Our Creative Director gave his thoughts on the current trend of flat design in UI:
Flatter design could be great. I say this from a purely technical reason. As more and more things move in to the cloud (and not everyone is one fiber yet), file size really does matter.
Obviously, flatter designs compress better, and thus reduce file size drastically, increasing the load speed and overall zippyness of cloud based apps.
Added to which, everything is going Retina this year, which again, requires images with 4 times number of pixels. So any ‘design upgrade’ that can speed up these two factors will really help.
Saying that Microsoft (and their uninspired designers) have gone too far, there are older generations who still need a hint of skueomorphism to allow them to relate to products that for their whole life have been tangible products, and are now on a screen.
My prediction: As soon as more of the world come online at high speeds, and everyone gets bored of coloured squares and circles, we’ll lean back towards skueomorphic design.
People in tech seem to forget that design has followed trends through the last 50/60 years, just because it’s on a screen now doesn’t mean its set it stone. We’ll be back to bevelled buttons and gradients one day (probably when bandwidth permits)
Let’s hope not too soon though.