Flat design is becoming more popular because it looks rather stylish. It may look as if it is simply an easy and cheap way of creating a website, but it is actually quite difficult to create a flat design and not have it look bad. Creating a classy and/or stylish flat design takes a lot of skill; otherwise it just looks cheap and tacky. Here are ten features that you should remember when building your flat design.
1 – Keep navigation elements in their intuitive place
It may spoil your flat design a little bit if you have to put your search bar at the top of the page, but that is where people expect it to be. Stick with some of the usual design conventions, and understand that sometimes you have to sacrifice your artistic sensibilities in the name of usability.
2 – Make sure it is user friendly
It has to be user friendly and slightly more initiative than usual, as it is very easy to turn your flat design into a flat page puzzle. A flat design must be easy to read, use and interpret, otherwise what is the point of making it flat in the first place? Make sure that it is easy to skim read, easy to understand and easy to navigate. A flat design that is hard to understand is going to scare away your viewers.
3 – Do not add in any added effects
It removes the point of creating a flat website in the first place. Do not add in any animations within your navigation menus or within the buttons. Do not have moving or flashing parts (they are tacky anyway), and do not include any sort of shadowing. If you are adding effects then you are blurring the lines between flat and mainstream design.
4 – Simplicity is your key to success
Do not forget that a flat design has to have all of the tell tale signs of a simple interface. It is all part of being a flat design, since it may look a little childlike or amateurish if you have tried to make it complex. It may look as if you wanted to create a mainstream website but did not have the skill. Instead, you want your flat design to make a statement about your core values or website purpose.
5 – Web content rules still apply
In other words, just because you have created a fancy flat design, does not mean that the rules of content do not apply to you. It may spoil the overall layout of your design if you have to squeeze text into it, but this is something that you have to do. Do not fill your pages with flimsy or wispy content because filling it with more than 200 words is going to spoil the overall style or look of your design.
6 – Skim reading should be easier with a flat design
This is a very good point, as a flat design is supposed to be uncomplicated and simple, so skim reading should be even easier on a flat website than on a regular website. If this is not the case, then you may be making a very big mistake. Make sure there are no big lumps of text just sitting there, or that the writing is too small in places.
7 – Keep important elements at the top
There is nothing wrong with being creative when you create your flat design, and there is nothing wrong with challenging a few design conventions. But, it is still better if you keep your important elements at the top of the website. Do not forget that the user may be very impressed with your design, but that subsequent visits are going to be for the content and the important page elements, and not for the design.
8 – Keep it spaced out
The biggest problem with flat designs is that they are too easy to condense. A flat design will look more condensed than regular websites, and so you need to create extra space to compensate for the crowded visual effect. Plus, the flat designs with more space are often the ones that look the best anyway.
9 – The flat design should only leave an impression
This is a very important factor, as many designers think that their designs are so cutting edge that people are going to come back to see it. But, this is not the case, as people are going to come back for the content (or not). This means you should make an impression with your design, and one that helps to grow the website brand, but remember that the design is there for the content and not as the main traffic draw.
10 – Navigation is still key
A well designed flat design is easy to navigate. Luckily, most flat designs lend themselves very well to great navigation. You just have to make sure that your artistic urges do not get in the way. This means that you should still make your links and buttons easy to see, even if they throw your designs a little off centre.
The guest post is written by Sonia Jackson from http://www.cool-essays.com. She writes essays on different topics and can give you useful advice.