The best way to explain what flat design is is to have you remember what updating to the most recent iOS was like. Remember the old one with the beveled icons and drop shadows for your apps? Now look at the new one. Those things are gone. That’s flat design, and it’s taken over the web. it looks modern and, because of its ubiquity, there is a demarcation in design trends from the old, highly stylized web to the new.
For Windows users, that interface for Windows 8 is entirely done in a flat design. Believe it or not, Microsoft was an innovator in this trend that is now taken over the web, particularly mobile, in what folks are calling “honest” design because it removes some of the fantasy of UX and inserts functionality. Ironic, because it is a function before fashion idea that has become the fashion.
What that means to you and your customers is simple — showing up with an old website look from the pre-flat design days is like wearing a wide tie in a skinny tie age… though that is probably too mild a metaphor. Long story short, the old way looks dated, like a bad tie and cheap suit. You look dated, like you can’t dress yourself correctly. And while I agree that not being in fashion is no indication of competence or character of the person wearing the clothes, we’d be naive to think that everyone else things that way. You’re in the ‘no’ column right away.
Of course, with every trend there are detractors and with the detractors come blow back. In short, flat design is not for everyone but for some people — particularly those showing off their portfolio work, people like contractors or artists or designers of any kind, as well as anyone involved in tech or medicine — it is near essential in a keeping up with the Joneses manner. like or not, when website does in its initial impression is conveying the competence and currency – both of mode and of offering — to a potential consumer. If someone is shopping around for services that you offer, they are good and just looking you. There cannot look around. If you don’t fit in, you get left behind.
I didn’t make this rule, but we all know it’s true.
Here are some resources on Flat Design. Take a look, tell me what you think and let’s talk about getting you a style makeover to attract the right kind of customer.