First of all, that first page was a skeuomorphic UI (notice the knobs and buttons) despite's it being flat/outlined. I've said it many times before, flat design is NOT the antithesis of skeuomorphic. Second, that Facebook redesign, and even the Lufthansa redesign to an extent, were awful. Good design isn't at the extremes, it's the intersection or balance of various elements such as type, imagery, color, or texture.
I actually thought most of the redesigns were quite nice, as was the reasoning for adopting a type-centric approach. That said, I think this is much more useful as a prototyping strategy than an aesthetic to follow for final/shipping products.
There's a point at which any of this stuff, taken to extremes, really harms accessibility. I think the Lufthansa example demonstrates this most clearly — in practice, at least a portion of users may be moving through the site in an unfamiliar language. Leaning predominantly on language to convey meaning in those contexts can leave those users at a huge disadvantage.
Type design ≠ new thing
The trend makes me thing we are going back to Swiss Design.
cough wireframes cough
Why does design need to be any of these things? Good design is about solving client's problems, problems for their particular audience and client - you can't have a one size fits all style for this.
I'm not opposed, but a lot of affordances are lost - what are buttons, what are inputs, what are links?
Links will be color coded, buttons as well and inputs could be a light copy with a border. Think about how much time it will save you to test out a products messaging / features this way. You can add after intricacy as you go.
Valid points - but remember as designers we are fantastic at understanding the affordances in UI elements, but others are not.
For example, the fb example - https://uploads.toptal.io/blog/image/123912/toptal-blog-image-1503410349132-50c655a86209b95c4329c5fbf63bd537.png
(Note, this is good work taken out of context, so no disrespect to the designer).
The 'whats on your mind' is where I can write a status. But it looks exactly the same to "status" "explore" "find a friend" and "messenger" - can I write in those inputs? The bold blue links are actions - but what about the items in the explore menu, can I click those?
Even if it's faster to test, if a product isn't understandable it's a skewed test. I like the concept but at a minimum you need to have backgrounds on inputs and buttons - text alone isn't clear enough.
I dont think this is anything new its just minimal design, i personally love that style - abduzeedo.com nails it!
But it will always be a niche option and only really useable in some situations, it definitely, isnt going to overtake flat/modern design.
Secondly i just want to add your main point/reason for looking into this was that modern designs are had to maintain......maintain it better then :/ don't sacrifice usability.
Here are my proposed rules for Type Design:
You can use lines or strokes. You can use icons. You can use typography. You can change the color of the background. You can use images.
"Basically use all the things you use normally except different"
"no Dribbble-type" yet the Facebook redesign has the classic drop shadow.
Hey Ettore Tortora! Thanks a lot for your comment. Please notice that this shadow is a part of the presentation, not the concept itself.
Of course, I know. Just thought it was funny that your design rules don't apply to the presentation.
Facebook redesign - take a page for a company whos sole focus is ad revenue and remove the ads.