Flat Design started popping up everywhere around 2013 and quickly a new wave of it started showing up in all places design related. Colourful and simple layouts were all the rage and it’s a perfect solution to give responsiveness to a website. Whilst there are certainly beautiful examples of flat design out there my issue with it has always been the same. It lacks character.

Windows gets on the bandwagon

I understand the decision to go for a Flat Design theme for Windows. They wanted to give consistency between their PC, Tablet and mobile platforms and in essence flat design can do that. I just don’t think they pulled it off.

Windows - Flat Design Example

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not absolutely awful, it just seems to me too ‘in-personal’ for a personal computer. Also, another pet peeve is the range and amount of simple bold colors gives an almost childish feel to things. In my opinion this is a good example of a great idea in theory just not executing properly.

Flat Design done right

There are plenty of examples of flat design being used effectively, but it typically works well when flat design is the foundation and elements and images are added to give that all important character.

Inky - Flat Design Example

Here is a quick screenshot of Inky. Already much better than the windows attempt, instead of lots of colours a small range of blues. Pictures are added and the theme is consistent, it just works.

So should you use Flat Design?

As with all design palettes, there’s a time and a place. Flat Design is ideal especially to those starting out in web design to convey a profession without too much experience. So certainly play with it in your early days but as your skills improve you should develop the design with more character.


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