Johnny, the designer here at Digital Consortium, loves a Flat White, a Flatbread and also flat-pack furniture assembly, but his favourite by far is flat design styles and illustrations.
Back in 2013 he was charged with brightening up the walls in the office and came up with a series of stylish flat two-tone illustrations of various objects as well as a team illustration featuring head-shots of the staff here at DCHQ.
More recently in June 2015 he re-vamped the artwork and created a new team illustration to feature the current team at DC and the office at Calder House on The Wharf.
Johnny not only enjoys the flat style illustrations; this also translates into incredibly user-friendly responsive web design. The simplicity of flat design allows for bright and bold colour palettes. When designing for mobile screens as well as desktops, colour can be very important in highlighting navigation and menu items, as well as differentiating content sections.
Flat typography also has a positive effect on usability, especially for multi-device sites and pages. The clear, crisp font choices focus on readability and giving the user a more enjoyable reading experience.
The minimalist nature of flat design challenges the designer to be more creative by saying less. ‘Less is more’ (to quote Mies Van der Rohe). Content becomes the primary focus and design allowing that to speak, unhindered by the clutter of textures and flourishes.
With technology now having practically everything in high definition the use of the crisp and clean graphics lends itself very nicely to web design. People will generally judge a website within 10 seconds of opening it and if the page that they land on is too busy or not clearly laid out then they will likely leave and you have potentially lost that person forever. Flat design can be very easy on the eye and simple to follow with clear signposts and call to actions, allowing people to instantly engage and continue their journey on your website.
The user interface and content, combined with intuitive use of collapsible navigations and iconography negates the need for superfluous words and menu items.
Flat design does not fit into one specific box or set of rules; it should be combined with streamlined user journeys and universally accepted symbols (which change as the nature of browsing evolves).
We’re not harking back to Pop Art with Lichtenstein’s Ben Day dot (paying homage to print in the form of artwork – or in this case web – very nice though it may be), but instead looking towards specific trends in design whilst continually focussing on usability and the changing world of browsers, devices and the audiences of the websites for which we design.
Whether the device is big or small, flat design is one of the tried and tested successful design styles that promotes and maintains an enjoyable and unproblematic user experience.