Say Goodbye To The Bevel

There's a pretty good chance that in the last few weeks you updated your iPhone to iOS7, or that you maybe even Googled something. If you did, you might have noticed things look a little different. Both Apple and Google updated their interfaces, moving away from 3-D forms with bevels and drop-shadows, and onto flat, minimal shapes.

How and why did this happen?
As each year flies by, it seems like we're somehow capable to taking on more information. We're constantly in contact with all of our peers. We read the news before The News knows about it. And we're learning all about it on our phones, which are now faster than our computers. The transition to flat design is two-fold.

One, there's less clutter. When everything is beveled and chromed-out, the experience becomes overwhelming. Everything can't have your attention at once. "Flat" design allows for the content to become to the focus.

Two, because there are so many devices with different dimensions, the web needed to find a way to adapt. These "flat" graphics aren't as intense and are more flexible, allowing them to animate/move quicker and load faster.

What does it mean for design moving forward?

When industry leaders like Apple and Google move, it doesn't take long before everyone else follows. If iOS7 is any indication, graphics are getting simpler, flatter, more animated, and more intuitive. Colors are getting brighter and more analogous. Typography is getting cleaner and thinner.

Trends are never the end-all-be-all, and this "flat" trend certainly isn't the answer for everything. There's no telling how it may evolve or long it will last, but for now, it's a refreshing change of pace from the drop-shadows of a clunky, beveled past.