The creatives at UXPin put together a terrific eBook explaining the top 10 web design trends of 2015 and 2016. Interesting read! This blog series gives is a brief overview of the trends. I strive to keep up with these trends and apply them in my design work. Please contact me if you have any questions about these trends or want to apply them in your project.

Flat Design Evolved

Skeuomorphism vs Flat Design

Flat design has evolved rapidly over the past few years. It’s no longer the radical anti-skeumorphism idea it started out as. Flat design, put simply, removes the elements that give a 3D impression. Now, however, the trends show flat design with more gradients and light shadows.

5 Characteristic Components of Flat Design

  1. Long Shadows – Add a depth and complexity without sacrificing the minimalistic elements that make flat design appealing.
  2. Dynamic Colors – To make up for the sparse visual effects, flat design implements a dynamic usage of color, especially bright hues. The energizing colors contrasted with one another keep a page of few elements from appearing dull.
  3. Simple Typography – Understandably, the typography in flat design stays simple and easy to read. This usually means sans serif and a uniform stroke width.
  4. Ghost Buttons – A hot trend recently, the ghost button fits in equally well with the photo hero backgrounds as it does with flat design, and for the same reason: it keeps the focus on high-quality backgrounds and titles, but it is still recognizable as a button.
  5. Minimalism – Flat design and minimalism go hand-in-hand, sharing many of the same principles like simplicity and content-focused design. This is easier said than done. Minimalism is another of the top 10 trends of 2015-2016.


  • Conducive to responsive design
  • Easy for users to learn the system and navigate
  • Structured layout and blunt visuals present a logical atmosphere
  • Speedy loading times
  • Simple typography promotes readability


  • Deceptively difficult to do well
  • Simplistic style weakens the signifiers
  • High risk of appearing boring
  • Lack of individuality due to its popularityNo distinct visual hierarchy

Prevailing Trends in Flat Design

  1. Creative Iconography – With only the essential elements on the screen, icons need more detail and flair to keep things interesting.
  2. Dramatic Typography – The trends show more custom typefaces, pleasing typography and purposeful lettering.
  3. Accented Colors – The characteristic bright color palettes of flat design will never fully go out of style. However, the trend seems to be shifting to more stand color palettes with bright colors used only as accents.
  4. One Design, One Font – With the exception of logos for brand identity, most text in flat design shares the same or similar font. This keeps the focus on the content and off the font itself.
  5. Minimalism – A trendy style that is both visually appealing and functional.

Pioneer Media Application of Flat Design

I have kept my distance from pure flat design, but flat design has penetrated certain elements of my design work, especially as flat design has evolved. Here are some examples of websites I have designed using “Flat 2.0” techniques:


I love seeing flat design evolve into a more mature and lasting trend. It works beautifully alongside HD photos and backgrounds. Please contact me if you’d like more information on this trend or to start a project using it.


Photo credits: iPhone 6 Apps. Microservios Geek Crew. Creative Commons. Rotated and cropped from original.