Thursday, June 20, 2013

Slacker moves to a flat design

Slacker just made a major change to flat design (for the better!). Did they have a non-flat, skeumorphic look in the past? Well, it wasn't as bad as Apple's iPad newsstand or reel-to-reel podcast metaphor but they used plenty of gradients and even a speaker-grill texture (below) on both sides of the web app almost to suggest 'hey, this is a music app!'

Consumers don't need those cues designed to look like the real world anymore - they need a simple, clean design to communicate intended use of the product and that's where flat design comes in.






The new Slacker design achieves that - it's ditched the black and heavily-textured interface for a clean, white design with large, readable type and simple, pictogram-style iconography. Although, there are some drop shadows to give the UI depth, the overall look is well-organized and the flat design allows me to find things (like the Create Station and My Music features) quickly.

Not to mention the approach on the web is Mobile First providing only the most critical features on the surface. The user experience is tablet-friendly (large buttons and type which translate quickly to other resolutions) and simple. The mobile UI is so similar to the web that the experience across devices is not only visually cohesive but also leverages most of the ways you use the app on the web (similar controls, buttons, icons and type).

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