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What is flat design?

Flat design is a popular web design technique that has been trending for some years now. Modern and minimalistic, it delivers all the information the user needs in a straightforward and aesthetically pleasing package.

Flat design is a strictly two-dimensional design style. There is no shading, shadowing, highlights or glare to make images look 3D – it embraces a two-dimensional perspective and runs with it.

Free from complex graphic design effects, the flat design uses basic elements and colours to convey specific messages to users.

What is flat design?

What came before 2D design?

Before this two-dimensional trend became the must-have approach to web design, websites were often overloaded with showy illustrations and animations that worked to showcase the potential of the web designer – and not so much of the website itself.

After that came a period of skeuomorphism, where designs were created to mimic the characteristics and appearance of real-life objects. Think notepads, calendars, maps and chalkboards, all displayed across various apps and websites.

While flat design leans into a fresh look and an uncomplicated user experience, we think that experimenting with and incorporating elements of each of these design techniques will give you the best results.

Simplicity is key

As a technique often used to convey messages, the whole premise of flat design is based upon simplicity. In order to entice the user into action, a flat design for your website must be clear and easy to understand.

Despite being 2D (and therefore less realistic than its skeuomorphic cousin), the flat design incorporates specific colour combinations and images to portray relevant information and even evoke emotion from the user.

By keeping things simple with a flat design approach, users won’t feel overwhelmed when they land on your website. As a result, they’ll be more likely to browse, engage and interact with your various page offerings.

Flat design reigns in the online world

Flat design has been so expertly woven into the online experience that you probably won’t notice when you come across it, even though it’s practically everywhere.

But that’s the whole point of flat design – to provide a seamless user experience that delivers information at a glance. It’s not there to bombard users with unnecessary graphics or elements that lead to confusion, frustration, and an ultimate exit from the website.

If you aren’t sure about the design technique that will work best for your new website, the team at Ven can help you figure out the right approach for your brand.

For expert advice on web design, talk to Ven >