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Tendencies in UI/UX Design – 2021

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FLS Staff

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Trends in UI/UX design keep up with the times, just like fashion trends. The digital world doesn’t stand still. And although many rules and trends in UX/UI design carry over from year to year, they still undergo some changes in the face of novel technical and visual solutions.

In this article, we’ve tried to compile the main UX/UI design trends of 2021, which will help in developing a memorable and user-friendly website, as well as find out what will be possible and why.

Why this is important:

First of all, without knowing current trends, web developers can’t offer new ideas to clients. Secondly, the clients themselves, without knowledge of the trends, cannot learn how to develop their own brand.

1. Virtual and Remote Communication

2020 was a year that no one could have predicted. Everything to do with being remote - from working from home to a new wave of virtual reality - were some of the main design trends of 2020 and will continue as such in 2021 and beyond. AR and VR have already made major headway in healthcare, education, and the arts. It is a fact that many companies had already wanted to make the switch to virtual training and work much earlier, but had so far failed to do so. So it’s safe to say that the pandemic played a huge role in society for both AR and VR, which made it possible for society to stop perceiving these technologies as meant for entertainment only.

Fun fact!

Zoom shares went up over 600% during last year. Along with similar tools, it is now in high demand and faces further development which will lead to the creation of a full-fledged ecosystem of "the virtual office". Take a look at how this introduces virtual reality startup Spatial : https://youtu.be/PG3tQYlZ6JQ

More and more companies are thinking about solutions for integrating VR and AR into their digital products. If the next wave of virtual reality picks up steam, we will be entering into a pretty exciting time for designers, who will have completely new opportunities to promote products and services.

2. 3D and the immersive experience

3D design has been attracting users for many years, so it can hardly be called a new design trend both on the web and on mobile devices. But this year, designers' interest in 3D components and entire 3D scenes within interfaces will increase.

In 2021, 3D will become more and more popular, especially given the rise in popularity of VR and AR technologies. Cool abstractions, unusual perspectives - all this can be done in 3D without using real objects, which often saves money, such as when you need to dream up an expensive car or an unusual house. 3D grabs attention and makes websites more attractive by causing users to remain on the page longer and increase their session time.

Technology advances, but the main disadvantage of 3D remains. The more complex the graphics, the more work they perform on the user's machines. Be sure only to use this tool if you are confident that the website is optimized for displaying heavy 3D animation. Otherwise, users will experience lagging and freezing of the pages. This trend is in full swing and will be fully formed a bit later on.

Tendencies in UI/UX Design – 2021

3. Dynamic Animations

Users of all ages and generations love to watch engaging animated stories and interact with animated screens. By combining a minimalistic interface with bold and captivating elements, you can both attract users and make things clear and informative.

There will be more and more animation in 2021. Both in interface (micro-animations of buttons and transitions) and large marketing, including 3D, especially now that it seems the technology has finally grown to such an extent that lag is minimal.

Any motion effect can tell a brand story much better than a static image or plain text. With it, you can add a relaxing element to the most seriously-themed sites, relieving the stress of users who are about to take in large volumes of serious professional information.

Animation in design should be purposeful and meaningful, so not just pleasing to the eye, but also with the ability to solve problems. The most important purpose of animation is to explain, simplify and speed up the interaction process, and only then create the so-called "wow effect". Interface animation solutions should be implemented for usability reasons, not just for decoration and entertainment.

4. Simplification of UX

There is constant optimization towards one-step actions. The designer’s job is to minimize the elements and fields that need to be filled out. The same applies to the number of steps a user must take to achieve the desired result. For example, one of the latest UX trends is to consolidate the entire checkout process into one step.

Registration and login processes are becoming simplified or a secondary step in the user flow. In 2021, don't force users to remember their passwords. For example, in an online store, the user's personal identifier can be his phone number or biometric data.

Apple introduced its super-button that replaces random registration data. In many applications, one can now register with one click of a button without involving social networks.

5. Bold fonts in UI/UX design

Bold fonts are not new in 2021, but the trend is gaining momentum. The fact is that most users pay attention to a page’s title first. For this reason, it is very important to grab the customer’s attention by using bold type for headings. This method allows you to add more visual perception to the information, category, topic, service or product. Apart from the usability aspect, this trend adds a modern look to website designs.

For example, Apple is actively adopting bold text for its website titles, especially on product pages, thus emphasizing the high quality of its products.

6. Shading and Gradients

The trend with shading and gradients has existed before, but it remains relevant to this day. The only thing that has changed is the appearance of more airiness, lightness and volume. All this is mixed with pastel gradients and new trending 3D icons. It’s still minimalism, just more voluminous.

In 2020, UI/UX design companies were actively using layering to stack elements on top of each other. It is also recommended to use soft shadows to show more depth. This combination makes it possible to create a drowning effect and a feeling of lightness. You can ditch the classic flat, static designs, in which the layers are placed in exactly the right order.

Soft shadows and floating visuals are an innovative design trend that evokes positive emotions in the user. They show the depth of elements and make the web page look a little three-dimensional. You can use this technique not only for graphics, but also for texts and videos. Unlike traditional flat and unchangeable designs, this UX/UI trend creates a sense of lightness and visual penetration into the image.

7. Voice interface

Voice chatbots and virtual assistants are one of the most popular technological trends in UX/UI for 2020-2021.

Introducing a voice user interface (VUI) to your website design will help you stand out from competitors and become a leader in your niche by expanding your reach. However, bear in mind that voice search is different from the traditional search for information by the user. Queries are becoming shorter, often interrogative in nature and, by the way, the user does not always ask for what they are actually looking for.

8. Bright color compositions and pastel colors

With the advent of minimalism and simplicity in UI design, pastel colors perfectly complement the new trend. They fit well with the concept of an unobtrusive UI without overloading the design and maintaining lightness. They set the tone and atmosphere. It's like a subtle glow of design. The aura of your project.

But at the same time, web design is becoming more daring and bold. In order to stand out from the competition, UI/UX designers are resorting to increasingly bold color combinations. They are using futuristic neon colors and hues, as well as sharply contrasting combinations to create a vivid visual effect.

Unusual, exciting color schemes will play a decisive role in web design in 2021.

Tendencies in UI/UX Design – 2021

9. Ideal Icons

In 2021, making patchy icons is simply unacceptable.

Interfaces in 2021 should be polished down to every pixel. Pay special attention to icons. High-quality icons have become accessible and easily customizable. Advanced designers take advantage of this and import ready-made libraries into their projects. That is why their interfaces look cleaner, more aesthetically pleasing, and more trendy and modern.

10. Minimalism and simplicity

There have been a lot of experiments in the history of interfaces, but modern design has come to the conclusion that a good interface is the one you don’t see. People spend a huge amount of time on large platforms, and as such, they simply do not need a platform design. They just need it to perform its basic functions and provide content to its users. The design should not draw attention to itself and be intrusive. So white space and a lack of design is the best option for these tasks. In this case, the design focuses on details: mesh interface, fonts, icons, colors, UX, and animation.

Conclusion

In 2021, the user interface will be even more tied to the user experience. Artificial intelligence and augmented reality are playing a particularly increasing role, with their capabilities implemented in every application and website. Design is cyclical. New trends in UI/UX design emerge every year, so there will be a lot of repetition and many things from the past that will be coming back. After all of the above, it is worth noting that critical thinking and design relevance will never go out of style.

So if something is trending in design, then it has the right to life, its own logic and possible further development. Design is the visual language that you use to communicate the value of a product. All UX/UI design trends in 2021 are centered around creating a unique and engaging user experience.

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