I have no bones to pick with the lion’s share of these approaches — especially in general terms. In the right context and with the right execution, many common mobile patterns are perfectly effective. I also don’t think it’s worth covering here some of the areas where mobile design has been especially problematic (iOS’s shake-to-undo, anyone?). What does bother me is when mobile patterns are leveraged in the desktop context for the sake of aesthetic minimalism. These patterns were developed in a state of compromise, occasionally trading clarity and efficiency for space. Yet, when there’s plenty of space to use on desktop, there’s a Mobile First temptation to continue hiding elements and menus behind icons, to aggressively truncate content, use single column layouts etc. because they look simple and nice.
Now, whether you are for or against this monochromatic fad, it is undoubtedly a sign of progress. The product design process is advancing and evolving from the old segmented approach that encouraged superfluous design to a more holistic process that truly is focused on the user. In the old product design process a UI designer may be handed wireframes by a UX or product person with the instructions ‘make it pretty’. That designer would then spend hours or days adding color, removing color, changing color when the best solution may have been right there in front of them all along… the wireframes! As the lines between UX and UI designer blur in today’s more integrated design process, designers become less worried about their specific responsibilities (like making it pretty) and focus on the ultimate goal of creating the best product for their user.