Flat & Skeuomorphic Nonsense

Ben Groulx
Jan 29, 2013

Flat or Skeuomorphic Design - Which Is Better?

I want to share something that's been nagging at me for a while. Just gloss over it. If you've spent more than 5 minutes in the past couple weeks following the trends and happenings of the web design community, you'll no doubt be aware of the constant debate of flat design vs. skeuomorphic design. Everyone has an opinion of which is better and which is the "future" of interfaces.

It's all nonsense.

Saying one end of the spectrum is superior to the other is detrimental to the ideals of design. What's worrisome is this debate is reducing design to mere decoration, where you can pick and choose whichever you so desire. That's not how design works.

Flat vs Skeuomorphism

Flat Design is New? Really?

Furthermore, the emergence of "flat design" isn't an emergence at all. Just like any trend, there is always the repetitive swing back and forth from its opposite. The prominent use of flat design lately isn't anything groundbreaking; the recent approach came about as a protest against the popularity of Apple's skeuomorphic approach. "Look how un-Apple we are." Which is great. We need distinction and variety in the products we use daily, it creates room for growth and creativity for future designs. 

We can't lump all of our projects together and give them the same treatment. Everything we work on is unique, and as such will require a different approach. The aesthetic of the design needs to match the products values, desired experience, and target audience. We need to focus on evaluating our products, focus on creating elegant and comprehensive user experiences, focus on putting our content first.

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