What a pile of nonsense. The author has a severely limited and misplaced view of design. I’d go so far as to say that he does not know what design is. He needs to be educated. He unknowingly supports that which he protests against: the idea that design is a choice of trends. 3D versus 2D. Flat versus faux.
Design is the appropriate manipulation of form to effectively communicate content or functionality. Emphasis on “appropriate”.
When faced with decoration or style issues, it may be appropriate to use 3D effects or faux realism. Or it may not. It depends on the content. It depends on what we need to help the client or boss communicate. It depends on what we want the viewer, reader or user to understand.
This flat design era rubbish is just another trend. The idea of honest design is equally troubling. If you really want to do honest design, why not present a stream of zeros and ones? That is - honestly - what digital data is.
Flat design era? Hogwash.
When LayerVault 2 launched earlier this spring, we believed that we were taking a risk by pursuing an entirely flat interface.
Well-loved products on the web share a similar design aesthetic, with roughly the same kinds of bevels, inset shadows, and drop shadows. For designers, achieving this level of “lickable” interface is a point of pride. For us, and for a minority of UI designers out there, it feels wrong.
We certainly didn’t invent the flat style but arriving at it was a violent process. We tore through hundreds of revisions (we have the LayerVault timelines to prove it) to potential interfaces before arriving at the answer that now makes us say “of course.” The desk at LayerVault’s original headquarters (my Manhattan apartment) still has the battle scars from objects being slammed down in anger. At one point, while working on a mockup, a MacBook was slammed shut so hard it was nearly unhinged.