to flat design’s purposeful character.

Quick to understand

Simple pictures convey messages additional quickly than careful illustrations. pictures like icons will indicate universal actions or functions so everybody will simply perceive them.

It’s easy to examine an on the spot distinction between a skeuomorphic and a flat design. Notice however the larger, solid color blocks square measure additional attention-grabbing and also the that means of the icons will quickly be perceived.


This cloud computing guide (above) from online accounting service Xero uses a combination of flat illustration and iconography to demonstrate different benefits of working with the cloud. The simplicity of the imagery makes it easy to understand the message, which takes away any need for excessive copy.

What you can learn from it

Flat design reverts back to the basics of design as a functional tool. A website is designed and judged by how well it works, as opposed to what it looks like.

This raw functionality forces a site’s focus to be on user experience, so websites that employ this design style successfully are likely to receive positive feedback as being user-friendly.

How to create flat design

To design an effective flat site, all design elements must be centred on this idea of simplicity. Solid, vivid colors give aspects the emphasis needed to set them apart in place of illustrative detail; sans-serif typography provides a clean, crisp supplement to illustrations; text is concise and to-the-point; UI elements like buttons and links are clear and noticeable.

Everything should be designed with the same goal in mind to create a cohesive visual and functional web design. Below are some great examples of flat design…

Flat design examples: Tripfinder


This trip planning app design by Indonesian user interface designer Bady makes it extremely easy to book a flight based on packages and budgets. Everything is clear and understandable, and the design relies mostly on colors and icons to give meaning. The copy is concise, and the UI aspect of searching for an ideal flight is obvious.

Flat design examples: Weather app


This weather app UI design shows that flat design may be sure-fire even while not the employment of bright color. The crisp image and huge typography draw attention to the foremost necessary aspects of the weather, that is what the user is trying to find.

When exploring flat style in your work, certify to design each facet with a minimalistic and user-centric perspective to make sure a unified interface. Once you have with success done this, your users can appreciate the useful nature of your web site.

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