Here’s Why the Web Giant Google Uses Simple and Flat Designs


April 3, 2015

It is no wonder if you find it difficult to browse through a website that is cluttered with lots of designs and scattered text chunks, or a site that simply gets you stuck at hidden or forgotten web locations from where you know no way to return to the actual home page. That’s a problem that all of us deal with.

But here’s a great news: you can switch to flat designs and save your customers (and yourself) the pain, and just become a part of the latest fad in the industry. It’s time to say goodbye to those excessively detailed and complicated designs that take large brush strokes, lot of gradients, drop shadows, high resolutions, and what not. So, keep it clear in your heads, flat is the new cool and you must follow this mania for best results.

For the last few years, flat designs have been in vogue. The designers are working on simplifying the platform by preserving the good characteristics and trashing all the irrelevant details like textures, images, glossy content, angles etc. You can also describe flat designs as the most honest-to-goodness media of the digital stage today, ignoring all the graphical detailings.

So what exactly does flat design cover?
We all know, flat is trending fast, and is amongst one of the most well-known design style. We have a quick run down of the major things that will lighten and brighten you about what absolute things a flat design comprises of.

  • It uses flat shapes and icons.
  • It used solid shapes like circles, rectangles, triangles and lot more, except the design factors like gradients, glossy colors, strokes and drop shadows.
  • Flat design initially came into picture with Google. And later on, other companies like Microsoft’s Windows 8, Apple etc. used the technique of flat designs.

If you are not sure how flat design works, we’d suggest that you follow two simple root principlesㅡ readability and simplicity. Together these two develop the sense of creating stylish designs, web page layouts, etc.

google chrome logo OLD VS NEW

Secret of the web giant Google
Google’s first female engineer, and the 20th employee, Marissa Mayer, Executive of Google, who is also the President and CEO of Google’s local maps and location services, revealed the secret behind Google’s unvarnished white home page. She started as a gatekeeper with Google for more than a decade and helped in improving the structure of Google’s website which is easy to use for people around the world. The design you see on the home page of Google was contributed by Mayer’s own liking and interests. She said, “’s layout, which has changed little since its inception, owes its stark look to Google Co-founder Sergey Brin and his limited knowledge of HTML, a markup language for websites used to assemble text and other content to create web pages.

Merrisa meyer - Google Girl
She added how Brin once explained to her why Google’s homepage was so blank. When he was first building Google, he told her “We didn’t have a webmaster and I don’t do HTML.”

“He put together the simplest web page he could to test out the search engine back when he was Ph.D. student,” Mayer stated this in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek editor Josh Tyrangiel at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan. “The first version didn’t even have Search button because the Return button worked just fine. We just kind of stumbled into it.”

Initially, when the users started to use google search engine, they went blank by looking at the blank white page of Google that appeared on their computer screens with a search bar and a logo just above the bar. This website was quite a unique one of its time, unlike the other websites that centred on revolving objects and flashed different images and asked its users to punch the monkey or turtle. Many users weren’t able to make out how they should go about searching, just because the website was very simple and in-your-face.

Mayer recalled, “In Google’s first user study, Stanford University students asked to search on Google would sit for 45 seconds staring at their screen, unsure what to click or how to search.”

“I’d ask them, ‘What are you waiting for?'” Mayer said. “They’d say, ‘I’m waiting for the rest of it.’ The blank homepage was so out of context in 1999 that they were just waiting for the rest of it.”

Mayer finally explained that after all these problems, the web giant needed a way to tell its users that now the page is finished loading and they can use it. Finally, a sigh of relief, and they came up with a solution with an idea of putting up a copyright notice at the bottom of the website’s page, which would ensure the users that now they could start their Google search.

That page now sees so much traffic – more than a billion unique users a month, according to some estimates – that placing an ad on would be in the eight figure range per day”, according to Mayer.

“It’d probably be one of the most valuable advertisements you could ever get,” Mayer said.

Simplicity of a flat design:

It is the condition of a plan that abstains from the use of intricate details. The basic flat designs work just opposite of the drop shadows, strokes and other outline components. The reason for this is that users now acknowledge the basic and simple-to-perceive styles. Besides, with the approach of browsing on mobile, where the screen space is limited, using basic pictures would directly affect the number of pixels displayed on the screen. Similarly, the moderate style is also connected as the designers always prefer proper spacing between images, symbols and other components.

To be more precise, all this simplicity and flat designs load quicker than other seemingly complicated, outlined one, because the program would not stack the design elements stuffed together with the main picture.

As mentioned above, Google was the first to take up the system of flat design by redesigning its logo with the help of flat colors. Later, Facebook also announced its flat design with a very simple logo, design and very user-friendly and friendly-to-eyes graphics.

With every fact, the flat design scheme has gradually occupied our web pages, applications, and PCs. What’s more, before that happens, we should habituate ourselves with the concept of flat design. We’ll discuss the components of the flat designs and how they are used to completely use the screen space.

The five elements of a flat design are:

1. Absence of depth:
Depth is presently dead. Flat design is the king of designs and is also ruling its kingdom well. Dissimilar to the past flat patterns where we couldn’t live without drop shadows, strokes, slants and slopes. On the other hand, the new flat design trend focus all the more on the most simple 2D blueprints. The reason behind the flat design scheme absolutely repudiates the skeuomorphistic outline, where pictures are made to mirror the shape, shading and usage of a genuine objects. Skeuomorphistic-planned sites and applications regularly have background images that look almost like real-world objects. These designs use real-world textures to look more genuine.

The best example for this type of design is the iOS6 and the other past versions of its design.



2. Use of simple elements:
They say, “beauty lies in simplicity”. In the same way, the depth of those materialistic designs is removed so that a mobile application looks more presentable and simpler. The basic shapes of geometry are used for making icons in flat designs. By doing this, the graphic interface for clients and users will be simple and easy to use. There will be no requirement for a manual because the visuals are presented as per their usage.


3. Typography:
The style of printed matter have its own place in flat designs. Typography enhance this style of design with the use of texts giving the readers a very friendly interface. Gone are the days of calligraphy, now it’s time for clear, exact, bold and crisp font texts which should be short and to the point, giving out the right message to the audience. The text should be presented with right kind of shape and colors to be chromatically pure.



4. Use of cooler colors:
As mentioned in the above point, the most important thing is the way you represent your design with colors. Visuals have the power to make or break something, and appropriately chosen colors add a life to your design or web page or website. Candy colors are a must for the flat scheme as they are desaturated colors and they present a very attractive and elegant design setting a touching feeling of your website without hurting eyes. The best thing about candy colors is that they are cute, different, complementing and soothing to eyes.


5. Minimalismㅡ The lesser fluff, the more effective:
De-cluttering or minimalism is an art that is used to make your page look neat and clean. Minimalism was born from the concept of magazines where white spaces was more important than the text. This concept gave a breathing room for the content and for the images used on the pages. So leave enough unfilled spaces and discard the elements that are not needed. This will be a true flavour to your patrons, and will totally bowl them over. Tone it down.


Finally, before we close it down, it is important that we state once again that creativity is everything and comes quite handy with the best shots of flat designs. Refresh your mind before you start with the flat. Turn to your creative side with whole new, edgy and sleek designs. The flat designs are style icons that will never die. Be creative in your own way. Commit mistakes, solve them, and try again. View the sites that motivate you and eventually become a superior artist.

Now that you have seen how it is done and how it affects the business, isn’t it wise that we all just go flat!

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