Skeuomorphic vs. Flat Design: Know More About Skeuomorphic & Flat Design

Both Skeumorphic as well as flat website design are a popular candy among the web designers. It is a never ending argument while choosing between these design approaches. In this post of mine; I am going to put a brief view on both of these designs and in the end will decide the winner between Skeuomorphic vs. flat design.

Not very long time ago, very few people were interested in what is “skeuomorphism” and none anticipated the strong debate about this concept. Nowadays, where two designers are into a room, almost sure one will still appreciate the “old” skeuomorphic approach while others will glorify the new trend, flat design. Of course, we couldn’t ignore our readers and here you will find out what in fact skeuomorphic is, what flat design is and how these may both survive.

1. Skeuomorphic design

In the web design world, skeuomorphism refers to the look of a graphical interface that imitates, as much as possible, a real life element. And yes, Apple is the best advocate of this aesthetic movement, but doesn’t make the confusion to say that they create it. Steve Jobs and Scott Forstall are the ones that simply were/are madly in love with skeuomorphism and people embraced the idea of interacting on their devices with realistic interfaces.

The greatest disadvantage of this design concept is that a skeuomorphic element or is well done and the users will appreciate it, or is poor and you can’t envy the creatorthe in between situation isn’t possible.

A good skeuomorphic design is perfectly reflecting the reality; adding to an object some features that aren’t natural isn’t an “enhanced skeuomorphism {” is just a horrible kitsch and it should be avoided by all means. Also, it isn’t a good idea to partially imitate a real life item: a good skeuomorphic design is imitating both the shape, look and functionality of the respective item.

The weak point of skeuomorphic design is, paradoxically, the success of it! As long as Apple and its approach to design is embraced by so many people, it’s logical that many designers tried to copy the style. Unfortunately, few of them indeed brought an incontestable plus value, but the majority created decent and poor projects. Much more, even Apple didn’t choose the best solutions in some of their apps.
The power of example is fabulous and the creations bellow will help you in making a better idea about what practically suppose the skeuomorphic design.

Lighted Rocker Switch V2

Status Dome


Notepad App Mockup

Game Gauge

2. Flat design

Both the design community but also the Internet users became bored with the realism of the Apple influence and it required a fundamental change. The same as skeuomorphic design, the flat design is associated with a company, Microsoft or with an operating system, Windows 8. The name itself suggests the main idea behind: the graphical interface is based on the exclusion of the 3D reality, it has only width and length.

The specialists and the users seem to have only praise for this fundamental change and lots of previous, “skeuomorphism specialists” already are the fans of this new trend. Some people firmly declare that skeuomorphism is dead and publicly hail “Long live the new queen”, the flat design! Is it the new manner of design? Well, none may say something for sure, but definitely, it will be a present and pleasant trend in the next years.

The next websites are very good examples of what supposes the flat design. You can’t ignore the fact that the typography is turning into a vital aspect of an online presence and the content is gaining even a more importance in the overall equation of a good website. 








The fight: skeuomorphism vs. flat design

Letting down any subjective considerations, this “fight” is in fact a logical complementary enhancement and the real fight is between poor design vs perfect design. Nope, no matter what Apple is doing, skeuomorphic design will never die! Willing or not, the human brain can’t concept too many aesthetics movements and from time to time these are replacing… no-one dies, these are just transforming, mostly according to the technology evolution. Everytime, an aesthetic approach will be the leader, but people are quickly turning bored and ask for other ideas, usually opposite. In conclusion, it was quite normal to abandon skeuomorphism and go back to flat design.

Skeuomorphic and flat design can’t be wrong, these are just concepts and it’s ridiculous to say that one is better than another; it’s the same as a designer claims that green is a better color than blue. Instead of these debates, the entire web design community should focus all the resources available to create more wonderful and usable websites. It doesn’t matter the style adopted, it’s vital to have a nice construction, based on the principles of beautiful design.


The conclusion is simple and effective: we shouldn’t bury the skeuomorphist approach and glorify any other “rival”. It’s far better to create more and more quality online presenceswhat do you think, am I right? It will be a great honor to find out your opinion!

About Author

James is the webmaster of Web Hosting Juice. If you don’t know which web host to use, you can read his web hosting reviews. You can begin with his Justhost review to know why it is highly recommended.


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