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While 2020 is such an unforgettable year that most things we have planned turned 360 degrees, fortunately, in the digital and tech industry, this year has been a blessed year.

Most businesses and people relied a lot on the digital and technology aspect of everyday activities. And as a result, online services have become popular, and we have seen a new wave of users who are transitioning from their regular activities to digital and technology solutions.

In this article, UI UX Design Trends For 2021, we will explore in detail the new trends that we may see, moving from this year and beyond. Some of the changes we may see are:

Digital and technological tendencies change every day; so are user’s expectations. UI UX design professionals have an important role to play when it comes to ensuring there’s a positive experience for the user by anticipating and fulfilling their needs. So here are the trends that we may likely see in user experience and user interfaces in the year to come.


Minimalism

Even today, you can see a lot of minimalist UI designs. It has been a design trend over the years, but now minimalist designs are making a comeback, and we can see more of these trends in website design.

Minimalism may look bare aesthetically, but its “less is more” aspect helps a lot in terms of great user experience. The influx of digital media and data resulted in information overload that in every turn, users are bombarded with pop-ups, targeted ads, full inboxes, and so on, which leaves the users overwhelmed and confused.

Now, we can see minimalist design websites and products from eCommerce sites and mobile apps are stripped down to only its bare essentials.

This minimalist design UX should encourage UI and UX designers to be very selective in order to keep things simple, clutter-free, and less stressful for end users. If the focus is on engagement and longer screen time, then UI UX design professionals should start applying minimalism in the user interface with a focus on the most essential elements only.


Dark mode

Another trending design we see this year that users can expect to see in the coming year is dark mode. Instagram, Apple, and Android are great example of brands offering dark mode themes and data visualization in their products. Why dark mode? Here are several reasons:

  • The look is very modern
  • It highlights and helps pop other design elements
  • It is a battery-saver in the case of OLED/AMOLED screens
  • It reduces eye strains because of its low light conditions

The dark mode has become a popular trend for web development of both desktop and mobile devices and many applications provide visitors the ability to choose when to activate the dark mode.


Voice commands

We already have voice commands in some applications and tools, but this feature will be more apparent next year. You can see how the voice command feature is added and improved in the search activity alone. We can also see home devices with a voice command like Nest, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Siri.

More importantly, you can just look at the statistics for voice command:

The data above show that voice commands are a BIG thing in the year to come, and it is going to dominate the space more and more.


More Behavioral research

When it comes to design and interface, we tend to focus more on optimal experience, where everything goes well and fast. But as UI UX professionals, the goal is to support a user when they are doing it wrong. Regardless of the product design, one of the truths that must be remembered by both UX and UI professionals is that the user has its own mind. Thus, it is always but practical to study user behavior.

One of the useful software to study behavior is session replay software, where it records the movements of the user, and at the same time, it unfolds opportunities that UX professionals could not see. In the coming year, UX and UI professionals should apply more user behavior research to validate decisions and experience design.


Immersive 3D elements

Just like minimalist design, 3D design elements have been around for years. However, the 2020 trend has paved the way to 3D when VR and AR technologies gained momentum. This time, it is a perfect idea to combine this design trend to create hyper-realistic 3D visuals for the user’s screen.

This element allows UI UX designers to create good-looking websites, which at the same time, also encourages customers to stay longer and increase session time.


Combined graphics and real images

One of the things about design is it lets you explore your creative side. The next UX UI design trend that users can see merging for 2021 is the overlapping graphics on the images. This design trend is fresh and can help you combine this technique with your minimalist, modern look web design.

This technique in UX UI design is very versatile. For example, you can add a touch of playfulness for businesses like promoting toy products, or you can add some serious tone for a corporate finance website.

You can see a combination of graphics and real images on social media. A lot of brands are already using this UX UI design technique to capture their audience’s attention.  


Microcopy and UX writing

Branding has proven itself to be very effective in marketing and business. A great sales copy requires a story and lifestyle with the brand. The consumers want to know the company’s history and they want to feel the “vibe” in every word they read.

One of the good strategies to boost a brand and overall sales is to get the visitors engaged with the product. A well-written content that is more informal, unique, and provoking is needed as the boring old sales pitches no longer work.

Thus, copywriters need to change the way they write for their visitors. And therefore, microcopies emerged as a very important game-changer in writing for websites.

Microcopies and UX writing one of the best ways to boost UI and UX design because it provides a unique tone and lets you properly manage the brand’s identity. This kind of writing allows a highly individualized tone to capture the users' taste, which can make a strong impact and, in turn, contribute to an increase in sales.


Bold fonts

Bold fonts in 2020 gained momentum, and we see this design trend to move forward next year. The truth of the matter, we know that users always pay attention to the web heading first. And for this reason, it is important to attract the visitor’s attention by using bold fonts in the titles.

This is a technique that allows UI and UX designers to add more visual sense to the information that needs highlighting.

Aside from its usability aspect, using bold fonts is a modern view of UI design trends. Users may notice leading websites like Apple, applying bold fonts on their headings and product pages.


Mobile design is the way forward

This is an obvious truth but based on the fact, we have more than half of all searches are performed on a mobile device. Additionally, 95% of those mobile searches happen on Google user interface.

Way back in 2015, Google has announced its mobile-friendly algorithm update that is more into responsive, mobile-friendly websites in terms of SEO and for better user experience. This update has caused a lot of web admins to shift more into mobile-friendly websites.

While this is no longer new to the digital world, the importance of mobile design is highlighted this year when Google rolled out mobile-first indexing, which means that Google prioritizes mobile version content for indexing and ranking. And thus, UX designers are now looking more closely at the mobile version of their websites.

Another thing that we can see next year is the trend where websites are made to be very responsive, feature-rich, and functional on mobile user interface design. While Google is taking huge steps in meetings the demand for mobile searches, UX designers are also taking strides in shifting the web design from just a website to a highly functional and mobile-friendly one.


Final thoughts

The year 2020 has given us design trends that are a mix of good old-fashioned minimalist design, the option to go on dark mode, the easy route to voice command search, bold fonts to capture the attention of the users, and immersive 3D elements.

This year, it also paved the way to highlight and prioritize the user with the emerging importance of behavioral research methods and UX writing.

In short, all these are the emerging trends for this year, which we can see more in the coming year. These are things that have been around for a while, but there will surely be newer things that will impact the world, which we may be anticipating soon.  

The importance of knowing the UI UX design trends next year will prepare you to start now. If you are a UX and UI designer, it is best to look at these design trends and try to study and understand how these elements can help contribute to a better user experience.

Mary Ann Dalangin

About the author

A content marketing strategist and a UX writer with years of experience in the digital marketing industry.

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