Recently Microsoft updated the design of its Dynamics CRM to a “flat” look. Since then, we can’t figure out what is clickable or editable, and what is just content.
My plea to designers: make that clickable thingy look clickable. Make that editable input box look like an input box, and not just when I hover over it.
Buttons and interface widgets, when present, need to be easily distinguishable from content. They need to have good affordances that invite users to action. In the absence of strong signifiers, they can get ignored, and users may find themselves lost and disoriented.
Not all “flat” design has indistinguishable chrome from content, as pointed out in the above article.