Day#85: Why you should know the difference between skeuomorphic, flat and material design

Day#85: Why you should know the difference between skeuomorphic, flat and material design

Hi everyone so for today’s post I decided to tackle some content more UI focused, and that is the topic of skeuomorphic, flat and material design. To explain in the simplest way possible, see below

  • Skeuomorphic design: Replicates the original, real world look and feel of something, an example would be using an envelope to mimic an email icon when in reality the envelope icon is not related at all to the email action. Another example would be vegetarian meat substitutes looking like meat products.
  • Flat Design: Created not only for digital but is represented by flat design that values simplicity, readability and cleanliness.
  • Material Design: Launched by Google in 2014, it was launched to assist developers with creating apps with a toolkit already provided that was intuitive and utilitarian in look and feel. The look in my opinion is still flat design but has a few fixed functions when it comes to layering and animations styles on an interface

I have included a few sources for you to take a look at if you want more information on the topic below


Mike Locke has a channel which I have often watched, and even though this video is rather old it is still valuable. Even today I still have clients who want icons and layouts to look more skeumorhphic it helps to understand the reasoning behind it to understand how you can still make a great final product. I think that it is not so much a battle between the two but a gradual progression in technology for the users experience to be as easy as possible. I think from the perspective of a Uxer I would say it is not as simple as picking one style that is trending at any given point in time, but rather to identify what would work better for the users. For example I work on a lot of projects with very novice users which is sometimes confining when I want to use modern trends and styles however skeuomorphism would probably work better with these users than flat design perhaps. At the end of the day, testing and research would define this decision anyway. Happy researching!

Bye for now

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