Flat web design is “in” – and likely isn’t going anywhere. Tenets of old-school web design featured often-overcrowded webpages with flashy illustrations, drop shadowed text, textures, and more. In the wake of the cluttered and ungainly web designs of old, flat design is a breath of fresh air. It’s sleek, minimalist, and to-the-point.
Let’s take a look at how you can create a beautiful flat website.
Flat Design: The Basics
With the evolution of technology as we know it, it might seem strange that designers are veering towards simplified websites and graphics. After all, technological innovations are happening left and right. Shouldn’t design be getting “fancier” as time goes on?
Research and trends have revealed why flat design is the style of choice…it’s effective! Flat web design focuses not on wowing visitors with wild graphics but on conveying a message. Its purpose is to minimize distractions so users can focus on what matters most – your content. With less “stuff” taking up space on your site, users will experience faster load times and easier navigation.
Elements of Great Flat Web Design
Not all websites can (or necessarily should) follow a minimalist approach. For example, a news website’s goal is to offer an array of different stories, all in keeping with the latest updates locally and around the world. In this case, it makes sense to display a number of options for users to explore. But when your goal is to sell a product or service, it’s important to direct your readers where you want them to go.
Here are a few tips for creating an effective flat website.
Simple, Intuitive Navigation
Most websites organize content with multiple pages. For example, your company’s website may be broken down into pages for individual services, contact information, and an “about us” page. The problem with many websites’ navigation is that important content is buried under multiple levels of organization. As a result, users feel lost, confused, and frustrated – and will often leave to seek the same services from a competitor.
Flat navigation utilizes distinct, recognizable categories, allowing users to quickly find information without clicking through multiple navigation links. With this system, you trust the reader; they know what they’re looking for, and flat design gets out of their way.
Content with Breathing Room
Flat design acknowledges the limitations of a two-dimensional screen. Instead of including distracting design elements or trying to create the illusion of 3D images, it uses whitespace and solid color to give a site’s content room to breathe.
Even the content itself is reduced to the most necessary components. With solid, vivid colors, sans serif typography, and concise text, flat design does away with nonessential content. The result is a clean, crisp, and imminently readable website.
Graphics are an important element of almost every website. What would your brand be without its logo, or without graphical traits like icons and symbols to convey information? The key is to make symbols and illustrations clear and to-the-point, with simple imagery that takes away the need for excessive explanations in your copy.
Use bright, contrasting colors to make graphics pop out from the background. Without unnecessary visual clutter, you’ll draw even more attention to your graphics, making them a perfect solution for a compelling CTA or informative infographic.
Final Thoughts: A Trend with Staying Power?
As with any trend, there’s no way to tell precisely how long flat design will last. However, its focus on raw functionality means it may inspire web designers to pare down excess visual information even further to make websites more user-friendly than ever.