Is Flat Web Design the Next “Grand Design”?

iOS7-leak-01-580-90Technology is always changing and evolving while designers are constantly looking for the next big thing to pursue. 2013 has brought a huge shift in the way websites are built, designed and function in the digital space, the most recent and popular trend being of course flat web design. When you think of flat web design, you might picture basic and boring interface that doesn’t attract any attention. This is not the case! Coupled with awesome talent and correct user experience principles, we are seeing that interfaces are not only converting users into customers, but are looking pretty damn snazzy. If you are still having trouble believing how the design can be beneficial, take a look at how the biggest companies are using flat web design to move forward in 2013. Google is one of the biggest companies right now, and all of their applications are very easy to navigate and utilize. The homepage for Google is very simple and users like the fact that they aren’t bombarded with news and images like other search engines. The Google Play Store offers users several different shopping options, but never pushes too much onto the visitor. All of the icons are flat as well, they are present and stick out when compared to the white background, but aren’t shaded or flashy by any means. Other examples can be found with Apple’s iOS 7 redesign. This upgrade removes a lot of the clutter that could be found on previous versions, making it much easier for novices to find the applications they want and spend less time getting frustrated. Microsoft has also followed suit with the Office 365, a redesign of the popular software. Even experts can be lost when Office updates, but 365 makes everything easier to find and utilize. Flat web design can be found on the Nokia Lumia. This phone has gone through several modifications, and the latest installment has a simplified design that makes it much easier to navigate than before. So we see how there are times when less is more and that is exactly the case with flat web design. Too many visitors get overwhelmed with images, sliders, shading, videos, and gradients.projectflat Companies are trying to create specific designs for specific forms of media, such as mobile or PC, and that’s becoming a detractor for many people. Many are finding that there is such a thing as having too much of a good thing and visitors are starting to move away from all of the glitz and glamour of fancy web design. It can become outdated very easily and is a lot of work for such little in return. The reason for this change in design can be linked to the bigger companies like Apple and Google. As they have continued to grow over the years, many users have become used to how things are done in a certain manner. While fancy websites were all the rage before, they can now look very clunky and borderline ugly. Flat web design has continued to proper during these times, giving people higher conversion rates and less churn.

How can something so simple as Flat Web Design have such a tremendous impact?

761984_letters_web_http_1If you look at flat web design from a visitor standpoint, you’ll miss the point. Web-designers have spent a lot of time learning what people want and how they want it presented. People don’t want to get lost in a sea of text and images; they want to be able to find what they are looking for, quickly and easily. Designers keep this in mind when creating stylish, yet simple, web layouts. Less is more and it can speak volumes on how talented a person is. Flat design also takes into consideration the SaaS model. This model is one that several companies are utilizing, and it provides very little room for error. While it can be a very successful business model that increases revenue, the slightest mistake can make things very difficult to convert customers. flat web designWords of Wisdom – Sometimes less is just more: Having too much going on at once may actually prevent customers from purchasing items or services. Having a cleaner layout makes sure they go to the right pages and can find what they need. It’s important to note that having too many things going on at once also prevents the site from being a functional and fluid platform. Users are likely to run into errors because of an overload of graphical information. Businesses will suffer dramatically from low conversion rates because users are not returning and/or not completing tasks on the site. Also, errors can keep pages from loading properly while long wait times may make visitors turn back and go somewhere else. In this day and age where everything is accessible at the blink of an eye, it’s crucial to understand that a slower-loading page with more features is not as appealing as a slick, fast webpage. While many are implementing flat web design to more easily maintain and update to stay with design trends on a regular basis, several site owners are integrating interactive animation or tools, such as WalkMe, which engage users to interact with the interface and complete tasks or calls-to-action. This not only makes the site flashy and slick, but converts users and guides them through what could be a complicated task on the site. Additionally, many visitors are using their phones to access sites, which in turn make sites function more like apps. The issues with web surfing can be multiplied on a mobile phone, which will take even longer to load properly with too much going on. Mobile users are on the go, and they need to find what they are looking for quickly and without any frustrations. Flat web design doesn’t take up a lot of space and that means a person’s screen is much less cluttered when they visit. Is Flat Web Design the Next “Grand Design”? Well, in the end it all comes down to simplicity and trendiness. Beginners don’t know how to navigate a crowded page while experts don’t want to sift though everything to find what they want and go on with their day. Flat web design is the big thing now, and it proves that sometimes, keeping it clean is the hardest thing to do.

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