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2021 UI/UX design trends: a rundown of what’s hot this year

I’ve compiled a list of some design trends that I’ve seen become popular around the web and have written a quick summary of what they are, and what they mean for designers.


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Caelin Sutch

3 years ago | 3 min read

At this point in 2021, we’ve started to see some key design trends emerge from across the internet. The constantly evolving field of UI/UX requires any good designer to constantly be on top of the latest and greatest trends to create designs that not only look good, but are relevant to today’s design literature.

I’ve compiled a list of some design trends that I’ve seen become popular around the web and have written a quick summary of what they are, and what they mean for designers.

3D Design

Tools like Spline have made it easier for designers to quickly create 3D graphics and illustrations for their designs. This is inline with a general industry trend away from “flat design” and back to using high-detail designs that pop.

With 3D, it’s easier and faster to communicate ideas or concepts infused with brand personality, so we’re likely to start seeing more 3d graphics and animations work their way into common digital products we know and love.

Motion and Animation

Motion has recently been an integral part of all design. Whether it’s animating major elements on a page or implementing small micro-animations throughout the application, motion has proven to be a great way to add value and flare to any application.

While plain static visual assets may be pleasing to look at, by adding animation designers can communicate more information in the same space. As the saying goes, a picture conveys a thousand words, but an animation can convey millions.

By adding motion to smaller components, like buttons, icons, tabs, splash screens, visual cues, menus, and other UI elements, you can revitalize your website or app and trigger user response much faster, without a large investment. These “Micro Interactions” boost your users experience by providing feedback, and easy-interaction.

Some common examples of GUI micro interactions that can power your interfaces include interactive toggle switches, progress bar animations, and data input interactions. We’ve seen this extend to any sort of movement on the site implementing animations or transition that really enhance the user experience.

Unique Typography

Typography has long been a crucial aspect of any design, but this year has seen designers use typography in incredibly creative ways. Whether it’s integrating it as part of graphics or photos or using it as the core focus of a page, typography is a very simple way to increase the value of any design.

Asymmetric Design

While symmetry and alignment is pleasing to the eye, designers have began experimenting more and more with asymmetric design in interfaces.

By using text, white space, images, and graphics, unusual compositions or layouts can attract the viewer and providing more intriguing and engaging designs.

Asymmetry is also a great way to really make a site stand out for it’s uniqueness and provoke or disturb viewers to make the whole digital experience more memorable.

Glassmorphism

Glassmorphism was first seen in IOS7 and Windows 8, but has since been slowly finding itself into more mainstream design. Categorized by the “frosty window” background design and layered elements, the light, depth, and material that’s incorporated in this design style has become incredibly popular among designers.

This year, we’ll likely see more companies and designers adopt this layered design to add depth and interests to their products.

Conclusion

The design field is constantly changing and evolving, but we’re likely to see these categories of design make their way into products that we use everyday.

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