As the world goes online, the need of smart website keeps evolving. Websites designed in the initial period followed different design patterns than what we see today. Flat designs for website creation have been in existence since the early age of site design. These websites in their primitive design form looked similar in structure with little differentiation. As a natural progression, the designs kept on improving to keep the audience excited and engaged. The modern sites with flashy designs embarked the new trends of website designs with superior technology and scripts leading to the fall of the old age flat designs.
Some facts about flat designs :-
So why are we discussing the flat designs for website which were long gone? Well, the answer lies in the re-energized version of these flat designs. Flat designs rose from the ashes like a phoenix and are in great demand once again. Its importance can be understood from the fact that even giants like Apple have triggered the recent flat design craze in iOS. It has also caught Google’s attention and is a part of their Material design concept for web and mobile devices.
Reasons of using Flat designs and its limitations :-
Today the websites are viewed across different browsers and different screen sizes. This is where flat designs come very handy. These designs have great adaptation in the modern age responsive web designs and are greatly eliminating the needs of heavy technologies for animation. These technologies such as flash and other heavy duty graphics with effects in Photoshop and Illustrator are cumbersome to create and are too heavy to load making them obsolete. Everything is now possible with the latest HTML5 tags and CSS3 styling. The graphics created using vectors and SVG images offer great scalability options. However like any other technology, flat designs for website also have their own set of limitations. Here I mention few challenges with the flat design.
- Challenges with Uniqueness of site. Although different sites are customized with their respective features and functionalities, the flat designs still make everything look similar. Imagine your site looking similar to your competition with little differentiation.
- Challenges with User Experience. The site lacks intuitive user experience and sometime looks dull and almost dead with its flat elements.
- Challenges with Contexts. Again due to its similar look it becomes slightly difficult to present the state using flat design. For example, indicators such as pressed or un-pressed buttons get vaguer in the flat designs.
Use of Flat designs :-
Even with these limitations, we are witnessing an upward trend in its usage. These problems can be well answered through the use of animations. Light weight animations can be used to spice up the aesthetics of the boring flat designs. For example, having a submit button which changes its shape to depict the loading process and a tick mark after the loading is successfully finished. These small indicators such as round corners, gradients etc. are easily done using the modern CSS. They offer great help in improving the design and also keep the user engaged. Thus light animations in HTML5 are a great way of bringing fresh life to the static flat designs.