Style choices change over time, whether you’re talking about home decor or website design. In the past, website designers focused on rich design elements to make the page more three-dimensional in feel. These elements included bevels, drop shadows, reflections, and gradients. In the early stages of web design, heavy ornamentation was used to show off a designer’s skill in order to grab attention to the page. However, like the garish avocado green bath fixtures of the 1960s, these rich design elements have become old-fashioned, or worse, simply not functional. The backlash from this has created the latest trend towards a flatter design, where the page is more minimalistic, less stylistic, and ultimately, much more functional.
The Benefits of a Flat Design
In a case of technology imitating art, web designers adopting the flat design have taken a modernistic approach to create a clean, crisp, uncluttered look for their websites. However, unlike modern designs in furniture, a website flat design can still make use of bright colors to make their statement. Text is usually large, unornamented, and simple. Graphics are bold, with simple designs, not intricate. This benefits the business owner who only has a few seconds to get their message across to a potential visitor by:
Creating a More Functional Design – The site visitor isn’t going to be assaulted with extra elements trying to grab their attention and instead are directed to only what they need to read or see to understand the message. The bright colors are used to draw attention to functional areas, not just for decoration, making the design far more functional. The images are less cluttered so that by simply viewing one, the idea is easily digested without having to decipher a larger, more, complex image. This makes a flat design website much easier to understand than their older versions.
Not Dating the Site – The flat design style makes it harder to date the style, so that it shouldn’t have to be changed too often for design reasons alone. It has more staying power as a minimalist design is classic over a longer period of time, than its more stylistic cousins. People aren’t going to comment on how the design appears dated because there are less visual clues to even figure out whether it is an older design or not. This provides an impression of freshness that helps you to create a modern image for your business.
Porting Easily Between Different Devices – A flat design works very well with smartphones and other mobile devices that like white space and easier to read websites. That means that you can reach a wider audience, particularly if you’ve chosen a flat design that is also responsive to whatever device that person is viewing from. People who visit your site via a smartphone won’t be squinting to pick out details in complex images or trying to read highly stylized fonts. They’ll be as clean and crisp on a small screen as they are on a larger laptop or desktop screen.
Minimalism is Here to Stay
The trend towards minimalism as a way to create more functional websites is here to stay. When a web design introduces extra elements that only confuse and distract a buyer, then they aren’t helping businesses in the long run, no matter how pretty the design is. That’s why many larger companies have already adopted a flat design to help them reach a wider audience and increase their sales. It’s only a matter of time before small and mid-sized businesses also follow suit.