Now that we’re all back to dieting for our New Year’s resolutions, let’s take a look at the “Thin” trend in web design. We’ve all fallen in love with the new flat design. It was a tidal wave completely washing away the old textured and dimensional look. First Google did it. Then Microsoft did it. Then Apple did it. With the rapid change in technology, OS and app design, it’s no wonder visual design follows suit almost instantly.
Why the big change? We as designers are always looking for ways to simplify and improve the flow of information. In today’s world of information overload, information needs to be designed to be user-friendly and allow the content to shine through without too much fussy interface design around it. Since we are all familiar with our device interfaces, we no longer need 3D cues as to what the calendar or weather is. This has freed up designers to simplify things down to their basic forms.
What’s next? Flat design is very popular, but the new thing we’re seeing is even simpler: THIN. Thin outlines for icons, thin typefaces, thin rules and outline shapes in navigation and thin lines in illustration is what’s happening now.
Typography online using web fonts are rendering crisper than ever. Thin typefaces for headlines and buttons are everywhere to provide a clean and simple look.
Icons used to be dimensional to look like they were real and popping off the page. Then they moved to solid colors with flat design icons. Now we’re seeing icons made of thin outlines.
Thin UX Design
A lot of apps are using a combination of all the above: thin type and icons mixed with simple, flat colors. This look mastered by Google’s OS, is a refreshing change from where we were just a few years ago. The information is easy to find and the simplicity makes it friendly and inviting.