January 5, 2021 | By:

4 UI/UX Design Trends That Will Take Center-Stage in 2021

The year 2020 has introduced several changes not only to our lifestyle and health practices, but also with how creators approach design. Several recent design trends are set to take center-stage in 2021.

Here are the most prominent design trends in terms of UI/UX and aesthetics that you need to prepare for:

1. Minimalism and simplification

With the implementation of Google’s Mobile-First Indexing and Core Web Vitals, the future of UI/UX design is leaning more towards on simplification for a streamlined and intuitive user experience.

Image courtesy of Mixd

A few things you can adopt in 2021:

  • Minimal UI with less visual info and a focus on simple interactions.
  • Larger, sophisticated typography for ease of reading across multiple devices.

Unusual color combinations to make the minimalistic design more eye-catching; however, be mindful of color psychology and the color wheel when picking colors.

2. Dark mode

The introduction of dark mode in both mobile and desktop apps/websites is a trend that is reshaping branding and UI design. Dark mode is both aesthetically pleasing and friendly to the user’s eye health and device battery, but it may be challenging when it comes to combining black background with brand colors.

dark mode

Image courtesy of Material.io

A few things you can adopt in 2021:

  • Adjust your brand style guide to accommodate dark backgrounds.
  • Design for both light and dark modes to provide users with choices.
  • Dark background can make certain design elements stand out from the rest. Use this to your advantage and draw the user’s attention to what matters (for example, CTA buttons).
3. Immersive/3D design

As augmented and virtual realities (AR/VR) are going mainstream, especially with Facebook’s adoption of VR tech, we’re seeing an increasing trend towards immersive/3D design. It’s not only aesthetically attractive; it also holds the user’s attention, boosts engagement (and interaction with the 3D elements), and increases website session times.

3D design

Image courtesy of Tubik blog

A few things you can adopt in 2021:

  • 3D design can be a bit tricky, especially when you consider the page loading speed. Make sure to optimize your page speed first before implementing a 3D design to your UI.
  • 3D graphics can also work well for this type of design. It’s visually appealing and adds a sense of depth and realism. Consider using this for your hero images or as an alternative to flat graphics if interactive/immersive design is not (financially) feasible for your website/app.
  • Consider micro-interactions, such as scrolling/mouse hover animation, website lazy loading visualization, transition between pages, or icon/button reactions when clicked/tapped.
4. Gradients and glassmorphism

Gradients (color blending) are a huge trend in the mid-90s, and they are making a huge comeback. Facebook Messenger and Instagram have adopted this design trend in their logo redesign

Another trend that’s sharing the limelight is the “frosted glass” look called glassmorphism. Gradients give depth and dimension to otherwise flat designs, while glassmorphism helps in emphasizing foreground elements.


Image courtesy of Michal Malewicz

A few things you can adopt in 2021:

  • Use the color wheel in deciding the colors for your gradients; don’t choose colors randomly and be mindful of color contrast. Analogous or monochromatic colors work best for gradients. You can use Adobe’s Color Wheel tool as an option.
  • For glassmorphism, take care to choose the right background (gradients with vivid colors work well with this), as well as the transparency. Use a subtle light border or shadow for your translucent elements to make it stand out and add more depth.
  • Choose colors that make sense to your brand.

Is your brand prepared for 2021?

There is so much in store for design in 2021 and beyond, and the trends we’ve covered here are only some of the top ones that we’ve identified. To make design trends work well for your brand, it’s best to do this with careful planning and thorough consideration of your branding identity.

If you need help from professionals for your design and branding, Ilfusion can lend you a hand. Give us a call at 888-420-5115, or send us an email at [email protected].

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