Every year we are facing new technologies and capabilities that drive new challenges for our UI/UX design. On top of these new challenges the design community is always boiling with new ideas that help products be more delightful, more accessible, more efficient or just stand out.
Hey there! it’s time for trend roundup. Today we’re taking a look at UX and UI design trends
Let’s get into it! The first of our UX and UI design trends today is
1# Subtle animation
This trend has been growing in popularity, particularly when it comes to typically dry subject matter, lifting otherwise tired web pages in a simple yet engaging way.
Balance is key with this trend, paying close attention to subtlety so as not to dominate or distract on the page
Since the human eye is attracted to motion, animations can be the perfect tool to draw attention to specific parts of a web page. They can provide visual clues, giving visitors hints about actions you’d like them to take. You can also add subtle effects to elements such as logos, icons and buttons or create visual storytelling elements with parallax scrolling.
itisdietriffic home page designed by Ribal Raza shows subtle animation in action using a simple, straightforward idea to add fun and vitality to the landing page.
Next we’re heading into the world of neumorphism, which is the evolution of skeuomorphism, the trend that champions the use of design elements that look as they appear in real life, like the interface of your computer’s calculator, or the floppy disk used as the save icon.
Neumorphism is a new take on skeuomorphic design. Even though it relates to skeuomorphism, there is a new focus in the entire design style with neumorphism. This focus is not necessarily on the contrast or similarity between the real and digital worlds, but rather the color palette.
Yes, you read that right. Neumorphism is all about the color of the entire screen, and delivering an entirely unique experience for users
Combining the best of skeuomorphism and flat design, neumorphism delivers familiar clean interfaces with a new feel, using highlights and shadows to convey realism..
3# Variable Fonts
In this trend, customization seeps into typography. Variable fonts are in, giving designers a wide range of options within a single font.
Spacing, weight and widths can all be manipulated to create the best look for your design, or a number of different variations can be used in the same artwork to achieve contrast with an underlying consistency of style.
These fonts can be used in CSS transitions, allowing for smooth animations between styles. They also enable designers to create their own custom styles – making them great for unique branding purposes.
4# 5G – AR and VR
In the past year, big brand retailers have already been leveraging the use of augmented reality to enhance their customer’s experience by enabling them to visualize products and information in different settings.
Google, Nike, Ikea, Snapchat, Houzz and many others already using AR in their products.
5G will add another layer to all this by reducing latency and enabling real time interaction of augmented reality objects. This will create a lot of new UX challenges that we can’t even imagine at this point.
What’s exciting is that there’s no real established language for these interactions so it’s going to be an innovation turbulence that will eventually create new industry standards.
AR UI can have different approaches:
- Object-related, real-world objects that have tethered interaction;
- Fixed to screen space, where the user has to position the camera in a specific way;
- Real-world related, which uses the surrounding physical world
5# Human Elements
In 2020, web design was ditching the precision and finesse of that slick digital style and harnessing more human elements, like hand drawn illustrations, icons and fonts, along with textures and grain effects.
There’s been somewhat of a long lasting trend, in the form of illustration that’s organic, hand-drawn and hand-crafted (or at least feels that way, even if it was created digitally).
“We live in a super-digital world, which means there are tons of designs that are super-clean, sharp and sleek,” says Andrea Stan, aka Mky, a graphic designer and lettering artist. “But there is just such beauty in a hand-drawn piece, with all of its imperfections. And I’ve noticed a repeating pattern in style preferences from clients, in that they seem to be attracted to things that look organic and human made.”
6# Larger Images
Images have a unique ability to inspire and engage your audience. Don Norman described the powerful, visceral responses people can have to visual appearance. Websites can elicit positive visceral responses from people by displaying aesthetically pleasing images – beautiful scenery, sleek products, and attractive people.
Whether used full-scale as a background or as a striking centrepiece, images are being used on a much larger scale this year.
From online stores to portfolios, designers are leveraging big, beautiful images and galleries to make their websites stand out. When it comes to the image selections, creators are favoring close-up product shots and pictures with solid background colors. In the absence of distractions, this ensures that all eyes are on the product.
7# Retro Aesthetic
Throw the rule book out the window. Whether it’s an asymmetrical layout, a wild font, or loud, unusual colour combinations, this trend takes an abrasive attitude, mixing emerging design trends like street art and the anti-design style, brutalism, to create something aesthetically chaotic and intriguing
Some of 2021’s UI will probably be inspired by the 90’s. Other trends in website design will adopt the modernist art movement’s attributes like constructivism or brutalism.
8# Emotional Design
It was Don Norman, one of the founding fathers of modern UX saying,
“Sure, utility and usability are important, but without fun and pleasure, joy and excitement, and yes, anxiety and anger, fear and rage, our lives would be incomplete.” While we like to see ourselves as rational thinkers, our emotions largely drive the way we think and behave.
There’s no consensus on how much emotions shape our behavior, but you’ll often see numbers ranging from 85% to 99%. The more we understand the factors that shape emotion, the better equipped we’ll be to build delightful websites, craft motivating messages, launch persuasive marketing campaigns, etc.
Emotional design is divided into 3 levels:
It refers to the first impression of a design, both in terms of how the user perceives the product and how it makes the user feel.
It refers to the experience of the product in use. We often think of this level when we think of user experience.
It refers to the user’s reflections about the product, both before, during, and after use. That last level has been gaining dominance in the last years and it will continue to grow. The three levels all combine to form the entire product experience.
What did we miss? What do you think the UI trends will be in 2021?