As per my knowledge nowadays there's a trend going with flat design. That's cool. These are the things people associate with flat design

  1. Simple
  2. Clean
  3. Colourful
  4. Modern
  5. Trendy
  6. Easy to use
  7. Perceived as more honest
  8. Modern appearance

There are also some arguments against flat design

  1. There is little or no need for illustration
  2. Style sheets & load times tend to be some What smaller
  3. Content is presented in a very straightforward fashion
  4. Action objects become slightly more unclear to end users
  5. Relationships between objects can only be achieved through color, shape & proximity

Coming to skeuomorphism

It helps to user to understand the purpose of the app almost immediately, it can put a coat of perceived polish on nearly anything, it is a safe & familiar approach for designers & users

but the drawbacks are

  1. illustrations can cause delay in design & development time
  2. larger files take longer to download and render in browser

so in both there are advantages as well as drawbacks... but please suggest me the best in that?

  • 3
    All comes down to preference – SaturnsEye Apr 30 '14 at 12:00
  • @SaturnsEye i agree for that..but if the case to choose which one is best u prefer? – Rachuru Apr 30 '14 at 12:03
  • 1
    preference, and fashion. – Vincent Apr 30 '14 at 12:04
  • Also dependant on the application, context and flexibility needed. I wildly disagree with your "There is little or no need for illustration"; that is also entirely up to context and content, not the design. – benteh Apr 30 '14 at 12:10
  • 2
    "Style sheets & load times tend to be some What smaller" - I can't see this being a bad thing for any design style/trend? :/ – rpauldesign Apr 30 '14 at 12:54

There is no 'best'. They are just two different tools that can be used when creating your UI. Note that they are not mutually exclusive. You can use one or both together.

Example is that iOS7 is considered a 'flat design' but it still uses plenty of skeuomorphs, such as the 'frosted glass' overlays. I wrote a more detailed explanation and example over on UX.


This is really a false choice. You can follow the minimalist principals of flat design and still use some shadows for depth and judiciously applied gradients to add interest.

Skeuomorphism was (I believe) a slowly developed reaction to the lack of color depth in early computers which commonly had few colors and limited ability to illustrate metaphors for tangible objects. As color depth increased, designers used it to push past the relatively flat appearance until we found ourselves at the height of the simulated leather and wood-grain era. Then all of the sudden we realized the monster we have created and recoiled in horror.

But the full-tilt reaction to absolutely nothing but flat color is perhaps a bit too far. There are several reasons (both usability and design) to add some depth and interest to a minimalist design. I agree, simulated textures and 3D objects are best suited for games, not apps but you have to make design decisions based on your market and users. Otherwise you are being trendy.

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