Flat Design: Millennials and Technology Impacting Web Design

young lady using new technologies


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You have got to see this! I am going to ask you to do something that breaks all the rules of good blog writing. I’m going to suggest you whip out your cell phones and take “scroll” through  this site because this IS the future…Just make sure you come back and finish reading 😉

What Millennials Want

Millennials have been called many names: the Always-On Generation, Gen Y and Digital Natives. All of the above designations are appropriate—they were born on the cusp of the 21st century (1977-1995); they are glued to their cell phones when not otherwise engaged; they are the next demographic to follow Gen X; and they have grown up with technology as a standard element of their environment.

What they want is technology freedom. They want technology that blends seamlessly into their lifestyle. That means technology that easily transitions from work to after-hours, to weekends, without unplugging. Gen Y is the impetus behind the BYOD (bring-your-own-device) movement in the workplace.

They have very little patience for bad IT solutions. One 20-something mobile manager at a Silicon Valley company recently shared that the number one question he is asked by candidates in their interview is, “Will I have admin rights on my computer?’ In the article, CIO goes on to say that the reason this is so important to millennials is that they believe these tools—smart phones, social communication and BYOD—enhance their skill set and position them more strongly to be successful, both personally and professionally.

“Experience” Design: It’s Not JUST a Phone

What was your reaction to the website I sent you to at the beginning of this article? How did you find the functionality, the experience?  Welcome to the world of experience design!

Wikipedia explains that experience design is, “driven by consideration of the moments of engagement, or touchpoints, between people and brands, and the ideas, emotions, and memories that these moments create. Commercial experience design is also known as customer experience design, and brand experience. In the domain of marketing, it may be associated with experiential marketing. Experience designers are often employed to identify existing touchpoints and create new ones, and then to score the arrangement of these touchpoints so that they produce the desired outcome.

In the context of understanding that millennials hate bad design, John McKinney recently talked about 8 design trends he sees as headed for extinction. They are all tied into the “experience” of the user, especially on a mobile device.

1 The drop down menu—because on tablets and smartphones the “hover” state doesn’t work, click-based navigation becomes the function of choice
2 The carousel—based on a timer, this creates a frustrated user attempting to “swipe” or navigate between elements
3 Internet Explorer 9—In November 2013 Google announced they would discontinue support of IE9
4 Skeuomorphic design—this GUI uses elements in the real world (eg. Folders for your docs) Flat design has a more spartan look that belies it’s ability to handle more complexity
5 Flash—arguably an “experience-driven” component, it’s unsearchable nature makes it counterintuitive to SEO
6 Web pages—the continuous scroll function of our first example makes it super-easy to get the vital info. More details can be found in the footer
7 Shared hosting—the cloud and other virtual server options have leveled the playing field
8 .m sites—responsive design makes this a no-brainer. Why carry the cost of creating and maintaining two presentation layers for your website, when you can keep it all on a single platform?

Next Steps?

Contact us, if you’re interested in learning more about how we can help you with your next flat design project.

Looking for more examples of flat design?


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