Flat User Interface Design on the desktop

The move to a flat user interface aesthetic is rooted in the desire to provide a more efficient, user-friendly experience. It sees the realism at the foundation of Skeuomorphic design as no longer necessary in an age of computer-savvy consumers. Flat design strives to bring simplicity to interfaces, in turn providing a more rewarding User Experience.

However, there are very real issues and problems to be overcome with flat design.

For example, people are far more likely to interact with Windows’ flat Metro apps on touch screen devices than on devices where a mouse is needed for interaction. Transferring a touch screen user experience to the desktop has met some resistance from end-users. Studies have shown that as much as 60% of Windows users were preferring the previous UI to the flatter design. Other issues stemmed from users not being able to clearly differentiate between a non-interactive label and an interactive button. Depth, gradients and drop shadows had been used as visual feedback that certain graphics were part of the features and functions and meant to be clicked. Users 40 years and older are conditioned to looking for those visual clues that flat design removed.


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