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What is flat design?

Sheza Naveed

Grokking Modern System Design Interview for Engineers & Managers

Ace your System Design Interview and take your career to the next level. Learn to handle the design of applications like Netflix, Quora, Facebook, Uber, and many more in a 45-min interview. Learn the RESHADED framework for architecting web-scale applications by determining requirements, constraints, and assumptions before diving into a step-by-step design process.

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Flat design is a user interface (UI) design that uses simple two-dimensional elements and bright colors.

Initially, flat design was developed for responsive design. Resize and adjustment becomes easier with the flat design. Minimal texture and simple shapes also ensure that responsive design loads quickly.

However, flat design has its drawbacks as well. The flat nature of different UI elements takes away the hints given to the user regarding how to use the interface, e.g., cards and buttons do not appear distinct on a flat design interface, so it might be difficult for the user to understand how to use them.

Some people find the flat design to be boring. However, it is a good design practice to remove anything if the design will work fine in its absence. Flat design gets its appeal from its bright colors, which grab the user’s attention.

Here are some good design practices to improve your flat design:

  1. Colors - vibrant and bright colors are used in flat design that grab the user’s attention. Material design, Flat UI Colors and Coolers provide good color palettes and color palette generators to ensure that the contrast is easy for the users to look at.
Flat color palette from Flat UI

Use soft colors in the background that do not take away from the main message.

Soft color background. Source: Caquina Beauty
  1. Typography - use simple typography that is easy for the users to read at a glance.
Simple Typography. Source: Conatural
  1. Motion - makes the design more interactive. Motion-based elements can be of different types, such as animations, transitions, etc.
  1. Illustrations - simple visuals that convey the message can replace complicated and lengthy texts.
Explanatory visual. Source: Airbnb

Flat design 2.0

Flat design 2.0 is a step ahead of the flat design that uses subtle shadows in the interface. Instead, this conveys to the users that certain elements are buttons, cards, etc, and thus improves user experience.

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hci
ux
ui
design

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Sheza Naveed
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Grokking Modern System Design Interview for Engineers & Managers

Ace your System Design Interview and take your career to the next level. Learn to handle the design of applications like Netflix, Quora, Facebook, Uber, and many more in a 45-min interview. Learn the RESHADED framework for architecting web-scale applications by determining requirements, constraints, and assumptions before diving into a step-by-step design process.

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