I s the (digital) world going flat?

Author image
Kelly Erickson May 17, 2013

Trends in web design are constantly evolving, but the recent release of the new Apple iOS7 design has both tech and design geeks in a flurry.

The new mobile platform’s “look” is taking some cues from the Microsoft and Android world, steering away from the company’s well-recognized icons that implemented rounded corner icons with glossy textures and gradients. Now we’re looking at a distinct movement toward a more “flat” (or almost flat) design for Apple.

via (Photo Credit: Tim Green)

via (Photo Credit: Tim Green)

It could be argued that the design isn’t completely flat, but almost flat. There are still recognizable elements that are part of Apple’s brand, including the rounded corners of the icons, and just a slight, slight gradient. A truly flat design would be like Facebook’s recently logo facelift, for example, by removing the white bar at the bottom.

It’s about time Apple took the cues from the rest of the design world. The new Windows 8 platform is another good example of how this type of design is going flat – meaning design elements become really simplified, as opposed to heavily textured. It is often argued that those design elements, the heavily textured ones, are necessary because users require obvious and “real-world signals to understand how to interact with computers.” In other words, those elements of texture and lines and shadows, and gradients are the digital cues for users to know where to click or tap.

While the move to flat design is fashionable, we do think the new take on Apple’s icons are much cleaner. It takes into account that mobile users have evolved; they no longer need the glaring prompts to “tap here” and “here” and “here!” to get where they want to go.

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler,” said Albert Einstein. Perhaps this was the balance that Apple’s developers had in mind, when designing the new “almost flat” iOS7 release.

Expand your presence on the web

Reach new customers in your market.