Flat Design - AB

ABC/D 19.01.14: Design Domination

When the first iPhone launched way back in 2007, not only was it a revolutionary product, it ingratiated into every bit of daily life design: specifically, skeuomorphic design.

Skeuomorphism is the design concept of making items resemble their real-world counterparts. It is commonly used in many design fields, including user interface (UI) and Web design, architecture, ceramics and interior design. In UI and Web design, skeuomorphism attempts to create three dimensional (3-D) effects on a 2-D (flat) surface. A skeuomorphic icon on a smartphone display that represents the phone function, for example, is designed to look as much like a telephone (or handset) as is feasible, typically with shadowing, highlights and some degree of detail. A button might appear to be raised until clicked and then appears to lower as if it had been physically pressed. Non-visual skeuomorphs include the page-turning movement used to advance an eBook, the sound of a record ending at the end of a CD and the sound of a camera shutter on a digital camera.

Skeuomorph comes from the Greek skeuos (meaning container or tool), and morphê (meaning shape).

In absolute contrast is the design style that reigns today: Flat. Flat Design is an aesthetic principle or design language currently used in various graphical user interfaces. While flat designs look great when made within the restraints of minimalism, they can also handle a lot more complexity; these designs have a crispness and clarity that can only be achieved by stripping away three dimensional effects. In its essence, flat design attempts to embrace the limits of the screen and working within those parameters rather than trying to disguise them, and use this newfound simplicity as a starting point for streamlining designs, and making websites faster and more functional.

Flat Design is the more sophisticated and versatile cousin of minimalism.

To that end, I share with you 2 pieces:

  • Keauti – ‘a collection platform of beautiful iOS interfaces’ – the interfaces are gorgeous!
  • Flat vs Realism – is the story of how 2013 became the year of ‘Flat Design’. AND, it ends in a very well-designed (flat, of course) game!


Published by

Atin Batra

Atin Batra is the Accelerator Lead at blueprint, Swire Properties’ tech focussed co-working space and B2B accelerator in Hong Kong. An ex-entrepreneur, Atin is a digital marketer by profession, startup mentor/connector by passion!

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