Flat Web Design: Responsive and Efficient

by Wesley Farnam - Aug 01, 2014

At The Idea People, we focus our web design best practices on heightened user experiences, creative expression of our clients' brands, and integration of the latest design techniques. Our web design process is a solid solution for any business yearning to increase it's Internet presence. As web design trends ebb and flow out of our daily domains, our designers enjoy the challenge of embracing popular design trends and executing them to client websites, like flat web design.

"In the past, rich design was the go-to style for business websites," said Bill McCown, agency director of The Idea People. "Rich design adds stylized elements like bevels, reflections, drop shadows and gradients to a webpage." Rich design was used to make elements feel more tactile and usable for users who are navigating the site or using an application. Flat design is the complete opposite – an attempt to get back to a minimalist design that emphasizes a clean, efficient experience.

The Magic of Flat Web Design?

"Flat web design is the term given to a style of design in which elements eschew stylistic characters that make them appear as though they lift off the page," said McCown. "This means removing drop shadows, gradients and textures that make the element feel three-dimensional." Designers today gravitate toward flat design because it feels crisp and modern, and allows them to focus on what's most important: the content and the message. Flat design was influenced by International Typographic Style (the Swiss Style) and the style of Bauhaus (Minimalism) – it seems like a new concept, but flat design is really just the digital reincarnation of our printed past.

Why is the Web Going Flat?

By removing styles that can easily date their layout – or that could quickly cause it to become outdated – web designers are essentially “future-proofing” their designs so they can remain relevant for longer periods of time. Of course, another added benefit of flat design is that it makes things more efficient and cuts out the fluff.

"One of the biggest reasons flat design has become so popular in recent years is the development of responsive design," said McCown. "As more devices are connecting to the web, with various screen sizes and browser constraints, designers are finding that their tried-and-true design styles – which relied heavily on textures, drop shadows, and fixed imagery – don’t translate as well when you have to shrink those designs to fit smaller screens." Without extra design elements in the way, websites can load much faster and are easier to resize and form around the content it holds.

Examples of Flat Design

Here's a look at our website for Jump Shot Genie™, a training tool that makes you a better basketball shooter. The idea is simple: record your shot, upload it and professional coaches, trained by Dell Curry, a 16-year NBA basketball legend, will analyze it. For a closer look at the design, visit the Jump Shot Genie™ website or view our portfolio.

Here's our website for RidgeRock, a Charlotte-based company that specializes in retaining wall block manufacturing for commercial and industrial projects. RidgeRock offers a wide array of earth retention products to meet any structural or aesthetic requirement. From their most economical concrete block to their high-end multi-piece system, and an eco-friendly green option in their RidgeScape product. For a closer look at the design, visit the RidgeRock website or view our portfolio. 

What's the Next Big Thing in Web Design?

Flat web design will evolve and eventually a new style will emerge. Over the last century, each wave of modernism revolted against the one that had come before. It’s likely that the same thing will happen with interface design – after complete flatness, we'll probably see designers carefully reintroduce elements of dimensionality where it's needed.

Our talented, creative web designers at The Idea People are already looking ahead and experimenting with the latest trends and innovations in web design and development. For whatever comes after flat design, you can guarantee the The Idea People will be on the cutting-edge of web technology. We design and develop creative websites that empower your customers with information, rank high in search engine results and help you build new customer bases.

To learn more about how our web design can help your business solidify your place in the market, please call Jay Joyce with The Idea People at 704-398-4437 or email jay@theideapeople.com.  We will give you the creative design that impacts your brand's marketplace.

Wesley Farnam
The Idea PeopleThe Idea People