Has flat UI design made our designs too simple and boring?

21st June 2013 in Web Design and Development

Back when I first started designing I downloaded Adobe Photoshop CS2 (which was so long ago that now Adobe are letting their users download it for FREE!). At first I could only create what I would now refer to as flat design, but then it was all about making our designs elaborate and colourful. The more time that was spent having fun and using filters on it, the more the viewer would be wowed by it.

I even remember a fellow designer’s quote from University: “You can never have too many lens flares, the more the better.” He couldn’t have been more incorrect.

Since the release of the Metro design by Microsoft (which I am a major fan off), flat UI has exploded and is everywhere. Nowadays if you’re the one using harsh gradients and drop-shadows you are laughed at and not considered cool. 

How Flat Design is being used

Let’s look at the Ebay logo, when the new logo was released I wasn’t a fan of it, but now it has grown on me maybe because everything I see is flat, similar and nothing looks different anymore. The reason I wasn’t a fan of it was because usually logos are designed to portray the company’s image and the logo clearly didn’t.

The older logo stood for fun, but in the new logo that has been taken away. Flat design is about taking away what doesn’t need to be there, but here the logo has lost its character and looks plain and dull, which I guess is the purpose of flat design.

When it comes to flat design we need to be able to judge what needs to be there and what doesn’t, not just from an aesthetics point of view but also from a branding point of view as well.

Below are a few good examples of flat design logos, from Microsoft and Google, I guess we would expect them to have the best logo redesigns. 

Making everything so clean and simple is nice and it works almost every time. But we have to think of different ways to be creative and utilise all our design capabilities to work towards the next major design phase and not restrict ourselves. Flat UI won’t be around forever, just like every other design phase.

Has flat UI restricted our creativity and made us lazy? Is flat UI too minimal and dull now? Let us know your thoughts in comments. I’m looking forward to reading what our readers think. 

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