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Apple Is Embracing The Flat Design Trend – Are You? – Forbes

December 26, 2023

The iOS7’s UI is not fully flat; however, it is much flatter than the previous versions of the operating system. The company has moved away from glossy and beveled icons with strong drop shadows. Instead what we will get are smooth and very subtle gradients, light soft shadows, and very vivid and bright colors.
Critics have bombarded Apple by claiming that the iOS7 looks unpolished, which is something Apple is not known for; while the supporters claim the iOS7 is not the final look and merely a transition phase. Either way, Apple is loosely following the flat design trend.
Flat design has existed for a long time and it was one of the most popular styles of design during the Soviet era. It hadn’t caught up in the digital world until the mid-2000s when Microsoft started implementing their Metro design philosophy.
Metro aims to simplify the user interface by relying more on typography and less on graphics. This creates a flatter look, which has its own pros and cons. Flat design can be problematic because all elements are at the same level in the Z-axis of the 3D space, so it can be more difficult to create a depth perception.
Over the past few years Google has shifted toward flat design as well, although somewhat in a sneaky way. The company didn’t do it as a major redesign, but rather slowly implementing new design pieces to each of its products. Android has seen a major push toward the flat design with the Ice Cream Sandwich release on October 17, 2011.
Finally, Apple is moving in the similar direction with its iOS7 release coming up this fall.
The three tech giants are moving toward flat design in their efforts to improve the overall user experience. Although flat design is not necessary the goal of any design project, it often ends up being the result.
In most simplistic terms, the more design elements you add, the busier the design will be. Gradients, shadows, patterns, and textures can bring a design to life, but too much of it can quickly clutter it up into a huge mess.
Improving the user experience is not only about simplifying the UI or making it look flat. Those two are merely the methods we use to bring emphasis on what matters most in our products –- content.
The likely goal of the big three giants in moving toward the flat design was to place a higher focus on the content while eliminating the distractions from UI elements.
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This is kind of a tricky question. The real answer is that you should not redesign your website, app, or product just to implement flat design.
Your goals should be to improve user experience by focusing on good quality content. Letting the content shine through without distractions from other UI or page elements will ensure a smoother and better user experience.
If you prefer the look of the flat design to the traditional gradient- and shadow-heavy design, then you can mention it to your designer so he or she has a better vision of what you are looking for. But don’t sacrifice on the user experience over any specific design style or element.
When we redesigned our website at AdFicient, we decided not to implement a fully flat design because we didn’t feel it was the right look for our audience at that time. But that did not stop us from simplifying the overall layout and making a more seamless user experience that increased user engagement and conversion rates.
Flat design is “in” right now because of the focus on user experience. It’s all about the user experience everywhere. But is flat design the future? That’s pretty much impossible to say; however, design trends change all the time and this one is bound to change and evolve as well.
It’s important to mention that you do not need flat design in order to have a flawless and smooth user experience. Designers have been able to design user-friendly interfaces for a long time.
The point of this entire article is that you should be focusing on improving your users’ experience when they are using your products or websites. Better user experience makes your users loyal and happy and increases the chance of your product succeeding.
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