Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Long-Term Exposure to Flat Design

Kate Meyer:

Clickable UI elements with absent or weak visual signifiers condition users over time to click and hover uncertainly across pages—reducing efficiency and increasing reliance on contextual cues and immediate click feedback. Young adult users may be better at perceiving subtle clickability clues, but they don’t enjoy click uncertainty any more than other age groups.


The motivation behind minimalist and flat design was a desire to get the ugly distractions out of the interface, so that the focus is on the content and user tasks. It’s ironic, then, that the misuse of these design styles slows users down by forcing them to think harder about what options are available to them.

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[…] Previously: Long-Term Exposure to Flat Design. […]

Isn't flat design somewhat separate from the problem of affordances? It's true that with iOS7 affordances got even worse than they were in the old design. But the flatness seems separate. We can look at Android with a a half flat design to see that one can make affordances better in a flat design.

Yeah, you *can* have a modern, "flat" design, but still offer good affordances. I think the two issues get conflated because on most systems, flat design unfortunately goes hand-in-hand with removing affordances.

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