Top 5 UX/UI trends for 2021
Posted on Feb 11, 2021
The high-paced digital environment of UX & UI design is ever-evolving. Change might be the only constant in the world of digital design. 2020 was a year certainly nobody could have predicted. It was a year of change/chaos. But now that it's behind us, there is one thing that is very much guaranteed about 2021 - the pandemic will still be with us in one form or another. With that in mind, let's check out what the top 5 UX trends are for 2021.
1. Live Collaboration 👩💻
It's difficult to imagine what lockdown would have been like 10 years ago. With the availability of high-speed internet, most of us were able to keep up with our colleagues, friends, and families. This pandemic made work-from-home a global standard. As a result, there has been a significant increase in video conferencing apps and online collaboration tools, and this trend is expected to continue in 2021.
We, being an all-remote team, already had some of these amazing tools in place. Here are some of the collaboration tools we use and can't thrive without at Matcha Design Labs (MDL) formally known as AMSD. Also, a sneak peek of how we use these tools at MDL.
- ClickUp - This is our go-to project management tool all across MDL.
- Figma- As we kick off a new year, we have written into our offering, that we are a Figma-only team. Here are the top 5 Reasons We're All-In on Figma.
- Loom - For recording and sharing screens within our team, we look no further than Loom.
- Zoom - Zoom makes our meetings with clients and team members effortless and our happy hours extra fun 🥂
- Slack - What's a better tool for communicating faster, and in a more organized way than Slack. Like many others, this is our favorite for communicating with the team and the clients as well.
- Google Docs - When it comes to simplicity and affordability, it's hard to beat Google Docs. With the smart editing, formatting, and version control features, Google Docs is clearly our favorite tool of choice.
The world has been moving in a remote direction for the past 10 years. 2020 showed us how this can be accelerated and businesses can still not just work but can thrive in these uncertain times. Many of us have enjoyed virtual meetings and conferences in 2020. We at MDL, enjoy our virtual happy hours every couple of weeks. We catch up on all things life while sipping on our favorite drink of choice and play virtual games using our favorite tool, Figma. 🥂
Just like us, many people found out that, it’s possible to do many things remotely without sacrificing efficiency and hence we saw an enormous surge of traffic in video conferencing as well as other collaborative apps. Collaborative interfaces including features like video conferencing, screen sharing, commenting, editing, messaging, tagging is not only in demand but have become the norm.
2. Voice UI interaction 🎤📲
Voice UI (VUI) definitely became mainstream in 2020. The various methods of interacting with devices without actually touching them such as VUI (voice user interfaces) and air gesture control. Apple, Google, and Amazon were some of the prominent brands that changed the way we search for information and engage with smart home devices.
Adding a voice-user interface to your design can expand its reach. For example, to dim your lights you just say: ‘OK Google, dim the lights’; or to quickly order an Uber, callout: ‘Alexa, ask Uber for a ride’.
These technologies are becoming incredibly more prevalent every day and the stats really do speak for themselves:
Two thirds of U.S. customers are using self-checkout and 87 percent would prefer to shop in stores with “touchless or robust self-checkout options.”
3. Dark Mode ⌚️📱
Over the past few years, the dark mode has become a popular feature in apps, operating systems, and software. Here are a few reasons why we designers, as well as users, love this feature.
- It reduces eye- strain in low light conditions
- It can save device battery power
- It allows all the important elements to pop-up
- It reduces screen fatigue
- Defective pixels can be hidden with ease
- It also looks super modern.
Many platforms provide users with the ability to choose when to switch to dark mode. Apple users can even schedule times to change their device to the dark mode automatically. It has now become a standard practice in product design to consider a dark mode alternative to designs. Check out Google Docs, WhatsApp, and Slack using this effectively.
4. Augmented Reality (AR) & Virtual Reality (VR) 🎮 🥽
AR and VR applications have been around for some time, and every year we are witnessing more improvements and innovative use cases. The technology still appears to be in an infant stage, but tech giants are joining the race. Apple has recently announced ARKit 4, the latest version of its open-source augmented reality development tools. Google’s competing ARCore technology is also making great strides to keep up in the industry. Facebook just announced its first pair of smart AR glasses, expected to release in 2021.
Giving consumers a virtual option to shop has been an important trend for many retailers, such as American Apparel, Uniqlo, Lacoste, Kohls, Sephora. IKEA’s app allows customers to see what furniture and other products might look like in their own homes using AR technology.
5. UI Motion 🤳📲
UI Motion is a very powerful way to make any interface simple, clear, bright, and user-centered thus providing a positive user experience. You will notice that there are many ways this can be achieved. For example, adding micro-interactions, showing the progress bar, showing key navigation, and adding micro-interaction magic to data visualization Their purpose is to delight the user; to create a moment that is engaging, welcoming, and more importantly human-centric.
A few reasons why UI Motion is here to stay in 2021:
- It improves a website navigation
- It communicates information about certain elements, like whether or not it’s interactive
- It directs users’ attention
- It can display system status
- It can make the user experience much more rewarding
At the end of the day, a new year of UX/UI design trends is an opportunity to look forward to smarter tools, so it's time to put things into practice.
At MDL, we truly believe that the end goal of a product is to make users achieve their goals by making the product less complex and more seamless. For that to happen we need to ask ourselves, if adding any of these trends will make our user's experience more enhanced? Or will it be a distracting factor? We need to make sure that we add a trend or trends only if they seem fit to the project at hand. If you tap the trends at the right time and in the right way, it will help your business boom and will help your audience turn into customers/clients.
Which of the trends mentioned above has got you the most excited? How do you imagine the future of UX/UI design trends? Let us know your predictions in the comments below. Also, feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com.
Thank you for reading and happy creating 😃