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Popular UI design trends for effective visuals

Making a clean UI/UX for your mobile or web app is one of the main elements when developing the product. The graphic design trends often follow the advancements in technology each year and the designers should continuously improve their skills and practices per the latest trends.

First impressions greatly matter to users, especially when 94% of those relate directly to design as per the research by British scientists.

Developing good design can be done firstly by gathering relevant information as much as possible. The UX design must be perfectly implemented and aligned with existing user requirements to represent an amazing UI/UX.

Current UI/UX Design Trends

In order to stay on top and make your design alluring for users along with a great user experience (UX), here is the list of some latest UI design trends:

  1. Minimalism
  2. Illustrations
  3. Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR)
  4. Voice UI and AI (Artificial Intelligence)
  5. Bright UI
  6. Animation included
  7. Neomorphism
  8. Asymmetrical Layout
  9. Storytelling
  10. 3D Elements
  11. Passwordless Login
  12. Dark Mode

1. Minimalism 

Minimalism is already a known trend in UI – the term minimal refers to anything that is stripped to its essentials. 

Minimalism in design provides an intuitive and meaningful journey with core elements of the interface for users. 

Uncluttered design makes the entire design sophisticated and easy to use plus it brings the aesthetic satisfaction to the user creating a desirable UI. Additionally minimal design is connected with a buttonless tendency which is the base for simplified design. 

Minimalism includes some of the following features:

  • Simplicity and clarity
  • Attention to proportions and composition
  • Enhanced attention ratio to core details
  • Elimination of non-functional elements
  • Large volume of spare space

2. Illustrations

Illustrations are important elements of UI design – they enable users to interact in an easier and clearer way.

Custom illustrations establish artistic harmony, add creativity to user interface (UI) and make your design stand out among the competitors.

Hand-drawn illustrations are usually used to leave an organic impression on users connecting them to its usage.

Some illustration methods for UI images are:

  • Ignite emotions with illustrations like facial expressions, lines, shapes colors and curves. 
  • Design visual stimuli for sending the right message. 
  • Illustration are to be used as main images for landing pages, reviews etc. while they must be balanced well with the business goals
  • Build brand recognizability with informative illustrations created as per your target audience. 

3. Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR)

Augmented (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have been present as a design trend for some time now and it will definitely be a long lasting trend for the future. 

The AR-driven features make the understanding of the features easier, more accurate and better. Augmented Reality (AR) allows users to get real-time feedback about the app and for the design purposes, the best is to study users’ habits like time spent on the app or possible expectations.  A great example is within the medical sector – AR can be integrated into telemedicine or online medical consultation purposes.

Virtual Reality (VR) is considered by designers for more than just basic aspects (photography, motions design etc.) but for other elements like interactions, sound design, curved design and surroundings/environment. 

Some trends for AR used in UI:

  • AR avatar representing the user
  • Real-time face filters (Snapchat like)
  • Real-time animations when the user interacts with the app

Some recommended trends for usage of VR in design are:

  • 360 degree of vision
  • Curved design to make it easier for the users to read the text or images
  • Display the same depth of all UI elements, menu or text etc.

4. Voice UI And Artificial Intelligence (AI) 

We live in the age of Alexa, Siri etc. where voice is used and as per certain studies it will get used in more than 50% of searches by 2021. 

If you want to inject some innovation in your applications, app developers should think about a voice user interface. The voice-based UI can be implemented into your UI/UX design process – it provides missing information allowing users to interact with a system through speech commands. 

It can help the visitors of your business website to search for information or services with the help of the voice assistant. As people have got accustomed to voice chatbots and virtual assistants, it would be wise for UX designers to incorporate VUI within their apps to make them more interesting for the users. 

Tips on creating UX with voice interaction:

  • Lead the users through the used functionalities
  • Implement different design guidelines for voice interface
  • Understand the natural communication of people with their voice
  • Provide users with options as opposed to graphical UI 

5. Bright colours

Colours are the one of the must-have aspects for UI designers to consider. Designers should have some knowledge on colour theory to effectively apply them to the product. The trends may vary but using vibrant colours and gradients for websites and apps is somewhat an unwritten rule. 

The latest of UI trends is a simple monochrome choice when it comes to colours – as simplicity is the key, such choice makes the apps more meaningful. Thus, usage of bold colours should be limited and designers should make the colour gradients and contrasts more enticing for the users. 

Some benefits of bright UI and gradients are:

  • Clear navigation and an intuitive interactive system – highlighting and contrasting of important elements
  • Increased readability – usage of high contrasting colours should be applied only for highlighting elements
  • One colour to applied to several elements to show the connection between them
  •  Applying the same of similar colours within logos, websites and mobile apps to increase brand awareness
  • Trendy colours catch users’ attention even within high competition
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6. Animations

Animation is enticing to people of all ages – as a result, there has been an increase in usage of animated illustrations to attract masses. 

Using animations in illustrations within web or mobile apps etc. brings a natural feel to the entire UX design – it can perfectly narrate a story that would otherwise be tedious to read if in text. 

Using animated illustrations is a wise approach to convey messages to the users in a more effective way. 

Benefits of animated illustrations are: 

  • Effective way to narrate a story on the product, service or a brand
  • Increased user engagement with your product or a service
  • Increasingly grabs user attention

7. Neomorphism

Neomorphism will become one of the biggest design trends as of 2020. 

Its name is coined from NEO + skeuomorphism = neomorphism. Neomorphism is a method of creating an image of extruded shapes by combining shadows to match the real life objects. 

Both lower and raised shapes are made of exactly the same material as the background which is easily created by playing with two shadows (at positive and negative values). However, if you want it to work out, the background cannot be completely black or completely white. It requires a bit of hue so both dark and light shadows to be visible.  

Benefits of neomorphism are: 

  • Lifeless representations are moved into reality offering a new feel 
  • Represents a detailed design with highlights and shadows
  • Using Neomorphic cards as a raised shape provides the depth within design

8. Asymmetry

There’s nothing wrong with working under the umbrella of traditional UI principles, but  making your design stand out means that you must break the rules sometimes. 

Instead of complying to the traditional grid system, you should challenge the basic principles and push the boundaries with asymmetrical grids and layouts. 

Try to experiment with more dynamic compositions to provide character and personality to your design.  

Consider the following for the asymmetrical design:

  • Experiment with more dynamic compositions 
  • Design per users’ needs
  • Use topography and imagery for creative design 
  • Collapse gutters and overlay multiple elements for more effective design
  • Use white space of the surface area

9. Storytelling

It is said that 65-80% of us learn better visuallystorytelling is a visual way of telling the user what they need to know based on user testing and research. 

It creates positive emotions between the brand and the user as you can convey your message within one (or more) image or in a 20-seconds video. The storytelling conveys the story to the users in a more creative and easily digestible way. 

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Educate your users through your product or a service with storytelling consisting of images and short text – it will help users to quickly understand your message much easier than reading a list of tedious tech specs. Another plus is that storytelling can solidify your brand first impression with the users. 

Modifying information to a catchy story will help users to remember your brand in the future. 

Benefits of storytelling in UI design are:

  • Enables easier user journey 
  • Creates effective design for customer touchpoints allowing them to get back again
  • Make use of a plot and a conflict for more captivating story of your brand

10. 3D Graphics

3D design elements are still on the top of the list of UI design trends – it gained popularity by using the underlying principles of photorealism which increases user engagement. 

They are being integrated with the latest technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) allowing UX designers to create hyper-realistic 3D visuals. This way, you can keep the users engaged but be careful as these elements may reduce the speed of your website and  always make sure they’re properly optimized. 

3D visuals look more appealing to users which trigger their long time engagement.  

3D graphics include the following:

  • 360-degree presentation for improved UX design
  • 3D graphics for mobile and user interfaces
  • Use background elements in order to balance readability and effective user navigation

11. Passwordless Login

With the advancement in technology, people always seek ways to save time. The urgency of skipping the typing of passwords leads us to another important element for users – login without passwords. 

A majority of users usually tend to forget the passwords when dealing with online web platforms and as passwords usually contain letters, numbers and special characters, it is hard for users to remember or recollect. 

In order to solve the issue, the latest UI design trend refers exactly to this issue – designers have begun to utilise various other options for a user login to his/her account. 

With biometrics (fingerprints or facial recognition), One Time Passwords (OTP) or a PIN code, users no longer have to worry about remembering all their 50 passwords. 

Mobile app designers can keep this UI/UX design trend in mind when they are designing the login page of the web or mobile apps.

Benefits of such passwordless login:

  • Enables easier and long term user engagement
  • Creates easy accessibility to your website or app providing user-friendly service
  • Effective passwordless method with protected user data  
  • Keep this method in mind when designing your login page on your app 

12. Dark Mode 

The option of ‘Dark Mode’ is already gaining popularity among the latest UI/UX design trends. A dark theme is a low light that displays a dark surface. Users prefer such dark themes mostly because it saves battery life and reduces eye strain (it has been proven that exposure to bright light can affect your eyesight. 

Dark Mode has been in use in the new Android 10 and iOS 13 and with the new operating systems, users can toggle between dark and light themes at their own choice and will. If you wish to follow the trends and retain your users, this feature is a must for a future-ready UI design. 

Benefits of Dark Mode within your app:

  • Highlights the design elements
  • Saves battery usage to a greater extent
  • Looks attractive and more appealing to most of the users 

Finale

The trends listed are only some of the most popular which have a tendency to stay for the coming decade as they satisfy the aesthetics of user requirements. 

Primary benefits provided by these trends relate to the accessibility and usability of the UI design providing higher user engagement along with the enriched user experience. 

The important thing to remember is that the trends in UI/UX design do not focus only on visual aesthetics but they tend to greatly improve usability and convenience for the end user. 

If you apply those trends wisely, it can bring lots of benefits to your product.