UX Magazine has a great post on Why Flat Design Matters. If design concepts like skeuomorphism are unfamiliar to you, it’s time you get the low down on what ‘Flat Design’ is all about and why it’s significant for you:
Flat design can be seen as the more sophisticated and versatile cousin of minimalism. While flat designs look great when made within the restraints of minimalism, they can also handle a lot more complexity; these designs have a crispness and clarity that can only be achieved by stripping away three dimensional effects.
Flat design not only reconciles the goals of minimalism and skeuomorphism, it also is uniquely adaptable to usability considerations. By shedding unnecessary styling, it makes for speedier pages, cleaner code, and easy adaptability.
Read the entire piece, here. It’s got some great visual examples too.
In contrast, Google’s approach to Design is based on a number of principles inspired by what they call ‘Material Design‘:
A material metaphor is the unifying theory of a rationalized space and a system of motion. The material is grounded in tactile reality, inspired by the study of paper and ink, yet technologically advanced and open to imagination and magic.
Surfaces and edges of the material provide visual cues that are grounded in reality. The use of familiar tactile attributes helps users quickly understand affordances. Yet the flexibility of the material creates new affordances that supercede those in the physical world, without breaking the rules of physics.
The fundamentals of light, surface, and movement are key to conveying how objects move, interact, and exist in space and in relation to each other.
The coming months should see a lot of excitement in this arena…