Make it flat. Make it the all same. Make it Boring.
"Less is a bore" brilliantly said Robert Venturi.
So at the end of the Oxygen period, UX/UI design was reaching an inflection point. Gone were the days were graphical designers challenged its own illustrations skills in a perpetual "I can my candy more naturalistic silly than yours".
We had reached the saturation point of the silliness in graphic representations of every day objects as UI elements. Now back then people needed to find a culprit for it all, a quintessential word that in itself represented all evil... Cue in "skeuomorphism", an word used in traditional design to imply a faux representation of a material. in this word we collectively found the "wrong" to be corrected, we had our culprit.
We have to kill all aspects of anything skeuomorphic, cue in flat design, we don't need anything "fake", we don't need textures, we must do without those fake drop-shadows, kill all artificial gradients. reinvent the circle in a precise concise square.
Well this all to me back then sounded a bit like a personal attack ;), I mean, gradients and shadows is all I did :) and just because some were abusing it I had to pay for it?
And I said, they were all wrong, this was nothing more than a modernism surge all over again, "skuemorphism is all we do in UI any way" all the concepts in the desktop are skuemorphick, seriously we call it DESKTOP, we use Buttons and Folders we can't do anything but Skeomorphic designs the only non Skeomorphic design would be a screen turned off.
Sad reality is that being right when everybody else is wrong, just makes you irrelevant. And its not like that despite the argumentation being fundamentally wrong, there was no need for change, there was!
Overly done design tends to be a trick a designer will do when he cant find a efficient answer, and we all abused this "trick".
Out of it some great new concepts and methods came to life, must say I'm a bit of fan of Google new "material" design language. (in fact material design is IMO not flat I mean they must have called it its "material" for some reason ;) )
But so comes today, every little single designer agency looks the same, its easy to achieve the current dictatorial style, slap in a blurred background a lonely Helvetica Neue on top and you are almost there.
Trendy websites pop out everywhere looking exactly the same as one cooperative unique brand took control of everything.
And its a BORE....
What will come next?
Don't know, predicting this sort of things is absolutely futile, and I'm almost sure that anything that comes after it will retain some of the best aspect it brought out. Think we are in a transitory period and something new is around the corner.