Top 6 UI/UX Design Trends of 2021

11 Jan, 2021
Lotte, Digital Content Specialist

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In our last blog on app development trends of 2021 you could read about the innovative technologies that will take over our applications in the upcoming year. This time, we dive into UI/UX design trends, and we’ll introduce you to the themes that will dominate the digital design industry in 2021.

1. Virtual office

In 2020 we’ve shifted our workplace from the office to remote working places. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, our homes became our workfloor, and many businesses shifted their focus to providing their users with functionalities and interfaces that simplify the experience of working remotely. In the case of design, 2021 highlights this focus on the virtual office. Interfaces are being optimized to stimulate users to use remote working functionalities, such as video conferencing, cloud computing and other collaborative practices. Remote conferencing has taken such a huge leap in 2020 in terms of UI/UX, mainly due to the competition between companies such as Zoom, Google (Hangouts), Microsoft (Skype, Teams) and more. This competition greatly stimulates advancements in UI/UX design focused on virtual offices, and will result in many more improvements in 2021.

2. Extended personalization options

The user is the main character in UI/UX design in 2021. Personalization in design is when a brand creates individual content for individual users, based on the data they have on these users. Think of date of birth, viewing and order history, or geographical locations. Besides using data in order top optimize the user experience, UI/UX designers also follow the principles of design thinking, which helps them understand their end-users on a deeper level, so they can create designs that are precisely tailored to the need of the user. UI/UX designers can implement design elements that provide a more personalized user experience, and users feel that the content they see is created and recommended especially for them.
This should lead to an increased level of engagement and, as a result, higher conversion rates. By offering the user these personalized design elements, designers can stimulate them to complete their profiles, and reward them with a unique user experience. Besides letting the designer do the work, 2021 web and app design will also allow the user to personalize their interface themselves. They can, for example, change the color scheme of the website/app/web app to their own preference.

3. Immersive user experiences with interactive (3D) elements

With the continuously growing overload of information we’re confronted with every day, it becomes increasingly challenging to keep users interested and engaged with web/app content and functionalities for longer periods of time. Although 3D design elements have been popular for a few years now, in 2021, UI/UX designers will focus on implementing 3D design elements with the aim to provide next-level immersive user experiences. Think of the use of Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality visuals, which transcend the boundaries between real life and the virtual space. Or more basic elements, such as moving and interactive bubbles and other animated visuals. These immersive design elements require a high performing website, as slow-loading pages will have a negative impact on the smoothness of the visuals.

4. Smooth motions & highlighted actions

2021 web and app design is all about smooth motions, which we’ve already mentioned when we highlighted the importance of 3D elements. With smooth motions, we refer to the movements that happen when a user interacts with the interface of a website or application. From clicking a button to scrolling through a page, all movements should be as smooth as possible. Not only does it provide a modern and forward-thinking feel to users, it also simplifies and speeds up the overall interaction between the user and the app/website. So, when implementing smooth motions into the user interface of a website or app, it inherently also smoothens the user experience.

Accentuated user actions

Design elements such as screen transition when scrolling through a website and visual accents when a user performs a certain action have been a trend for a couple of years already, and will continue to be present in 2021. By accentuating the action of a user, it stimulates them to continue what they’re doing. Screen transitions allow the user to smoothly scroll through an app/webpage. The smoother it goes, the more likely the user is to continue what they’re doing. Not only does it improve the user satisfaction, it also simplifies the experience of navigating through a page. By implementing a visual detail like an small animation into a menu that highlights a certain page, the user is guided towards the right direction.

Loading screens

Loading screens are, unfortunately, often overlooked in the design of a website or application. However, it can make a major difference in your overall web traffic. When putting some love and attention into the creation of an engaging loading page, you keep users interested until your page or page element is loaded. This can be done, for example, with interactive and/or clickable elements, a pleasant animation, or simply a piece of text to keep the visitor busy when waiting for the page to load.

5. Glassmorphism

To dive a little deeper into specific UI/UX design trends in 2021, we take a look at “glassmorphism”. Not only does it sound cool, it also gives visual design elements a very slick and futuristic look. A comparable design trend that has been around for a while now is “neumorphism”, which imitates the look of a plastic 3D surface in design elements.

Like neumorphism, glassmorphism also highlights the surface texture of a design element, but with a focus on see-throughness rather than plastic-like 3D effects. Defining characteristics of glassmorphism are:

  • Transparency using a background blur
  • Floating multi-layered objects
  • Bright background colors to accentuate the blurred transparent elements
  • Subtle borders around the translucent design elements

Although see-through elements have been a trends for a couple of years now (think of the Apple iPhone’s pull-down notification screen), the trend of glassmorphism emphasises the effect of blurriness to achieve a glass-like effect.

6. Original typography and microcopy

Besides putting the visitor in the spotlights, 2021 is all about standing out from the crowd. One way to achieve this is with original copy that perfectly translates the character of your business into pieces of text. This can be done with, for example, a playful typeface that fits the young spirit of your organization, or with microcopy. Microcopies are very short pieces of text placed on pages on your website or app that aren’t meant for extensive pieces of text, but are in need of content nonetheless. Think of, for example, a loading page, an error page, or the contact page. Adding a short piece of text to these types of pages can greatly optimize the user experience of your website.

Need a hand?

At Lizard Global, our UI/UX designers are passionate about everything that has anything to do with web and app design. That’s why they’re continuously looking for new trends and technological advancements to make sure their designs are perfectly aligned with current times. By combining cutting-edge technologies and boundbreaking design trends, we provide our clients with applications that are made to steal the spotlights. Want to know more about our UI/UX design processes? Or are you interested in partnering up with Lizard Global? Give us a call or send us a message on WhatsApp, and follow us on our social media channels to stay tuned with the latest updates and much more!

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