Edward Sanchez has written an article to end the debate between flat design vs skeuomorphism.
It makes a lot of sense.
He notes the undeniably advantage of skeuomorphism – “There is validity to a skeuomorphic approach. To create any good interface, it is essential for the designer to understand the cognitive models that a user brings to any new product”.
Drawing cues from Donald A. Norman’s “Design of Everyday Things”, Edward notes that it is important for designers to consider the common affordances that we humans are familiar with – “switches” that are meant to be flipped, “buttons” that are meant to be pressed.
In contrast, flat design can be visually stunning at a low development cost. Typography and layout do most of the heavy lifting, loading times decrease and responsive design becomes much easier. Yet, flat design carried out too far affects the usability of design.
Edward suggests the merger of these two design trends – taking the inherent usability of skeuomorphism and slapping on a minimalistic design. He calls it skeuominimalism.
“Skeuominimalistic design is simplified up to the point where simplification does not affect usability. And its skeuomorphic affordances are maximised up to the point where it does not affect the simple beauty of minimalism.”
Indeed – i mentioned the idea of using abstracted versions of these affordances in order to fit into the flat design trend in my earlier post here.
Let’s not go all crazy with new design trends and forget that we are design for humans eh?