The UX design trends and innovations that dominate the year are unusual and a huge leap from the traditional websites we have known. Technology allows designers to think outside the box and surprise you with immersive experiences, stunning visuals, original illustrations and typography, and other design elements usability experts did not recommend in the past. Here are the top UX design trends and innovations in 2021.
From websites to hybrid apps and in-between, minimalistic design is one of the year’s top trends. It allows users to focus on the message and the visuals to avoid information overload and digital fatigue. In addition, the minimalistic design trend further cuts out all unnecessary fields from forms: user checkout on one page, quick fill-in forms for ebook and whitepaper downloads, or super buttons that don’t force users to remember multiple accounts and passwords.
Minimalistic design is therefore connected with people’s need of less-is-more, and this leads to the next trend:
Micro-interactions humanize the users’ engagement with a website or an app. They are fun and engaging. Their quality and ability to capture the users’ attention and interest encourage sharing and increase brand loyalty.
Source: Uni Landing Page Hero Section on Dribble
Micro-interactions can be anything from clicking on a button to swiping to view or any other action the user takes to engage with a website. In essence, the role of micro-interactions is to make the user pay attention to your message and then act upon it.
Designers use all kinds of over-the-top elements to determine users’ reactions, like sudden zooms, animations (including animated buttons), pull-to-refresh features, calls to action, and other “hooks.”
Animation in all its forms - including 3D, anthropomorphic animation, cartoons, and so on - is undoubtedly one of the top trends in UX design this year. You will see everything from animated buttons to full-on animated landing pages, animated ads, and so on.
Animated pages deliver that WOW factor users want and crave. They are attention-grabbing and, when done right, they will also improve the brand’s image by making the users connect with it. Often, users will share these pages with their peers either on social media or via private messages on Messenger, WhatsApp, and other messaging platforms.
More and more designers use unique typography for surprising effects that capture the users’ attention. Done right, typography delivers a wow factor that will make the site visitors interested in a company’s message, services, or products.
Good typography can make a site look fancy, cutting-edge, and refined even when it’s built with limited resources. But the primary purpose of typography should be to highlight the most important information you want to deliver to your customers. Eye-catching typesets are suitable for titles, subtitles, and headings. In addition, you should provide lengthy texts in a font easy to read. Web-safe fonts include Arial. Arial, Times New Roman, Helvetica, Courier New, and Verdana, among several others.
Funny, unique, abstract compositions or absurd illustrations are elements of design that captivate and make website visitors smile. Indeed, they were in trend in 2020 and remain trendy, however, with a twist: designers tend to prefer unusual angles and storytelling in their illustrations.
Source: The Compost
Sure, illustrations are not suitable for all industries - they predominate on sites about web design or other types of web services, like SEO and marketing. But they can work on other sites, too: standard stock illustration no longer surprises the website visitors. A fresh approach can bring better results than what passes as the norm in UX design.
VR and AR
The COVID-19 lockdown forced many businesses to rethink the way they communicate with consumers. As a result, they adopted VR and AR technologies to offer immersive experiences.
Very popular in travel, VR and AR apps transport users who cannot leave their homes to the destinations of their dreams.
Source: Virtual Yosemite
AR and VR gained popularity because of gaming applications, but now businesses can use these technologies anywhere, anytime: auto showrooms, fashion, supermarkets, travel, etc. In addition, both technologies offer tremendous UX design potential with immersive experiences that will transform the way businesses communicate with consumers.
The year’s UX design trends and innovations will not remain the same in the years to come: design is constantly evolving as technologies evolve, and users demand newness, better UX, faster loading pages, more exciting experiences, etc. Good design keeps up with the trends and adapts or innovates to stay ahead of the curve.