Every now and then, new ways of doing something sneak into our lives and working habits. There are a lot of reasons for this. It can be changing personal preferences, new technologies, or simply the urge to follow trends. One new approach to web design is flat web design – a two-dimensional layout for a two-dimensional screen.

For the past several years, ‘skeuomorphism’ characterized contemporary and user-centered design. Now, it seems that we’ve somehow gotten used to the digital age and many of us don’t even remember the real-life counterparts that we tried to represent in our designs.

With flat web design, we begin to accept the unique and abstract nature of the Web. But are we dealing with a temporary trend, or are we facing a new revolution in how we design for the Web? Here are some reasons why flat web design might be a good habit.

Flat Web Design is Honest

The core concept of flat web design is that it’s honest and straightforward. This simply means that this type of web design acknowledges the two-dimensional nature of screen design. There’s no attempt to add three-dimensional effects or trick the user into thinking they’re interacting with anything else than a flat screen.

There are no shadows no gradients, no patterns, no 3D animations or design elements that represent real-world things. Instead, flat web design utilizes colors, typography, a lot of whitespace, and a strict grid system for a clear and usable interface.

Flat Web Design is Practical

If done correctly, flat web design will not only be attractive, it’ll also be very usable. It’s simple and minimalistic. The idea is to cut away all distracting and unnecessary design elements and instead focus on important things: the content and your users’ goals.

Use visual cues like color and typography to guide your audience and help them reach their goals. Avoiding distraction doesn’t make flat web design the same as minimalistic design. This is where it usually becomes tricky. Strip down your design to make it as clear and simple as possible – but make sure you don’t remove cues that are important for your users to successfully use your site.

Flat Web Design is Quick

Flat web design is oozing with efficiency. Because of the lack of distraction, attention is directly drawn to the important parts of the site. Not only will you reach your goals, you’re also confident that you can do so in just a short amount of time. While a different website might be just as practical, a flat web design is not hesitant to brag about it – and it’s not a bad thing!

If you can convince your audience that they’ll find what they’re looking for even before they started to look, you’ve taken a huge hurdle in terms of better conversion.

Flat Web Design is Stylish

We always want to be updated, and that’s why we follow trends. Flat web design is trendy – it’s fresh, light and modern. It goes hand-in-hand with other web design trends like the use of typography and whitespace. Bright colors are also finding their way back into the spotlight.

Like with any other trend, we can’t say for sure how long flat web design will last. It might just be a momentary phase, or it might trigger a revolution in the web design community.

As long as we don’t know what it’ll be, try not to follow this trend blindly. Before adapting it to your site, make sure your target audience is ready and your site is suited for this approach.

Flat Web Design is Scalable

Lastly, flat web design is easily accessible and scalable. This is the same with another recent web design trend: responsive design.

Mobile Internet is getting more and more important and you should consider how your site looks like on various screen sizes. While realistic images and other design effects can be difficult to scale, flat design elements like typography and color can easily adapt to smaller screens. For example, instead of having a carefully styled button, a colored link will do in flat web design. A patterned background image becomes a plain and simple background color. Different areas can easily be identified across various devices by using a variety of colors.