When Flat Has Depth

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  • December 19, 2013
  • INK Team

Sometimes less design is good design.

Take this gif from Darkhorse Analytics, for example. It demonstrates how an overly designed chart can look dated, crowded and confusing. By removing the majority of the “design” – the backgrounds, borders, effects and the like – you end up with a chart that is clean, modern and easy to understand.

Remove to Improve

Flat and thin are in.

In fact, this simple design aesthetic – called “flat” design – is one of the hottest design trends right now, particularly among technology companies. Consider Apple’s latest iOS 7 update: the icons on our iPhones changed from 3D and skeuomorphic to minimal and flat. Apple even thinned up the font, shifting from Helvetica Neue Light to Helvetica Neue Ultralight.

It’s not for nothing.

It’s easy to see in the gif above that as you remove unnecessary elements and flatten the design, the chart looks better and better. Plain and simple. But why is this a trend? After all, non-flat designs can look great, too, right?

Absolutely. But flat design is not only beautiful, it’s practical:

  • It helps avoid information overload. Nowadays, we don’t need frills. We want to get right to the point. Content is king.
  • It’s faster to load, keeping apps and websites speedy.
  • It’s easy to make the design responsive when building apps and websites.

Where do you stand?

Personally, I am a fan of the trend. It’s easy to execute, easy on the eyes, and it suits every type of company and brand. Where do you stand? Are you a supporter of flat design or would you like to see trends go another direction?