Is flat design damaging usability?

Paul Boag

As part of our season of podcast episodes on debates within the web design community, I want to look the impact flat design is having on usability.

I have a confession to make. I am obviously not fashionable. I know, its shocking isn’t it!

Obviously my fashion sense is perfect, so what can I possibly mean? Well, I am not fashionable, because I am not convinced by flat design.

iOS6 lock screen compared to iOS7 flat design
Has flat design damaged the usability of websites and applications?

Many websites and applications have so completely rejected skeuomorphism, that they now lack the visual cues that enable people to see at a glance what they are meant to do. I have therefore decided to propose the following debate topic for the podcast…

This house proposes that the current trend towards flat design is damaging the usability and intuitiveness of many websites and applications.

The question is do you agree with me? Have we gone too far with flat design and our rejection of skeuomorphism? Do users still need visual cues or is skeuomorphism just patronising? As always, I look forward to reading your comments.

I have something to say!