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What Is Flat UI design and When Should You Use It?

Posted by Artisan on Nov 12, 2013 6:00:00 PM

What is Flat UI Design?

A flat user interface is a clean, simple approach to presenting information. A UI designer creates a flat UI design by displaying only essential information, which catches the user's attention quickly and motivates them to stay on the site longer. Software development firms are more likely to hire a web designer with experience in flat user interface design, due to the increasing popularity of this design technique. The Mobile Web Design Blog discusses the uses, advantages, and disadvantages of UI design.

What Is Flat UI and When Should You Use It Uses of Flat UI Design

Flat UI design has a modern, stylish look that's highly effective in web design for the digital, marketing and SEO industries, although it's less useful for retail businesses. It's most common on websites such as Apple, Google+ and Microsoft that deal with technical topics, especially the web. Windows 8 users are already familiar with flat user interface design, as this operating system uses flat UI design exclusively. A flat UI helps prevent websites from becoming overwhelmed with advertisements and unnecessary graphics. This UI design is also an entertaining challenge for designers because it has less margin for error than traditional approaches to UI design.

Advantages of Flat UI Design

The most obvious advantage of flat UI design is its attractive appearance on a range of computers and browsers. This approach to UI design doesn't use visual effects such as gradients and shadows, which can cause compatibility problems between different browsers. A flat UI also tends to be easier on the user's eyes due to the lack of depth and bright colors that can cause eye strain. The use of well-designed buttons also makes flat UIs simpler to navigate than traditional UIs, since these interfaces have fewer clickable widgets.

Disadvantages of Flat UI Design

Flat UI design also has some fundamental limitations, although most users feel that its advantages outweigh these disadvantages. A flat UI design has a modern, stylish look that appeals to experienced computer users, but this description doesn't apply to everyone who uses a computer. New computer users are often put off by a flat user interface design , which doesn't display information that experienced users already know such as navigation instructions. UI designers must therefore consider the experience level that users are likely to have when deciding to use a flat UI design.

The lack of visual effects in this approach to UI design also means that a designer can't easily conceal imperfections in the design. The interface must be crisp and sharp for all users, so that all components on the interface are clearly visible to everyone. Designers don't necessarily seek to cover up design flaws, but this limitation of flat UIs is still an important design consideration.


The primary purpose of flat UI design is to create websites with a clean, modern appearance, although these characteristics won't appeal to all users. UI designers generally believe that flat UI design is here to stay rather than just a passing fad. Flat UIs should continue to appear in more websites and influence graphic designers.

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