The Return of Style in Software
Style matters to our economy, our society, and to each of us personally — it allows us to communicate who we are and who we want to be. While it is widely understood that style is the driving force behind consumer purchasing decisions in things like clothing, I’d argue that the same has become true in technology and software as well.
By appealing to everyone with these clean lines, gradients, and rounded shapes, no one feels particularly compelled by them. And while these brands serve their purpose in attracting the “right” demographic to their software, they also make it difficult to form a meaningful connection with the user — the product feels like a stylistic blank slate.
For lack of a better term, “flat design” has been in fashion for a decade or so now, and it’s been refined to such a degree that most software largely looks the same recently. We’ve figured out what basically everyone is okay with and most software has built towards that same spot.
As Mielke points out, it appears software design is getting more opinionated and people are selecting the software they use based on how it looks and feels to use, not necessarily based on objective functionality.
I love it.