Modern websites are switching more and more to a Flat Design UX, or user experience.
With the advent of modern touch screen devices, such as laptops, tablets, and smart phones, users are seeking a new modern design approach. Flat Design is minimalist in its best forms, providing the user with a clean and simple design that is suited for scrolling and clicking. Scalability is also a huge factor for sleek design, as the end user should be able to view the content on a variety of devices and screen sizes, while keeping the same look and feel throughout. The design team at LIFT are experts in web development and take pride in creating enveloping user experiences that will catapult your company to success. The following are a few of the innovative techniques employed by the team at Lift to build amazing UX/UIs.
Responsive Web Design
Responsive Web Design, or RWD, is taking modern design to a place in the digital landscape that makes simplicity for users top priority. RWD makes use of any device and screen resolution by sending the same HTML to every device. CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, are then used to format the content to fit the device. Imagine if you will a regular webpage being displayed on a smart phone. The layout would look the same as it would on a desktop computer.
Since the screen on a smart phone is oriented vertically and has a different resolution, the page would be shrunk down, and text would be very hard to read. Existing navigation would be in the same places, and a used would have to pinch and expand the screen just to navigate. RWD makes use of viewport settings to adjust the layout of the screen, while keeping text and link sizes the same. The Modern design makes reading and navigation easier, while preserving the look and feel of the website.
Material Design takes Flat Design to the next level, by using colors, shapes and motion to separate elements. Clarity is achieved by using different colors and borders to clearly delineate sections of a website such as navigation and content. Motion is introduced to provide impact to both user interaction elements as well as content that is considered important. Companies such as Google are making the switch to Material Design, and the impact has proven positive overall by users. The new Android operating system is a prime example. Combined with RWD, Material Design can make Flat Modern Design compelling.
There are certain products you love to use. Be it a coffee machine, wristwatch, or the navigation system in your car. These devices use Micro Interactions that are meaningful. While subtle, and often unnoticed, these interactions help the user to feel more connected. A simple tilt of an icon as it is touched, or the sliding of a navigation element when you run your finger over it, can give a sense of being connected to the design UX. Good interactions should take a back seat to content, and be noticed almost subliminally as an indicator that the user is connected to the experience.
Icons are quickly taking over the world of web pages. If a picture is worth a thousand words, so is an icon worth just as many. Icons can be used quickly to express navigation elements, subheadings of site content, or just about anything else when properly applied. In an age where screen real estate is a valuable commodity, Icons can be used in place of bulky text. Text should be saved for content, which is exactly what users come to your site for. By making a clear distinction between content and areas of user interaction, design becomes fluid and meaningful. Less clutter and ease of use is key to Flat Design.
Typography is taking a leading role in the new experience of Flat Design UX. The days of everything being 12pt times new roman are long gone. Designers can now incorporate any type of font quickly and easily into site design, to make things more uniform across the experience. More elegant typestyles can better convey your brand image. Using CSS and online font repositories, it no longer matters if your user has a needed font, as they can be dynamically downloaded and incorporated on the fly.
Personalized User Experiences are another example of providing a meaningful design and UX. User data tracking is at an all time high, and the use of tracking cookies has exploded. Knowing where your user has been on your site, as well as other sites, can help you to tailor the content they are viewing to better suit their needs. This can come in forms as simple as keeping track of what kinds of content your users seem to appreciate on your own site, all the way up to making suggestions on your site based on what the user views elsewhere. Being responsive, and able to change on the fly to suit a user’s needs will continue to become more important and prevalent, making a personalized UX the norm.
While there are certainly more elements of Flat Design UX, the above mentioned pieces of the puzzle can work together to create a compelling and simple experience which is easy to navigate and looks great across multiple devices. Creation of a modern website for your brand should take into account these factors, since your target audience will most likely be seeking you out through multiple devices, on the go, in this ever changing digital landscape. The design specialists at Lift can be there from concept to completion to help you create the best possible experience for your users.
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