Early on, nearly every startup arrives at a crisis.
And I’m not talking about a crisis involving capital or co-founders or legal issues.
I’m talking about the company’s logo.
Most customers won’t think twice about your logo. Unless it’s hideously ugly.
The first website I ever created for money was back in 1999. I earned $900. It was a flat-file database for an import/export business. After that, I made a $500 website for a Michigan-based cookie company. I was just in the last year of my high school career, so that kind of money was pretty sweet.
I formed a partnership with a high school classmate, and a web agency was born.
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The best startups today understand that great design is a team effort.
We need to deliver a seamless design and brand experience throughout all the things our customers see and touch.
And that’s no easy task when we silo our designers into teams like Marketing and Product Development.
At my company, Zendesk, we’ve adopted a long-table approach where the entire design team works at a single communal table.
Flat design is the most popular trend in UI design right now.
Superficially, flat design is simple:
- Don’t use gradients, shadows and textures
- Use simple shapes, bold colors and clear typography
I believe that a few prominent flat designs sacrifice usability and best practices such as consistency for the sake of aesthetics — and this is what I’ll primarily be talking about. But first, I’d like to discuss flat design in a historical context.