Flat design shouldn't be... well... flat

Trying to stay off the (band)wagon

It is a little easy to hop on the design trend buzzwords so I will attempt to keep this as unfashionable as possible.

The rebirth of flat design (not birth as some younger designers will think), has seen the world go nuts for redesigning their apps, sites, brands etc in the search for the "Flat" look.

To keep the trolls away I will not place this design trend at the feet of any major brands specifically as I think they have all had a role to play and have all learned from previous design trends.

So why shouldn't "Flat" be flat?

The issue I have with many current implementations of Flat is that some are flat for the sake of it. I love and always have loved simple, block colour designs and they have always made for brilliant UI design.

But visually I still miss a few bits that seem to be "banned" by many design gurus. I still have no problem with shadows, borders, buttons that look like buttons and I love gradients too.

Some apps on my iPhone have actually forced me to sit down and learn the interface when before they were intuitive. In what would seem to be a backwards step, some app designers are now more concerned with The Flat than with using it as part of a toolset.

Don't be scared of good design

I guess the main point of this mini-rant is don't be scared of using bits from your design toolkit even if everyone else is telling you not to. As we know all trends come and go and opinions change constantly.

The important bit is that if your web app is much easier to use for your users no matter what trend you applied to it, then you have hit designer's nirvana. We should definitely be trying to push boundaries and constantly exploring design patterns to improve and innovate. It's as simple as that.