I've always been a fan of minimalism, especially in web design. One of the most important aspects of designing for any media is that the end user can easily understand the message. Minimalism usually lends itself nicely to that idea. I’m not exactly sure why the flat design look has become so popular with people, but I know I’m a fan.
So, why exactly did everyone go from loving drop shadows and raised buttons to wanting flat and minimal design? There’s probably many factors, but here’s a few thoughts on the subject.
To Much Info Everyone seems to be glued to their devices these days. With phones and tablets constantly streaming information the need for a simple and quick way to view it has become necessary. Flat colors and tile based navigation have become a way to make all that information easier to navigate.
Simplicity Is A Beautiful Thing The traditional idea of desktop based software is to have as many features as possible in one program. Now with the huge shift of people turning to apps on their phones and tablets a more focused based product is preferred. With fewer features and functions the interface can be made much simpler, which is a good thing.
Adapting To Technology As the years go by more and more people are becoming familiar with new interfaces. In the past designers and developers were afraid that a person may miss an option if it wasn’t in their face. With some modern interfaces there are no options until you touch the screen. Now that’s minimal design!
Responsive Design Responsive design itself has nothing to do with minimalism or flat design, but it sure does lend itself to it. All those clean lines, color boxes, and white space sure do translate well to a mobile device.