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Complete Guide to Experience Design Trends for 2021

DSRUPTR - Joe Smiley

Us creatives survived 2020 and are quickly emerging from our caves and really pushing UX/UI design boundaries in 2021 with some rich and varied design trends, adapting to technology and societal changes quicker and better than ever before.

Cutting edge web design is creating a ripple effect in all areas of design. We are seeing both trends towards depth and realty but also fun and simplicity and an interesting rise in cool chaotic, illusion design.

Get ready to be inspired in 2021!

Or go back in time and revisit trends of the past: 2020, 2019

Stylized Buttons

Time to make online experiences fun again by breaking out of the same ol boring buttons of the last 10 years. Say goodbye to the plain gradients and hello to 3D animated objects (on click or rollover)! Better yet, how about some bright colors in wavy flat geometric shapes overlaid on top of each other. Way rad.

Fluid / Psychedelic Backgrounds & Landing Pages

Look out for a flood of abstract representations of products and processes, and even soothing psychedelic backgrounds! Tech and service sites feel the need to attract, amaze, and captivate their customers with hyper-realistic animations via complex fluid motion, motion design, renders, and volumetric illustrations.

Enhanced UX Motion / Interactions

Wait for the explosion of UX motion and interactions across our devices in 2021, where companies will look to enable better experiences with purpose-driven motion and interactions. These will range from the subtle to the ubiquitous, and will put a smile on our faces as we engage with them.

Monochrome & Duotone

The popularity of dark mode has provided a new option for designers, especially those that are designing to optimize content with their customers, like social media, messengers, reading and music apps, productivity software, etc.

By simplifying the colors to monochromatic it provides relief for our eyes and mental comfort, while a muted design will help to focus attention and enhance accessibility. For the more adventurous, why not throw in a little color with bold duotone designs that provide a knockout punch to experience!

3D Design

2021 will be the year we see 3D everywhere. Alright, I said that in 2019, but I mean it this year. Pinky swear!

I discussed 3D depth & Realism in my previous post, where I was excited to see innovative designers evolve the boring flat design concept by experimenting with the addition of other design styles: 3D realism, illustration, wacky typography, steampunk colors, etc. And by doing so it created a funky new style.

Combining 3D objects with photo images, illustrations and 2D designs. Adding depth and a touch of reality with innovative, imaginative techniques. You’ll also see the addition of tactile 3D miniatures that are heavily stylized characters with realistic motion. Tactile, clay-like aesthetics.

Emoji Design 

2021, time to show your emotional side with the rise of custom emojis. Fun and playful emojis for all occasions from animated websites to store fronts. Grabbing attention and raising a smile.  

Nature-Inspired Design 

Nature inspired motifs – leaves, trees and flowers, natural color palette. These calm, beautiful, sensitive designs are pushing into 2021 to remind you what you are missing when you are forced to stay home.  

Optical Illusion Design 

Explore the boundaries with optical illusion design in 2021. Coming out of nowhere this uber-trendy style will blow you away as well as captivate you.  

3D Typography Design 

Nobody puts typography in the corner.

3D typography is going to be yuge in 2021. Jumping off the page, this style will not go unnoticed. Tangible typography that takes no prisoners is the way forward. 

Classic Serif Fonts

Serif fonts date all the way back to the 15th century and are seen as classic, elegant, and trustworthy. They often invoke feelings of nostalgia. And because of this, many financial institutions, banks, and fintech are utilizing them more on their websites and branded materials.

What’s Next!

I dunno. You tell me.

What are the next big trends in UX/UI? Leave a comment below and share your visions with the rest of us. Do it!

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