Flat Design is a minimalist aesthetic principle or design language currently used in various graphical user interfaces. At present the two most commonly known implementations of flat design are the Metro (design language) used in Windows 8 and the new design that was introduced in Apple's mobile operating system iOS7. As a design approach, it is often contrasted to skeuomorphism. - from wikipedia
To understand flat design, you have to understand the thing it’s revolting against: skeuomorphism. Skeuomorphism boils down to visual trickery, or the use of details and ornamentation to make one thing look like another. In architecture, false facades are skeuomorphic. In car design, fake wood panelling is. Skeuomorphism in UI design usually refers to a digital element designed to look like something from the physical world. That can mean anything from Pinterest’s “pin board” to the rich leather stitching that boarders Find My Friends. - from gizmodo
Skeuomorphism, at a basic level, means borrowing design concepts inherent to an old technology or approach while implementing new design. - from venturebeat
Skeuomorphism in digital space dates back to the early 1980s. For example, Apple’s first consumer GUI, from 1984, introduced the concept of a “desktop” and icons that looked like folders and pieces of paper. Back then computer interfaces were a totally foreign concept to most users, which made skeuomorphism a valuable tool. It let designers create visual metaphors between old, familiar objects (a manilla file folder) and a new, confusing tool (a digital file).- from gizmodo
The idea of “flat” vs. “skeuomorphism” as an “either/or” approach is frankly, if you’ll excuse the pun, a bit one-dimensional. Design is driven by a combination of functional and aesthetic considerations, from the purest levels of form-following-function to the purely ornamental.- from venturebeat
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