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Five trends of 2021 and one timeless classic in UI / UX design


2021 UX / UI Design Trends: Product Page for Maserati MC20 from Atvinta on Vimeo.

The product page for the Maserati MC20, which has incorporated almost all the trends

In 2020, events took place in the world that influenced many industries and areas of life. Moreover, these events have multiplied the role of digital products in business and people’s daily lives. As a result, the commercial success of companies began to depend on how well the interface in their products was developed and how pleasant it was to use them.

Digital-agency “Atvinta” reread a couple of dozen articles about trends in design for the next year and chose the top 5 trends that are mentioned most often. For each of them, they commented on what tasks in interfaces it is worth using these techniques.

1. Dark mode: most frequently cited trend

Everyone writes about the dark theme. And for which year in a row. What is the magic of dark mode?

Many people confirm that the dark theme helps them concentrate on information. It also reduces eye strain and increases the aesthetic pleasure of the product.

2021 UX / UI Design Trends: Dark Interface from Atvinta on Vimeo.

Dark interface for microbiology laboratory equipment

From a technical point of view, the dark theme is cool because it allows you to reduce the screen brightness and increase the battery life.

How to use

According to our observations, there are two reasons for using a dark theme in a product:

1. It really improves UX for data-heavy interfaces. For example, for analytical dashboards, CRM systems or laboratory equipment interface.

2. You want to keep up with the trend and know that your users love the dark style.

In the second case, we recommend that you first conduct a UX study, whether users will really be comfortable working with your website or mobile application in a dark theme. Otherwise, it turns out that following the trend, you will reduce conversion or lose some of the users, because the interface will become less convenient.

2. Animations: now it’s not just show-off, but a necessity

Until a couple of years ago, animations and good UX were antonyms. Motion elements slowed down the loading of the site, distracted all attention to themselves, or they were simply sculpted out of place.

Now animation is a full-fledged tool for managing user attention, navigation and increasing conversion.

2021 UX / UI Design Trends: Bike Shop from Atvinta on Vimeo.

Bike Shop Interaction by Den Klenkov

This is facilitated by the development of technologies: devices are becoming more powerful, the speed of the Internet is growing, and web technologies for development now allow implementing more and more complex animations without loading the site.

How to use

2021 UX / UI Design Trends: Maserati MC20 from Atvinta on Vimeo.

Product page for Maserati MC20

  1. Showcase products from all angles
  2. Help navigate complex functionality with a lot of information
  3. Draw attention to the conversion elements of the interface: the desired section of the site, important information or feedback form
  4. To captivate the user and let him play with the product through interactive interaction: rotate, change colors and configuration.
  5. Deliver aesthetic pleasure and make the user “stick on the site”.
  6. At the end of the day, well-rendered and laid out motion graphics are beautiful.

3. Voice interfaces: it looks like Google was right

2021 UX / UI Design Trends: Voice visual design by Gleb Kuznetsov from Atvinta on Vimeo.

Voice visual design by Gleb Kuznetsov

Google has been promoting the idea of ​​voice interaction as the future for several years. And if in past years one could grin at their loud statement, then in 2021 this trend will definitely gain momentum.

This trend is fueled by the popularity of voice assistants like Alice, Siri, Alexa and smart speakers such as Yandex.Station.

How to use

If the site has a well-thought-out voice UX, then the company has a higher chance of getting contact with the user through devices that do not have a screen, but only a microphone and a speaker.

Especially relevant for the ecommerce industry: imagine that a user can find you in a search, select an item and add to the cart through a voice assistant that will act as a consultant.

It is important to remember that for most people, voice interfaces are still not familiar, although it is convenient for others. How quickly voice control becomes a familiar interaction pattern for most people depends on the digital product developers and how well the Voice User Interface (VUI) is designed.

4. Immersiveness: blurring the line between the real world and digital devices

Immersive design creates an immersive experience by simulating physical objects in interfaces. This trend includes realistic textures of UI elements, graininess in images and neomorphism.

2021 UX / UI design trends: Moooi furniture brand promo website. from Atvinta on Vimeo.

An example of immersive design is the Moooi furniture brand promo website.

Through fabric textures and animations, the company demonstrates a new collection that could not be presented offline due to the cancellation of the Milan’s Salone del Mobile event.

The Moooi example makes it clear that the trend emerged in response to the events of this year, when for a while digital interfaces became the only way to contact the world. It is difficult to predict whether this trend will develop, although now it is mentioned quite often.

How to use

  1. Use on the websites of companies that want to emphasize in their positioning the idea of ​​conscious consumption, concern for people, and the environment.
  1. Create a sense of realism and increase customer engagement with online purchases. The user, examining the product, will be able to understand the texture, as if in reality he is touching this thing.

Refined textures and materials on the Apple product page

5.3D realism: a trend born of VR technology

This technique, like immersiveness, is intended to blur the line between the digital world and reality. With the help of 3D, it is possible to demonstrate products from unusual angles without using real objects. For example, for demonstration on the website or in augmented reality mode.

TAG Heuer’s 3D watch model can be viewed from all angles in great detail

This is especially true for companies that use AR / VR technologies in the UX of their mobile applications or online stores. After all, the development of 3D models has become much cheaper than filming a variety of products from multiple angles.

How to use

This trick will work well for e-commerce and m-commerce, especially when combined with augmented reality. It will allow the buyer to view the goods from all sides and get a complete picture of the purchase without leaving home.

2021 UX / UI Design Trends: 3D Product Visualization for CHILE20 from Atvinta on Vimeo.

3D visualization of the product for CHILE20 collection by adidas Originals

The main thing is not to overdo it in creating realism and remember that the main goal is to make a purchase, and not to maximize believability.

The main trend that will always be relevant

It seems that all the trends of the coming year repeat those of last year. But now the understanding is deepening: what and how to use them to create a cool user experience from interacting with the interface.

Hence the main trend in UI / UX that will never go out of style: business approach and critical thinking when developing interface design

Design is one of the tools for business, but not an end in itself. Digital products are created to solve the commercial problems of companies.

And for product design to work for business goals, you don’t need trends. To maintain customer interest in a product or service, a deep understanding of their internal motives and habitual patterns of behavior is more important. And for solving commercial problems through a web product, it is more useful to focus not only on UI / UX techniques, but also on business metrics.

Moris Akline
About author

Speculative operations in the foreign exchange and stock market. Work with futures and indices on CME. Work on FORTS and RTS. Development of portfolios and investment strategies for clients. Knowledge of technical (price charts of various types, indicators and oscillators, trends, channels, support / resistance levels) and fundamental analysis, take note of news. I work according to my trading strategy in compliance with the rules of capital management and risk management. Development of trust management strategies. Technique of order execution, placing and changing protective stop-losses, hedging.
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