UI Developer


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About this design

I like to be flashy, but minimalism is important to me. This type of design is popular among photographers, artists, and fashion labels. The stark, unassuming nature of the design provides a blank canvas upon which content becomes the absolute focus.

Remember me? Skeuomorphic design dominated the late 2000's - early 2010's. Skeuomorphic is a funny word which essentially means design which attempts to mimic the physical world. Skeuomorphic design is dominated by gratuitous use of shading and lighting, and in more extreme cases, texture and graphics to make a digital product resemble it's physical counterpart.

When designers felt Skeuomorphic design was becoming too overbearing, there was a large shift in the design world towards stripping out excess shading, lighting, and other affordances associated with the previous trend. This left us with "Flat" design. To me, flat design means focusing on creating clean and usable interfaces without using visual flair as a crutch.

This is everything you should never do. Poor hierarchy, misuse of typefaces, dark UI patterns, no consideration for mobile devices, obnoxious color pairings, awful contrast, distracting elements. Please don't make me do this stuff.

Seriously, get the hell out of here.

Liberal use of primary colors, larger type, and colored, illustrative, iconography are a few of the things that make this design feel whimsical or even a bit childish.

I hesitate to use primarily dark color schemes, due to research confirming that black-on-white text is easier to read. However, black is a powerful tool. A darker website can evoke feelings of sleek, modern exclusivity and mystery. Sometimes I will use a dark scheme when creating a site meant to be a counterpart to an already existing property. I also think a darker UI is a better fit when working on websites that deal primarily with video/other media. This mimics our expectation that video/other media appears on a black background, as it does on our TV sets.

Serif typefaces are seldom used in web design, and for good reason. Sans-serif fonts are friendlier and have been proven to be easier to read on screens, especially at small sizes. However, when attempting to target certain markets or create a sense of luxury, a design using serifs can give the impression of a high-end restaurant menu. Furthermore, liberal white space, thin strokes, and reserved use of pastel shades give this design a feminine energy.

Swiss design (aka International Typographic Style) is a classic style which began to emerge in the 1920's, and is still influencing designers to this day. In Swiss design, typography is king. Common hallmarks of Swiss design include large, geometric typefaces (most ubiquitously Helvetica), rigid alignment to a multi-column grid, and carefully-placed flush-left text. Color is used liberally, but usually no more than one color is used in a piece.

Originating from architecture, the term "Brutalism" refers to design that is intentionally raw and unpolished. In the context of web design, this usually means rejecting commmon user interface patterns in favor of presenting a design so aggressive it almost shocks the user into sticking around to enjoy the content.

Metro isn't the official word, but I've worked extensively inside of the Microsoft brand over the last few years and have a good understanding of the principles that drive visual style at Microsoft. Large, clean typography, bold color fields across a wide palette, and full-bleed imagery are a few of the patterns seen in use on current Microsoft web properties.

But hey, if it's not your thing, I understand. Try out a different one, there's plenty more.

UI Developer
Click on a letter of my name.