UX UI Trends 2021

Design Trends, Trends, UI, 3D, Typography, Onboarding, Skeuomorphism

Everyone knows that Design Trends are in constant change. When new innovations are set loose, it is normal for people to look to these products and services for inspiration and motivation to improve their lives, or make their lives a little easier.

The most popular trends will become widely adopted within the industry or society, and may eventually reach the state of ‘Industry Standard’ or ‘a new norm’.

In today’s fast-paced, globalized, discussing trends year-to-year is not fast enough. People are looking for the here and now!

So, here and now, we have a half-year trend report just for you, to satisfy those curious souls in our industry.

The world goes remote

As you know, 2020-2021 has been a year of change. People have had to adjust to a new norm in their work and private lives. Working at home became the ‘new norm’.

Online collaboration, meetings and the adoption of VR/AR content on main platforms such as YouTube and Facebook have allowed people to socialize whilst remaining safe, and provide a small level of comfort and companionship in their new ‘compact’ lifestyles.

The rapid growth and adoption of remote technologies such as Zoom, Online event and conferencing platforms, VR / AR museum applications and VR games is a testament to both humanities innate ability to adapt in order to overcome great adversity, and technologies ability to solve big problems in and increasingly globalized world, whilst also bring enriching experiences that benefit our lives.

In the space of 1-year, entire industries have moved to remote working. We have only just begun to explore the various ways that technology can benefit this ‘new norm’.

There are still thousands of products in development aimed at solving the issues that have arisen within the COVID-19 era. Imagine the possibilities that lay in store for the second half of 2021.

Louvre museum VR tour on Oculas

Modern onboarding

Onboarding has changed a lot over the last few years. Modern onboarding performs a much more influential role in the user’s user experience than at any time in its history.

It has evolved from, here’s a cool feature! Or here are the benefits of our product! To a more personalized and logic-driven process that helps profile the user, and advises or recommends actions that can solve their pain points.

Now designers include additional duties into the onboarding process such as:

  • Personalizing the users’ experience by guiding them to choose certain actions based on their previous usage patterns.
  • Informing the user when updates or new features become available
  • Recommending the user creates shortcuts for frequently performed tasks
  • Recommending the user removed or archives items that have not be used in a long time.

Some basic principles of onboarding UI remain. Keep descriptions concise and informative, don’t overwhelm the user within information. Only introduce onboarding when required. But the context and use case continue to evolve and be reimagined in new and interesting ways.

Onboarding screen on 12 min app

The come back of skeuomorphism

The return of the Skeuomorphism design in Mac OS Big Sur is different from the first iteration we saw in the early days of the iPhone’s OS system.

The original version was designed as an icon, covered with a glossy and curved material placed on a mirrored dock.

The modern interpretation, with its 3D icons, and reduced background texture make the design more relevant and pleasant for the modern appetite.

For us, it’s a big improvement over the flat icon design seen in the previous iOS version.

Skeuomorphism icon design is back in Mac OS Big Sur

More 3D experience

The increased speed of internet connections in Thailand has ushered in a renaissance of enriching 3D visual content. Websites and applications that provide 3D experience have already exploded over the last year.

This year we’ve seen that 3D’s capabilities go even further. Not only with small interactive elements like icons, but also provide users with more immersive 3D experiences in full-screen animations.

As the time and effort it takes to create good interactions is quite high. What designers need to take into their mind are the reasons for using them, how they will benefit the users, how can the process be simplified and how will they affect the usability of the platform.

3D Illustration in Redlight.dev

Micro-Interaction overload

Micro-Interactions are more prevalent and scattered everywhere. Whether you hit the “Add to cart” button, sharing with a friend, or just loading the app. It’s no longer just a gimmick to entertain users. It’s a vital part of the user’s experience. It’s almost an expectation at this point.

Bookmark button concept from Yup Nguyen

Rule-breaking typography

In the digital world, humanist fonts like Roboto or SF fonts are boring. Many designers are trying to break away from the old frame, having to choose a font that is easy to read and fast and to use a more complex font. To highlight certain parts of the content

In the second half of 2021, the design will follow a combination of simplicity and complexity in certain elements such as 3D experience, typography or the return of Skeuomorphism, however, this is just the guesswork of the Seven Peaks team. As we all know the world of design is changing every day.

Warnock and Universe Light Condensed font used in Cervitxef.com

Written By

Dechart Sangsawang, Senior UX/UI Designer at Seven Peaks Software

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