The world is turning flat
Print designers that design for the web are stepping close to the edge.
I’m not a designer (this is where anyone that has worked with me recently will try to wind me up). I’m not a designer, but this blog looks OK, right? It’s simple, no shadows, no gradients and no interface images (at all, the icons are a font). 99% of the time, that’s what users want, something that’s easy to use and understand. It loads quickly too, but that’s a discussion for another day.
The “Flat UI” / “Metro” era
Companies and organisations have started to publish their own design guidelines and principles, with a very common theme. Less is more. Here are a few:
GOV UK design principles makes it clear that they are be building simple and informative digital services, not websites.
Windows Phone design principles outlines their philosophy as clean, uncluttered screens that operate quickly.
iOS 7 UI Transition Guide (Apple login required) emphasises that the UI should helps users understand and interact with the content and never compete with it.
By now you’ve probably realised I’m not just talking about the web, I’m talking about mobile apps too.
But what about colours?
Science my friend. There are tons of colour scheme generators here and here, if you’re too lazy to Google it. Or you can use the colour scheme from Flat UI, which this blog uses. You don’t need to worry about gradient colours or shadow colours and depth (sorry if that’s the wrong terminology, I’m not a designer remember).
A good developer that’s worth their salt should be able to source any required digital assets, generate a colour scheme and produce a series of quick prototypes. The prototype layouts should be iterated based on real user feedback, not from endless design meetings about what people might want something to look like, which produces pointless psds or pdfs.
Where does this leave print designers?
People still print brochures and leaflets (for some reason). Icon fonts and vector based images are even more important than ever and this is something that print designers should be comfortable in producing.