The life and death of Flat Design

120 days. That’s how long it took for the term Flat Design to go from cutting edge to extremely uncool. On September 25, 2012 the LayerVault team introduced Flat Design in their post The Flat Design Era:

We interpret recent shots taken at skeumorphism as a sign of the coming of “Honest Design.” Much like we were not too long ago, designers working for the web are getting fed up with the irrational, ugly shortcuts being praised as good design.

On January 23, 2013 Cole Peters pronounced the term dead in Flatliners:

However, it seems that fervour I mentioned has taken a turn for the worse over the past little while, switching gears from enthusiasm, straight into full-blown fanaticism. And while the topic has borne a few great articles, ideas and interfaces, the bulk of the conversation around flat design tends to mimic with unfortunate precision the lack of depth the movement is built around.

So, it’s time for us to find a new thing to argue about, I guess. But before we do, let’s remember something Wells Riley said at the height of the Flat Design debate. In Less Aesthetic, More Design he argues that a more accurate term would be Flat Aesthetic, and then concludes:

Flat aesthetic is great. Skeuomorphism is fine too. It’s even okay to gush over sexy UI on Dribbble and explore aesthetic fads in your own work. Just don’t forget the other 90% of what makes a design comprehensively great.

Design is a form of problem solving. Never forget that.

Preach it, brother Wells.