Fall of the Designer Part III: Conformist Responsive Design(elischiff.com)

8 years ago from Ivan Bozic, Founder @ arsfutura.com

  • Laurens SpangenbergLaurens Spangenberg, 8 years ago (edited 8 years ago )

    If you look at Modernist Graphic design you can see how even "flat" can be expressive. Look at Paul Rand or Saul Bass. I disagree with the notion that flat has to be expressionless, rather that UI design is misguided into being purely functional and trendy when it comes to aesthetics. Why does UI design have to be purely functional?

    EDIT: To give an example on how expressive design could benefit a user, look at Facebook's Chat Heads. By prominently putting a face on a message, the message felt more human in contrast to the cold generic look that is the current Facebook Messenger.

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    • adrian ioadrian io, 8 years ago

      I was waiting for Eli to define what he means with 'expressive design' first ;) But I think he isn't around anymore.

      As I understand it he thinks 'flat' design can't be expressive, but I disagree and you made some good points about why it can be expressive. I agree with his point about homogenization though.

      Most websites / apps are about communicating information and thus should be approached with an information design mindset first.

      From my experience (user testing) users didn't really care too much about style, but more about whether they could achieve their goals.

      One of Bauhaus' core tenets is 'truth to materials'. Microsoft's Metro (now Modern) was certainly inspired by those principles and they did a great job kick-starting this movement towards 'content over chrome'. First iOS7 and now Material Design have followed suit and evolved it a bit further.

      There is still so much room to be expressive within those 'healthy' constraints and opportunities to add back the human touch, that maybe some think has been lost since the move away from 'skeumorphism'.

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      • Laurens SpangenbergLaurens Spangenberg, 8 years ago

        I too agree that the flat design trends cause homogenization, but there's no reason it should be.

        Graphic designers have managed to make some of the most expressive flat minimalist designs using content that's bound to the paper. There's no reason why designs for a digital screen should be anything less than that.

        Of course websites and apps are all about communicating information, but there's no reason for that to be static and cold either. Flat design should bring us closer to the content by being free from the skeuomorphic and ornamental limitations. The same way Modernist graphic design helped add expression to content in paper form, we should be doing the same to digital form. We can in fact effectively communicate information and be expressive, it has been done for hundreds of years in print.

        We should actually be doing this even better than those Modernist graphic designs with animations and interactivity.

        And in my opinion, a lot of websites and apps, while being easy to read, pretty to see, and easy to use fail to do that. The Avenir Clinic website, while it looks pretty, doesn't honor the its content.

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