Flat Website Design: A Step Towards 2014

by Alan Prachar on  October 15, 2013 |
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By Tim Bradshaw

As we are nearing the end of 2013, we are experiencing certain website design trends which would rule 2014 and the years to come. Web site design through its evolution is experiencing several trends in its wake. It has gone through simple text format to flashy designs and parallax scrolling. There have been instances when website designs were filled with glitters and flashes of mind numbing animations which evolved to a phase which emphasized on bringing realism to the screens of desktop and mobile devices. Probably skeuomorphism was born of that period.

Gone are the days when the website pages showcased the endeavors and skills of the website designers. The faux-pas and the artificial website design have become the things of the bygone. Business owners and the website designer are focusing more on user-centric website designs which are digitally aesthetic.


Debunking Flat Design

It can be predicted that the minimalism would still be a ruling concept for website design in coming years. Flat design as a part of minimalism would be focusing on the features like cleanliness, open space, crisp spaces and bright color shunning away the 3D aspects while only using two-dimensional elements.

It was the sheer competition between tech giants which led to the birth of the flat design. The first to use flat design was Windows as an answer to skeuomorphic design propagated by Apple for the MAC OS and IOS systems. As hinted in the above mentioned lines, skeuomorphic design focused on providing realistic designs to computers displays. Flat design does just the opposite by implementing icon like images and simple designs.


Make Way for more Minimalism

The flashy and too much ornamentation has never been a trait of the minimalist website design. It is considered as more of a clutter. The main philosophy of the flat design is that if any of the design elements of the website does not serve its purpose it becomes a clutter and has to be removed. Made from the brightest colors, these website designs are never lacking the luster and they are successful in alluring clients. The functional characteristics of a website get captured through the minimalist website.

Through the removal of complicated textures, patterns, shadows, gradients and other effects, the flat design focuses on a website to make it look more interactive. Graphical aesthetics do not have much role to play in the aspect of the flat minimalist design.

Flat website designs have already been in existence in a dormant state for sometimes until it made a comeback with the Windows 8 operating system. The OS has been the benchmark for this kind of web design in the recent times.


Designers and Flat Design

Whenever a designer goes for flat design, he has to keep in mind that it is not meant for all web sites. They are certain elements web designers have to keep in mind to come up with an ideal flat web design. So what are the ingredients which make a web design actually flat?


Some Basic Elements

The first thumb rule of implementing flat design is to put away the tools that add depth to the site. Be it embossing, drop shadows, bevel, or gradients- it is best to keep these elements at bay. It is mandatory for each element within the site to look crisp and lacking the feathered edges.

The whole design is absolutely dependent on the hierarchy of design and the placing of the elements on flat surfaces.


Shapes to use in Design

One of the biggest attractions of a flat design is the use of simple UI elements. The button and icons play a pivotal role in case of flat Design. The designer has the full liberty to use simple shapes like rectangles, squares or circles. The edges of these shapes would be well contoured and include curvatures. Keep in mind the elements have to be absolutely simple. It has to be easy to click or tap.


Hues To Use In Design

To talk about the colors, they play a big role in forming the flat designs. It is best to go bold with them. You will find flat Design color palettes which are far brighter than the color palettes available for the general web designs. With these kinds of color palettes you would also be getting more hues to work with.The best way is to use the solid primary and secondary color avoiding the tints as well as the tones.


Typography Rules

One of the most important elements of any website design is the typography. When it comes to flat design for the website, it is always to be kept in mind that it should match with the type scheme. There should always be a parity between the visual and the textual elements.

The trick of the trade for the web designers is to use fewer amounts specialty typefaces and to go with simple typography like the Sans Serif fonts.

It is the typeface which tells the users about the way it is to be designed, label button as well as help increase in interactivity.


Flat design is just one of the design trends which are expected to be making big in the year 2014. There are several tutorials available online for flat design. You can always go through them and make your website ready for 2014.

Tim Bradshaw is a professional website designer engaged with VNS info since 2008. VNS Info provides website design services at an affordable rate. To know more about Tim Bradshaw, find him at his G+ profile.

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