Flat vs skeuomorphic design is a big debate currently in all sorts of designs and is definitely a big debate in the web design community so I thought I’d do a quick blog post giving you the gist of it. “Flat design” is a type of minimalist design that emphasizes usability. “Skeuomorphic design” is a more realistic type of design with more of a depth and polish to it. Skeuomorphic designs have shadows, gradients, reliefs, and details that resemble how objects would like and act in the real world. The big debate is between the advantages and disadvantages of both designs–– which is better? While flat design maybe by easier to use and have a faster load time it’s also difficult to execute well and often lacks personality. One of the biggest challenges of flat design is to keep it simple and individual at the same time, but people see is as simple, clean, colorful, modern and trendy. Skeumorphism, on the other hand, is a safe and familiar approach for designers and viewers because it’s closer to the way we, as humans, perceive the world. Designs that used skeumorphism are also easier to understand the purpose of but the added illustrations that make it so easy to understand can cause delays and elongate the loading and rendering time. Skeumorphism can also quickly become outdated as styles and trends change and is not “responsive web” friendly.
Below are some examples of the differences between a flat design and skeuomorphic design