Flat Design or Material Design – Choosing the Best for Mobile App Development

Baymediasoft Blog
December 15, 2018


Flat Design Or Material Design – Choosing The Best For Mobile App Development

The dilemma of choosing between Flat Design and Material Design is fuming these days as a trending debate topic on the Internet.

While it is apparent to confuse one for the another, they’re not same and can be differentiated at a closer look. The blog sheds some light on how the two designs differ from each other and what android app developers should expect from both the design models.

The design approach on the opposites – Flat and Material Design gained popularity after a long time in the skeuomorphism dominated the mobile OS world. So, what’s now Skeuo? Skeuomorphism is a design approach that blends the shading and lighting effects to try to bring intensity to the UI so that its elements relate the same things from the real world. The design approach was once popular in the mobile UI domain as it provides a better transition.

It was innovative, and both the mobile manufacturers and app developers wanted the end product to be as possible showy and awe-inducing. But for now, people prefer simpler concept, and the current mobile industry and user community highly appreciates clean features with minimalistic designs.

Flat design

The flat design approach put in effects for both artistic innovations and user-friendly mobile app interface. User-friendly in flat design, users on both the high resolution as well as low-resolution screen devices gets the benefits of a beautifully engaging app. Skeuomorphic designs do not render well on low-resolution displays, which considerably affect the user experience. From the view of performance, it doesn’t differ.

Pros and Cons

  • All the captivating elements that compose a skeuomorphic design consume a lot of space and complicates the overall loading process of the web page which in turn requires more time and resources to be allocated for the page opening.
  • Contrary to Material Design, Flat Design is composed of simple elements, equalized on a single plane. This feature considerably speeds up the overall process.
  • Making everything too flat creates confusion amongst the users as it is no longer clear that which sections of the web page are interactive and which are not. Users end in tapping the plain text in the hope that it is an app function and taking a nearby button as the background element.
  • From the perspective of pure aesthetics, skeuomorphic design is beautiful. It is eye pleasing, and most people are fascinated by the different ways in which it intensifies a page layout or an app icon.
  • Still, this sometimes ends up being a disadvantageous effect, as it distracts the users from the essential content of the web page or an app. Often relevant text or function gets pile up under dramatic shenanigans. Simplicity leads people towards the relevant stuff without the aesthetics lose anything as Flat Design is also appealing.

Material Design

The first most thing to keep in mind is the point that Material design has infiltrated dominant design trends thanks to the powerful push from Google. When Google came up with this design approach, the entire scope was to create an integrated platform that would look the same irrelevant to the device you’d launch it on.

There are numerous of Android smartphones, and building some similarity between them was necessary. The result was Material design, which holds most of the features of Flat design and also steals some skeuomorphic elements. By including the Z-Axis approach, Google was able to resist the imminent risks that expect Flat design proficient.

Differences – Flat or Material Design

  • It is also outstanding that opposed to the intuitive Flat design, Google’s Material design is company promoted and those that attempt to use it need to follow specific design wise implications.
  • This can make the designers feel a little hassle in expressing their creativity than with the Flat design. The Z-Axis as mentioned above sets up another important similarity between Flat and Material, as it presents a different – Google skeuomorphism – aesthetic detail which gives the idea more reality of working with.

Flat or Material – Which is the best?

One of the simplest ways to solve this dilemma of UI styles is by practicing a timeline characteristic: First, skeuomorphism, and then Flat design came along. Google used Flat design, gave it an edge and some depth, and that’s how the Material design came in the scene.

It seems Material Design is doing an excellent job in maintaining the advantages of Flat design while circumventing its drawbacks. This means that Material design is undoubtedly great since users would be applying it for the same purposes they would use Flat design.


Most mobile app developers see the Flat and Material design as different solutions to the same problem, but others disagree that Material design is, in fact, the following step in determining the problem and that no actual competition exists between them. Take flat design as the stepping stone and an essential building block for the contemporary UI design.

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