Skeuomorphism in web design is the emulation of objects in the physical world within a graphic user interface. The argument for this style of interface design, which has been a popular trend for several years, is that if the look of real world devices or objects are represented realistically in a digital interface, people will have an easier time understanding how to use the digital interface. For instance, the time on a site is represented within a graphic that looks like a real-world clock, or a calendar interface is created to look like an actual desk calendar. See good examples of skeuomorphic designs here.

We are now, in 2013, seeing the switch to flat and minimal design web design. This new flat design emphasizes simplicity, clarity and usability over realistic 3D graphics and textures. With the advent of Apple’s iOS7 interface and Microsoft’s Metro interface, flat design is now unquestionably the currently embraced web design trend.

7 Key Elements of Flat Web Design

A few of the key elements of the new flat design are:

  1. flat and contrasting colors
  2. broader color palettes
  3. considerable use of white space
  4. simple typography with bold size and color juxtapositions
  5. fewer design elements, larger images
  6. emphasized grids
  7. focus on content over interface

The goal is to service a focus on content, while de-emphasizing the interface.

But what started this trend? The following article addresses this question, and also sheds some light on issues that we, as designers, consider in the design process:

staff-daveDave Cintron is the Art Director at Dynamics Online.
You can reach him by calling (216) 292-4410.