Design has become much like the clothing industry.
When a new trend arrives – basically from Apple, or once upon a time from Sony [Playstation] – designers follow.
In the 90s and early 2000s designers were all over David Carson’s deconstruction.
From 2004 it was all about Apple’s skeuomorphism.
Nowadays the new trend is flat and light fonts.
That’s a common secret, a general taboo.
Nobody talks about it.
Basically we, the designers like to evoke the “artist” characterisation while we are not any different from a electrician, or an engineer.
We follow the tech evolution, we depend on it and we work upon it.
That wasn’t always a bad thing.
Though now it is!
Let’s get to the point: new flat, clean, use of light typography web and mobile design.
Has anyone noticed the pink with purple polka dots elephant in the room?
Let me explain.
Has anyone noticed that most websites that follow the new trend of:
– full screen
– big slider
– a huge blurred photo of some landscape
– parallax scrolling
– fixed menu [or not]
– columns with icons and some text [that no one reads btw]
– no textures, only flat colour
– et cetera
are exactly the same?
Of course all those websites use different photos, different colours and in some cases different fonts.
But in fact most of them look the same.
For the sake of “content integration”, “responsive design” and “performance cost”, creative design has gone bye-bye – yet no one’s ever stated or even thought that the all previous along with creative design can actually co-exist.
While this phenomenon is pretty common on websites, on mobile apps is like a disease!
A brand, or an app, or a website is not only different among other apps, websites and brands for their offered services, but they also own their own “personality”.
This personality is defined by their content, the up-to-date [or not] use of new tech elements and their looks.
The looks are represented by creative web, or app, or graphic designers. They are the ones who make the public understand that the product is Coca-Cola and not Pepsi.
Every app, every brand has a personality-defined concept by marketeers and in the final basis by the creatives.
So what’s the personality difference between Facebook mobile app to Twitter mobile app?
Of course we are talking about different apps.
Of course there is a big difference in usability and services, but how are those two apps different by their looks?
Take the iOS Twitter app for example, replace its logo with the “Facebook” logo, use the Facebook blue colour over Twitter’s light blue bars and icons and you’ve got another Facebook social service.
Now almost all iOs apps look like they were designed by Apple, inheriting the iOs7 “innovative” – god forbid – looks.
Our job as creatives was always about making a product become wanted, a service or an application easy and enjoyable to use.
It was always about creating new UI ideas and now, in the 21st century, combined with UX design.
Now, its is all about a herd-like following that “flat UI” trend.
We’ve finally reached the point where inspiration has merged with trend and trend has become the politically correct bible to-follow.
The famous quote “Less is More” has become “Less for All” and the “Less for All” has become the new “Eliminate Creativity”.
So how is this new “flat UI” trend is going to fall? By another trend.
General advice to creatives: stop following, start creating.
Did you like the pink elephant in the glass room? Download the wallpaper.