On-Demand1-Hour Talks

The Fundamental Flaw in Flat Design


Kate Moran
Senior User Experience Specialist, Nielsen Norman Group

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Recorded April 2017

60 minutes


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FAQs about 1-Hour Talks

Flat designis an aesthetic style that doesn’t use any realistic or three-dimensional visual effects. When designers pursue a flat aesthetic, they often end up removing most of the signifiers (visual clues that tell users what’s interactive) from their interfaces. This lack of signifiers, combined with the popularity of flat design in the mainstream web since 2013, has been slowly altering how your users move through digital interfaces.

If your organization is considering adopting a flat, flat-ish, flat 2.0, or minimalist aesthetic, you should first be aware of the potential consequences. Even if your site isn’t flat, you can bet your users are experiencing flat design on other sites, and it’s changed their expectations of your designs. This seminar explains what’s causing this epidemic of click uncertainty, and how you can avoid its negative consequences.

What You’ll Learn

  • Why flat design can hurt user efficiency and contribute to a sense of powerlessness
  • How differentiate between often-confused digital design terms: flat design, flat 2.0, flat-ish, and minimalist design
  • What function signifiers play in digital interfaces, and how to design strong signifiers
  • How young adults are impacted differently by flat design

Topics Covered

  • Flat design vs. flat 2.0 vs. minimalist design
  • Signifiers and affordances
  • Clickability
  • User empowerment
  • Click uncertainty
  • Young adults and flat design
  • Your recording will be available for viewing as soon as payment is processed.
  • The link to view the 1 Hour Talk will be emailed to the address used for registration.

60 minute talk

The Fundamental Flaw in Flat Design

60 minute online seminar