What is next after" Flat" design? (Ui/UX discussion)

What direction is UX/Ui going to take? At first it was skeumorphic design followed by Flat design. With this in mind what do you think is the next big what do you think is the next after Flat?

I don’t consider myself a visionary. I can only hope that flat design will be followed by a retreat from the major drawbacks of flat design: the loss of visual affordance, and the loss of distinctiveness. One has only to look across the redesigned iOS apps to encounter the visual obscurity that pervades the experience.

Flat may be modern, fresh, and easy on the eyes, but unfortunately, usability has taken a back seat.

1 Like

First, I’d like to challenge the idea that skeuomorphic design was ever a thing. Beyond a handful of apps, was there really a skeuomorphism movement.

Think of the big, popular apps on the platform before IOS 7 arrived: Facebook, Foursquare, Skype, Netflix, Flickr, Pandora, Google Maps, Yelp, Opentable, and so on. Which of those were skeuomorphic?

Now, let’s look at Flat design. Is it a school of design, say like Bauhaus or Swedish? Or is it basically a set of design guidelines that define a common design system that will just evolve?

If it’s the latter, it’s likely the next thing will just be another system that emerges. Systems are interesting in the moment, but not that interesting in the long run, in my opinion.

I’m still waiting to see a school of design emerge for digital spaces.

It certainly doesn’t qualify as a school of design. I’m not sure I’d even consider it a system, as that infers a level of thought, procedure, critique, iteration, and documentation that I don’t believe has occurred. I see it more as a fashion trend. It is simply a reaction to, and rejection of, a fashion trend that preceded it. As @jmspool suggests, we will continue to evaluate it, keeping what’s good about it, learning from what’s bad about it, and evolving it. Even Google’s material design is incorporating some skeuomorphic tendencies through drop shadows and physical animations in an otherwise very “flat” aesthetic.

With absolutely no authority I will say that flat layers (but in 3D) will be the next big thing. Probably with some parallax-y thing going on. It could be annoying but at least we’d get our affordances back.

I want 4D parallax, where layers move in space and time relative to each other! :slight_smile:

How many clicks does it take to get to a function in another dimension? Oh, and does this mean we now have to consider what content is behind the fold?