A CDE Definition
With regard to user interfaces, a flat design rejects the 3D-looking sculpted, shadowed and translucent window borders and icons that were so popular starting with the personal computer explosion and lasting well into the 21st century.
A flat design is essentially two dimensional. Starting in 2012, Windows 8 switched to the flat design, followed by Apple and Android. Everything runs in cycles. In 2017, Microsoft introduced a new UI style that moves away from the entirely flat look in Windows 8 and 10 (see Microsoft Fluent Design System and Metro interface). See iOS 7, Material Design, skeuomorph and user interface.
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