Everyone explores the digital world every day. It is impractical to know someone who has never used a computer or a mobile phone. All the programs in your devices is the personification of the digital design. In this post, we are going to talk about the main sections of modern mobile app design establishment, in other words we look into flat design vs material design and how they can work or go against your needs and business. Design has come a long way to get its contemporary appearance so knowing the history is very important as well. Welcome to The Pros and Cons of Flat and Material Design. Also be sure to check out the video below for more information on Flat Design and Material Design.
Skeuomorphism Era (The Start of Flat and Material Design)
The development of both Material Design and Flat Design came from what is know as Skeuomorphism, which is characterized by incorporating objects from our customary lives into design. In the IT (Information Technology) inversive, this became a widespread term after the 1st iPhone was shown to the public in 2007. Below one can see the differences between two eras of development design.
Back in 2007, people were not well-informed with digital interaction. So it was a pretty serious mission for designers to generate an attractive and suitable UI that could be used by experienced and new users in the same way The clear choice was to make things from our everyday life a part of this UI. Because of this, a user could comprehend the undertaking of one element or another. Skeuomorphism was appointed so users could adapt to the experience from real to digital.
What is Flat Design?
Flat design incorporates of element amalgamations. These items are icons, fonts, and colors. The main principle of this style is evident, in other words the simplicity as a key to attaining the perfect outcome. That is why this design buried a lot of ornamental elements which were a routine practice at that time. Such as shadows as well as gradients and textures. Because of the object lying on a single surface and after these effects were minimized, flat gave us a new emotion.
As already mentioned, Skeuomorphic design is overburdened with detailed textures and other elements. All these elements slow the loading time of an app. So the nonexistence of this delay makes the interaction with your device more pleasant and prolific. This way, the changes that were conducted in UI helped to refine UX as well.
Another pro of flat design are its appealing interface on any screen resolution. It was not always practicable to get such excellence during the era of skeuomorphism. One more plus of flat design is that all the elements supplement one another, and thus the user is not preoccupied from the content itself. Moreover, two-dimensional images can help explore through different kinds of digital content. Such images can be acknowledged clearly because they are schematic and straightforward.
Another company related with flatness is Apple. Skeuomorphism was substituted by flat design with the iOS 7 release in 2013. This change in design was acknowledged far better than in Microsoft because Apple did not try to reinvent the wheel. They just made some corrections to prevailing designs by adding flatness. Remember, less and simple is better.
What is Material Design
It is consequence noting that material design is a result of Google’s work. We have tons of reasons to call this style a brand product. However, what we call material design “branded,” we mean that it was generated according to a specific innovation of design in Google’s company. In fact, it is just a division of flat design. For example, if Apple added flatness to an prevailing kind of design, then Google made its repressiveness, but now with flat design.
Google demanded to showcase a common design language for all devices to be up-to-date. So what is the primary feature of material design? Being stunning, flat designs still had several disadvantages. One of them was impenetrable interaction for inexperienced users. Clickable elements were hardly recognizable-able from non-clickable texts and icons. Google had tried to solve this issue and presented shadows into their design. They had made objects look three-dimensional so users could distinguish clickable and non-clickable elements. In other words, use of shades is a incompatibility to the user interaction. We can call the material design a ‘flat edition.’ To illustrate, it makes an attempt in adding some skeuomorphic characteristic over the flat design to make it more user-friendly. Particularly, the material design emphasis on such element as shades, layers, and animation.
Flat Design Pros and Cons
- Time-saving. It increases the speed of elements loading, which means better UX.
Makes the operation of software / website design development faster, reducing extra code.
Universal. The exceptional interface displays on any device.
- Easily digestible. The user can interface your thought with the aid of simple images and icons.
- Aimed at content. Nothing in this design diverts the user from the content itself.
- Limited in the design elements consumption.
- Simplicity is not adequate. Flat design may look featureless and boring.
- Ubiquitous. It is difficult to stand out when everyone has a indistinguishable flat design model.
- Not instinctive enough. Complex interaction for inexperienced users.
Material Design Pros and Cons
- User-friendly and easier to use. Good choice for a user with any level of digital interaction.
- Skeuomorphic. Contains skeuomorphic elements which are used for improving UX.
- Develop animation for the web solutions.
- Developer-friendly. Has a specific guideline provided by Google. This way, one can refer to it if encountering any problems while working on a project.
- Animations in apps can affect the energy consumptions of your device.
- Google’s possessions. It will be hard to change something without permission.
- Designers are constricted because of Google’s rules in material style.
All in all, it is foolhardy to contend which design is more attractive or suitable. Though they are different in their own both are contemporary, stylish and smart. In short, think of them like identical twins. Twins are always competing trying to show who is superior. At the same time, they are alike yet dissimilar. The material design was generated as an alternative to the full flatness. It fuddled a pinch of skeuomorphism in its structure. In contrast, flat design was not pleased with most important principles of the skeuomorphic design construction. However, there is one main feature that illustrious these two and that is their emergence or creation. Material Design is Google’s development while Flat Design is a result of several design application mixed. Looking back at success, Flat Design does its finest to vary its interface by adding a touch of layers and shadows. Because of this, elements seem to be more deeper and crisps than previously design interface. We just mention The Pros and Cons of Flat and Material Design, now we want to hear from you guys. As always, comments and thoughts are always appreciate.
And remember… Elegant Graphics, Exquisite Designs. Welcome to Elegant Graphic Designs!
Big Thanks to Envato Tuts+ for this great video!
And Thanks to Mashable for this educational video!