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You have seen it more and more over the last year or so, that elegant looking design on that sweet new mobile app that is just so incredibly clean. It is flat color but it is anything but boring. In fact, there is just enough depth to highlight key elements and is very different from that skeuomorphism interface convention where things looked like bookshelves, and leather books.
Fifteen years ago I worked with a Designer at Ogilvy & Mather and the client was suggesting (insisting, actually) that the website interface should look like a room with objects that people could click on. The Designer was silent for a long moment and then asked, “Instead of being constrained by analogous old conventions that people are familiar with, why not create new interfaces that embrace the new familiarity with computers that people now have?”
The Designer lost the argument, of course, and we went ahead and built an interface that looked like a room but the look around today and his vision is bearing fruit in the form of Almost Flat Design.
People are discovering that Responsive Designs are difficult and the modular nature of the components work extremely well with an Almost Flat Design solution.
Matthew Moore got this Almost Flat Design discussion rolling a few weeks ago over at Stuff & Nonsense when Google made everyone sit up and take notice with their arguably better-than-Apple-design:
Talking about Almost Flat Design is one thing but seeing it is much more helpful. Here are some examples: 10 Inspiring Examples of Flat (or Almost Flat) Design
Of course, since trends, and especially Design trends, tend to swing the pendulum way over to the other side of wherever it started from it does beg the question, “Must a responsive web design be flat?” I mean, is it like a law or something? Or maybe just unhip…which is kind of crime of sorts, isn’t it? Noah Stokes has a nice take on the whole RWD flataciousness issue.
I personally love the elegance of Almost Flat Design and have been filling my Evernote notebook with really well-executed examples of it wherever I find it. Good heavens, even Microsoft has weighed in with Windows 8! And a pretty good barometer of trend-worthiness, the Twitterverse has been weighing in also. What more proof do you need than that?
Love Google’s clean -so called almost flat- design! Apple take notice!