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Flat designWhoever coined the phrase, "History repeats itself" knew what they were talking about. Interestingly enough, the truth of this quote often stretches further than just the dusty pages of a history textbook. It can be heard on the runways of fashion, the hallways of interior decorating, and yes, even in the ever-changing world of web design.Columbus was right -- The world is flatUnless you've been designing your websites under a rock, you've probably heard the term "flat design". This minimalist approach has been making its way into more and more sites on the web and has been revered by designers, developers and users for its ability to cut out the clutter and emphasize usability.But is flat design here to stay?Probably not. Just like all things, change is inevitable. Ever hear the phrase, "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction"? Part of the reason flat design became so popular was the fact that it followed after skeuomorphic design, which is a principal that takes design cues from the physical world; like textures, shadows, gradients, and so on.Flat vs Skeuomorphic designThe juxtaposition of the two shed light on a new path to minimalism and function. It caused us to eliminate what is not needed and focus on usability. Not to mention, it just looked fresh. But what will happen when the web is inundated with flat websites? What will stand out? In a world of flatness, dimension will rise from the ashes and once again, we will be admiring textures and layers. Maybe we will find ourselves in between the realms of flat design and skeuomorphism -- the best of both worlds. With their release of iOS7, Apple has shown that they are paying attention to the flat design trend as well. They may have closed the chapter on skeuomorphism and turned the page to flat design, but their use of not-so-slight gradients and bold colors may be the start of where flat design will go next.To know where we are going, we must look to the past.I always find it interesting when old trends resurface. Look at today's hairstyles for men. They are very reminiscent of the 1930s. Wallpaper in interior decorating? For the longest time, it was seen as unfashionable - now it's increasing in popularity. Knowing that the world is an ever-changing place, we will take our latest technology, blend it with an old idea and make something beautiful and new. It makes you wonder how the past will inspire the future of web design.We will evolve.But that's not to say we won't take what we've learned from flat design into the next trend. The clean, focused approach reminds us to judge our websites based on how well they work, as opposed to how they look. This notion will act as gut-check as we transcend to our next design trend. Although it is uncertain exactly what design trend will take over, the impact of flat design on the web community is certainly one for the history books.