Lately, it seems that in the debate between proponents of skeumorphic visuals and flat visuals, the flat side has been gaining traction. The “new Microsoft” is often held up as the mass-market tipping point that serves as proof of its mainstream acceptance.
I’m still not there, and probably never will be. I’ve started many projects with the intention for whatever reason of executing a flat functional aesthetic, only to run into a design problem where “if I could only use a shadow or depth effect here, it would communicate better/provide more obvious affordance/just plain feel better” and voila, the flat paradigm is broken and I’m off down the z-axis road. For a moment I might feel shabby, but it doesn’t last because there’s always a reasonable and defensible explanation.
So today, I feel a bit vindicated having run across Matthew Moore’s post on “Almost Flat Design.” You should read it too. I always respect and admire someone who can articulate the middle ground, especially when I happen to agree with said middle ground. Looking forward to the ebook, Matthew!