We have been living in a world of ‘clean and minimal’ for quite some time, so what’s next?
Over the last several months, some of the leaders of innovative design have taken ‘minimal design’ to the next level. Facebook, Airbnb and Apple have followed a similar blueprint to simplify prominent products in a way that reflects this new trend of ‘Complexion Reduction’ in mobile design.
WHAT THE HELL IS COMPLEXION REDUCTION?
You’ve never heard of ‘Complexion Reduction’ you say? Well yea, that’s because We just made the term up. Recently We’ve noticed a new trend that is beyond flat design, beyond minimal design and independent of progressive reduction. Some may claim that this is just the next step of minimal design being implemented into the mobile realm but We say it is something more distinct. There are specific similarities and characteristics that define this new trend. So we decided to name it.
The product design process is advancing and evolving from the old segmented approach that encouraged superfluous design to a more holistic process that truly is focused on the user. In the old product design process a UI designer may be handed wireframes by a UX or product person with the instructions ‘make it pretty’. That designer would then spend hours or days adding color, removing color, changing color when the best solution may have been right there in front of them all along… the wireframes! As the lines between UX and UI designer blur in today’s more integrated design process, designers become less worried about their specific responsibilities (like making it pretty) and focus on the ultimate goal of creating the best product for their user.
So you’re sold on CR and ready to hop on the bandwagon? Good, follow these guidelines and you’ll have an award winning app in no time.
1. Remove Color. Well ok, you can have one color, but use it extremely sparingly to indicate action. Everything else better be black and white. Let the content of your app bring the color.2. Bigger, Bolder, Blacker Headlines. You see that headline there? Bump it up about 20 to 30 pixels and make it HEAVY.3. Simple, Thin, Recognizable Icons. Your icons better be universal and no color allowed here either. And if you want bonus points order them left to right in this way: home, search, primary action, secondary action, profile.4. Double, NO, Triple your White Space. Maybe even quadruple it. You really can’t go wrong here.5. Make your App Icon Brighter. If you are fiending to design something with flash and color, make it the app icon. This is where you put your personality and brand. And make it stand out!
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