Flat design vs Material design: How will You Differentiate?

Baymediasoft Blog
December 15, 2018


Flat Design Vs Material Design: How Will You Differentiate?

Ever since Google released its material design language, every tech giant has been debating over flat design vs material design; which one is the best? If you ask some UI designers, you will definitely get different answers. Both of these design trends have their unique style, features, and a set of traits. So, what will be the most preferred option?

User interface design has been affected by several trends in the past few years. Most designers and beginners get confused between flat & material design. In this article, we will do the comparison between flat design and material design that will help you take the final decision.

Flat Design

The flat design consists fonts, icons, and colors without using some stylish elements such as shadows, textures, and gradients.  It makes it feel that all the objects are spreading over a single surface. Flat design helps you reduces the loading time of your page in the most effective way. The lack of substantial skeuomorphic details such as gradients, layers, serif fonts makes the website elements smaller and speeds up the load time. Simple images give your message quicker than detailed designs. With flat icons, you can directly draw the visitors attention towards a valuable content. You can decorate your page and help visitors navigate the site with flat images. Though the flat design seems great, it caused some issues in the beginning. For instance, Windows 8 released by Microsoft was considered as a pioneer of flat design. But, they were focused more on typography than graphics which was considered as a big mistake. The Windows 8 usability test revealed that the users had problems in identifying actionable objects. Users also used to get confused with clickable objects that looked like logos. So, this is where flat design comes in.

Material Design

Material design is a set of some principles and guidelines that every professional mobile app designer have to stick to. It is a design language created by Google for Android’s operating system which was introduced in summer 2014. Material Designs focus on touch-based mobile app design which is also applied in web design. The flat objects on the screen make the users confused between clickable and non-clickable icons that result in a poor user experience. The material design also seems flat but stays multidimensional, making the texts and icons look more catchy.

Advantages associated with the material design:

  • Look minimal and stylish.
  • Suitable for both for both experienced and newbies.
  • Moderately skeuomorphic that makes everything look real.
  • Pre-defined guidelines that are kept updated on a regular basis.
  • Supports animations that make the UI look better.

Hence, material design is an updated version of the flat design that highlights the skeuomorphic aspects i.e. shades, animations, and layers. It is widely used in mobile app development and designing. When it comes to navigation, the material design makes the texts and icons feel more intuitive. The creativity has no limits. You can even combine these two specs to build something great and user-friendly.

Before you go into detail about UI designs, it is necessary to understand the basic difference between material and flat design. Hope this blog will help you get rid off all the confusions. Besides, if you are wondering to launch your mobile app and looking for a reliable guidance, feel free to contact us here.

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