Skeuomorphism is out-of-date before I can pronounce the word correctly. Before long, some people start to predict that flat design will fade out soon, just as skeuomorphism or any other trend.
Indeed, a trend will eventually die; this is the law of nature. Since the release of Windows 8 and iOS7, flat design is becoming a mainstream and every UI designer today is taking away elements like gradients, shadows and textures.
But for me, the fact that we’re taking this minimalistic approach is more than just going for another trend… In addition to seeking for efficiency or looking modern, I believe we also went down this path for some psychological reasons.
Minimalism in art began in post–World War II and was meant to strip away unnecessary elements to things’ essentials. By doing so artists were only illustrating the basic elements, and there were actually more rooms for the audiences to interpret the images. People were saying it coincided well with Zen philosophy from the East. It reflected people’s psychological need for simplicity, mental peace and internal development.
Maybe this kind of non-aggressive relationship with technology is what we’re subconsciously looking for in this fast-paced virtual world. After the information explosion, going for flat design could be the first step of giving the user some more spaces to breath, to focus and to develop.
I believe the need for a peaceful and balanced relationship will not only reflect in the visual change of interface; it will also influence how we interact with technology, or how we reconstruct our social networks, etc.. So even if flat design fades away, I believe there are going to be other similar trends booming soon.