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Latest UI/UX Design Trends for 2021

For every search you make, the engine presents numerous websites in a matter of seconds. With so many options to choose from, designers have to show off their creativity in order to achieve the visual appeal that will catch your eye and make you linger more. As the race for clicks and visitors heats up, ever so often it happens that a large number of designers starts following the same trend – the best performing at the time. This practice usually proves to be counterproductive, leading to oversaturation and the inevitable fading of the current trend. What was once new and innovative quickly becomes stale and old news. This is why our web design agency Chicago constantly looks for new and upcoming design trends in order to stay on top of our game and answer the ever-evolving demands of our clients. In today’s article, we will help you improve and expand your design toolkit by exploring the latest UI/UX design trends.

The minimalistic look

Minimalism passed the test of time and is here to stay. Everywhere you go your visual sensors are constantly bombarded with various ads that promote sales and discounts. This goes equally for both the physical and digital worlds. The interfaces we interact with are usually overwhelmed with information. To escape that orchestrated chaos, web designers are looking to simplify graphic elements. By limiting the number of colors and utilizing different proportions and compositions you allow the functionality to play the main role. Avoiding elements whose sole purpose is decorative and focusing on the message is a tried and true way to highlight the best properties of a product and awake the right emotions.

minimalism

Simplified UX

Simplified registration is one of the latest UX trends, and rightfully so. No one likes to take extra actions when it comes to something so simple as filling out a form. Minimizing the number of elements and fields that users need to interact with is a great way to reduce bounce rates. When it comes to eCommerce web design, fewer fields mean more sales and usually more second-time-around customers.

Logging in can be as simple as one-two-three. Actually, you don’t even need the two and the three. You could design a custom button that skips the extra registration steps. By clicking on the button, the user would choose whether they want the website to discover their email address. A second later, and they are logged in.

Colorful backgrounds

Colorful backgrounds may sometimes seem retro, but using gradients in all sorts of ways is still a relevant UI trend. Vivid colors address your temperament and can evoke really strong emotions. Back in the day, designers were using two or three colors in the linear gradients. Today, there is virtually no limit on the number of colors you can use. You can use ten colors if you wish and add an overlay to get a complex blurred background that will look trendy and amaze your visitors.

colorful background

Strange illustrations

Similar to last year, illustrations have found their place in this year’s latest UI/UX design trends. However, there is a difference. A year before a touch of minimalism could be found in illustrations in an effort to make the design less oversaturated and more comprehensive. Today, we can see designers trying bold approaches experimenting with different angles as well as proportions and storylines. The illustrations themselves have become unusual, absurd, and often distorted, leading to comments all across the web. 

When it comes to formatting for your illustrations, PNG, GIF, and JPEG formats lose in quality as the resolution increases. This is why we recommend using the SVG format since it suffers no loss in quality as you increase or decrease the resolution.

strange illustration

Voice user interface (VUI)

A proper and functional design is often more than meets the eye. Voice user interface firmly keeps its position among the latest UI/UX design trends due to its widespread adoption.

VUI is an internal interface that relies on context and data synthesis. It is at the core of numerous apps that allow you to translate a word or a sentence into other languages. Simply with a click of a button, the app will record your voice and translate everything you say into the language you choose allowing the communication with foreigners to flow seamlessly.

vui

Pastel colors

The age of minimalism and simple designing solutions has led to a tendency among many designers of using pastel colors. Experimenting with bright colors that fit well into various concepts highlights the lightness and sets the tone and atmosphere that users pick up quickly. Undoubtedly, we will see more pastel color designing solutions in the months to come, especially on eCommerce platforms and SaaS apps.

Mobile-first web design

Mobile search is on the rise more than ever covering nearly half of search queries across the web. People find it more practical to reach for their smartphones in search of a diner, movie rental places, or holiday arrangements. Furthermore, the pandemic-struck society leaned toward food delivery apps to get meals in the safest way possible.

The mobile-first web design is a great way to improve customer interaction and therefore one of the hottest among the latest UI/UX design trends. Today, it is not enough to develop a design that looks good only on the desktop version of your website. You need to design with mobile searchers in mind. Those businesses that fail to provide a cross-platform experience for their users are missing out on a potentially huge customer base.

Icons

Using icons is a great way to communicate a message with your customers. They use less space than words and provide a stylish look to your website or app. This is one of the main reasons why big companies like Apple play special emphasis on icons. 

It is important to make sure that all of the icons on your website have a uniform look. Simple minimalistic icons that are the same in size and dimension can emphasize your designing prowess and make your website stand out from the crowd.

icons

Onboarding

Making a short introduction to the application will help your users better understand the product and its key features. Despite the opinion that good products don’t need an introduction, onboarding is one of the latest UI/UX design trends that businesses are adopting on a large scale.

When designing such an introduction, it is important to keep things simple. You should walk your first-time users through the most important screens of your app. Ensure that your text is concise and easy to read, and spice it all up with high-resolution photos. There is no need to go too much into details. Explain the value of your product, make the walkthrough an exciting experience, and let your design speak for itself. Here are the most important aspects to include in onboarding:

  • Familiarize your user about the most important functions of your app
  • Give your user the opportunity to sign-up
  • Collect info to improve personalization

Glassmorphism

The year 2020 brought us neumorphism, a combination of two common approaches completely different from each other – skeuomorphism and flat design. But, that’s last year’s news. In the year 2021, it is all about glassmorphism. Designers are using light colors and blurred backgrounds to evoke a sense of spectating a sight through a glass, which brings modern and stylish-looking design solutions.

glassmorphism

Complex typography

Designers often stress the importance of choosing the right font for the website. The one that communicates more than just the text on the screen. Customers will make the connection between your brand and the font you use. This can make you recognizable even if your brand name is not highlighted. Just look at the connection Google made with its font Roboto.

When searching for the information we need on the internet, we usually don’t read the entire text. We scan it. This is why experimenting with fonts became one of the latest UI/UX design trends. Designers utilize complex typography in order to highlight important information so readers could quickly find what they were looking for. Websites built on typography are modern-looking, engaging, and easy to navigate.

3D visuals

While 3D visuals are finding their place in an increasing number of websites across the internet, the main downside of this technology remains. The more complex the graphic is, the more time your website takes to load. However, the perfect balance can be achieved with a clever combination of 2D and 3D graphical elements, leading to very rewarding results. Due to the high demand for augmented reality and virtual reality technologies, as well as the accelerated evolution of hardware, software, and connection speed, this trend is certainly something to keep an eye on in years to come.

3d visuals

Final thoughts

When it comes to the latest UI/UX design trends, every year brings something new. We adopt new trends while slowly abandoning those that up until yesterday were the next big thing. But, just like all the things in life, design is cyclical and we can expect a lot of those abandoned and forgotten trends to be back one day. This list shows that we are always side by side with contemporary design trends while staying faithful to the design’s core.


However, there is one trend that never goes out of fashion – design relevance. For us to make the most out of every design trend era, we need to look at the design as a means, as a language through which we communicate the value of the product. Only through that value, the design trends fulfill their purpose.

Brian Djordjevic
About The Author

Brian Dordevic

Bojan is Marketing Strategic Planner with a passion for all things digital. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or schedule a consultation call with him.

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