Flat UI design is increasingly being deployed in redesigning as well as to build new websites; the trend is growing across websites / designing applications for mobiles alike. Before we discuss Flat UI further, consider the following. Now can a website function in the same manner on a desktop as well as on a mobile/tablet? Will the applications in it give you uniformity in experience across both screens?

Responsive Design is the process of designing a site to resize or fit and adapt automatically to all functions across multiple screen sizes. The process allows the layout to automatically adjust itself accordingly to the screen; thus a responsive design website works in the same way and shows exactly the same information on the screen no matter the kind of a device you are using. The practice consists of a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and intelligent implementation of CSS media queries. The user must be able to seamlessly switch between gadgets and still enjoy the same experience provided by the website.

Let us now talk about building responsive websites; the role of the technology called twitter bootstrap and deploying a flat UI design along with it.

Twitter Bootstrap and Flat UI in Responsive design

Flat UI in Responsive design

Twitter`s Bootstrap is basically known the frontend interface framework created by twitter brings with it a score of benefits to the developers table. It basically is a CSS framework that’s designed to work easier and faster on a basic HTML template.

So what exactly gave birth to this idea of a bootstrap? In most scenarios, web developers have the entire setup ready with them but they are unable to proceed due to the fact that they have to rely on the designers to complete the client side of their project. This lapse in time serves as a huge drawback for a developer who in most cases requires implementation of the idea as early as possible. It is exactly at this juncture, twitters bootstrap comes to the rescue of the developer! This CSS framework hastens the process of designing web applications while being one of the easiest; It assumes that all you want to do is write a standard HTML code and allow bootstrap to do its job! In short, Twitter Bootstrap is dream –come- true goodie bag of a bunch of popular JavaScript tools with built in jquery support. It is important to remember that Twitter Bootstrap is created with modern web browsers in mind.

For responsive web design to work, a CSS with different styles suitable across various devices sizes needs to be created. Once the page is about to load on a specific device, using various front end web development techniques like Media Queries, the size of the viewport of the device is detected and then the styles specific to the device is loaded. To make a standard website responsive twitter bootstrap does the following-

Twitter Bootstrap and Flat UI in Responsive design

  • Twitter Bootstrap has several utility classes for developing mobile-friendly layouts faster. You may want to have a look at these in ‘responsive.less’.
  • It is able to effectively modify width of columns in the “grid”.
  • For those of you who are aware of what a stack element is, it may be useful to note that it uses stack element instead of float.
  • It resizes heading and text wherever required and renders them accordingly.
  • Responsive design allows an even simple bootstrap template to look perfect on desktops, mobiles devices and tablets.

Bootstrap as such has evolved to the extent that a few quick prototypes can be thrown together or goes ahead to execute more sophisticated designs and larger engineering efforts. In simple terms, Bootstrap aids in promotion of quick, clean and highly usable applications. With the control that a designer has in CSS3, HTML5 and JavaScript, creating a website that easily adapts to a multiple screens of various devices seems easier than ever. With websites and apps covering many platforms/different screen sizes, it can be laborious and time consuming to create skeuomorphic designs for multiple screen sizes and resolutions.

All this being said, you may want to note at this juncture about the advent of flat designs; Flat design trend became popular when Microsoft released their mobile OS. The year 2013 has emerged to be year of flat UI web design. Flat design and responsive websites go hand in hand due to the following reasons-

  • It is strongly based on typography and colors- Flat design Apart from using gradients, shadows and glossy effects, the form of design is also about simple flat pastel or pantone color to UI or web design. There are no unwanted effects of shadow/leathery and shiny surfaces etc in the background. There is complete focus on scalability of the website alone.
  • Images-Flat designs background color and flexible images to alter the design into different sizes. The benefit of this flat approach helps the page load faster due to creation of lesser images per break point.
  • A flat web design simply means overall efficiency of the website- The user’s line of sight is completely focused on the essential parts of the site.

Flat responsive websites built on twitters bootstrap with minimal elements is destined to impact the user in ways never known before. Simplicity of each of the UI elements merely leads the way for the user towards his overall browsing experience.