I am so curious about it and can’t find an answer. Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.

Can you imagine flat design from Apple? Probably never. By flat I mean using ANY of the features of this approach (not merely copying the whole thing). For instance, ALL those companies use very small elements (buttons, fonts, icons) , with much higher density.

So why basically they all choose not to adopt it? Is it because it doesn’t speak to the mass? Seems there is a single reason shared among designers.

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    But Google's material design (for example) IS flat - well, it's an evolution of flat, but it's pretty close! Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 8:17
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    Apple's design is a whole lot flatter than it was maybe 5 years ago. Microsoft went so flat it's almost impossible to differentiate where one element ends & the next begins. They went too far & just 'broke it' imo.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 10:16
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    Just for fun: the Wikipedia page on flat design has two example screenshots of flag design. The one is from Apple, the other from Google. The question needs more flesh - provide some clear example of what you mean (examples of what you understand as "flat design", and examples of the companies you mentioned that are not flat).
    – AnoE
    Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 11:01
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    Do you have any reason to think "there is a single reason shared among designers"? I'm confused why you think that whatever version of "flat design" you have in mind should be the default, and that anyone not using it must have some specific reason not to, rather than it just being one of many design styles, with many reasons for and against.
    – IMSoP
    Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 15:05
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    This question makes many assumptions and approximately zero sense. See popwebdesign.net/popart_blog/en/2016/02/…
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 15:33

3 Answers 3


Because they are not followers of trends. They are trend setters.
Whole thing about Apple is "think different". You got 20 e-mails with "see what's IN in design in 201X" and it's something that Big Companies will never do. They need/want to stand out of the crowd not to blend in. It's exactly because such design speak to the mass. And Facebook/Apple/Twitter are not "one of those social sites". They are THE social sites.
Can you imagine Mercedes doing a makeover every year to switch their colors to "Pantone of the year"?
Can you image going into Apple store and seeing phones that are EXACTLY like the rest (like you have with clothes in chain stores)?
As a Brand you cannot lead if you are part of the crowd. You need to differentiate yourself.

  • I can’t accept that :) I don’t get design emails and I am not a designer. BUT the ELEMENTS that makes flat design have a lot of logic behind them: simplicity, clarity, no useless elements, and large buttons. For example, large companies never use large buttons and most elements are small in what looks like a more serious structure. I do not agree that they don’t follow trends- they are in Silicon Valley where group thinking is common and everyone copy from everyone. It seems as if there is a reason for not using any of the flat design characteristics, and not because they are under the “flat”.
    – Curnelious
    Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 9:11
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    @Curnelious And yet the design behind "non-flat" design also have a lot of logic and usability in them. Does Apple have useless elements? Why do you think that their site is not flat-desing? It's almost definition of flatness. Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 9:28
  • You right. I was just looking for a more “academic” answer, per character. For instance, why they use such high density of information? Why they don’t use a wide color palette? Why they don’t use large COLORFUL icons? Why the design tend to be more serious and less soft, etc. Maybe I miss something but it seems that there is a deeper reason.
    – Curnelious
    Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 9:33
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    @Curnelious Because "Flat design" in definition require use of least amount of colors and "hiding" of icons in it's design rather than creating special place for each of them (so exactly like you have on apple page". Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 9:42

Not sure what qualifies as a 'large company' and exactly what you expect to see in a 'flat design', but some of the latest Android interfaces do look pretty flat to me. Also, Facebook's app interface does have flat elements and the iPhone looks much more flat than it did a few years back.

I assume Microsoft is also large by any standards and also looks pretty flat.

So I wouldn't generally agree with the title, this question is likely either broad or unclear. What do you mean? :)

galaxy s10

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  • You right my definition is not clear. This term is wide. Yet, I still see something that is hard to explain. It may be the density of information, the size of the icons, the bright colors. Information is more dense, icons and buttons are small and close to each other, things looks more serious and less soft. By “big company” I think we all know what it means. Companies which are traded or have millions of users. (Did you read the whole question?)
    – Curnelious
    Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 12:41
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    Toyota is a large company, but not sure if you include that in your 'large companies' filter, or did you just mean tech companies? I guess so, but that again makes the question broad or incomplete. 'Information is more dense' - what does this mean? :) Try to edit the question please and add more detail.
    – Lucian
    Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 13:25
  • Yes obviously only tech because we talk about UI not cars.. but whatever. Information density is an academic term that I thought you already know.
    – Curnelious
    Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 13:43
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    @Curnelious many cars nowadays have UI. It's not even close to as obvious as I guess you think. Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 14:55

I've built tech business since 1989 and built departments/subsidiaries for big corporations in many countries. It is all about making sure small businesses can't compete. As someone else (above) said: "they set the trend" with the help of the media.

They have the political and capital clout to do it. It does not mean they are right. It is how the world order works. Even the "Open Source" movement was to kill programmer wages and also get young "geniuses" to code for free.

It is the "checkout" (McJob) of IT, sorry to be blunt. My businesses also use OpenSource. When "Twitter" was "launched" there were people in the Rotary Club(s) promoting the "latest social media platform" on the web, that is how deep marketing goes.

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    This sounds like a rant at a coffee house. I'm sure "Open Source movement" was mostly because of well-intentioned individuals rather than a conspiracy to kill wages. I also don't see how companies not using flat design is meant to cause issues to other companies. Also really.. just reading the Wikipedia page for Twitter will tell you that is everything but the Rotary Club that promoted Twitter. Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 14:13
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    Perhaps more to the point, ranty or not, this does not actually answer the question. Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 15:35

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