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End of the 2010’s – Intensifying Minimalism

23rd December 2019

As we come to the end the second decade of the second millennia, it seems a good time to reflect on certain shifts that have occurred over this 10 year period.

In the world of graphic design, one thing has become more and more popular during the latter end of the decade – Intensifying minimalism. We’ve seen ‘flat design’ dominate the world of digital. And we believe the trend is only going to intensify as we enter the 2020s.

“In line with marketing’s ongoing quest for transparency and honesty, design will continue to strip away extra flair and embellishment and move toward a much simpler, straightforward presentation.”

Brian Britton, Creative director, Dixon Graddy

What is flat design?

The term, “flat design” is mainly given to the style of design in which elements lose any type of stylistic characters that make them appear as though they lift off the page.
This means removing drop shadows, textures, and any other type of design that is meant to make the element seem three-dimensional.

Why Flat Design?

With new developments in responsive design and mobile technology being the preferred mode of browsing – users want pages and apps to load faster. By reducing the amount of visual noise (in the form of textures and shadows), flat design provides users with a streamlined and more optimal user experience.

Flat design has grown in popularity because of its crisp and modern appearance. It also has the ability to allow the consumer to focus on the content and message more than other elements of the page.

Designers are also future proofing their design by removing design styles that can easily date (or that could quickly cause their design to become outdated). Not to mention, flat design seems to make things more efficient and cuts out the “fluff.”

The future of Flat Design

Although flat design has taken UI/UX design by storm, it may be seen a set back from where digital design was heading. Taking away the 3D elements (gradients, shadows, textures etc) is in danger of removing cues that indicate how the user can interact with the page. Buttons which have shadow are more likely to get clicked over ones that don’t…


There are glimpses of developments within the world of flat design to avoid this. Google seem to be pushing the boundaries by adding detailed animation and quirky interactions to the flat graphics; making it more clearer that these elements are there to be interacted with. Check out Google Material to see for yourself.


As mentioned in our previous blog post (LINK), mobile browsing is only going to increase. With this in mind, UI and UX designers are predicting what users want. Efficiency, clarity and speed; and flat design provides just that. As we move forward with digital design, expect continued support of bold colours, solid graphics and faster user experiences.

Other useful links

Nielsen Norman Group