UX/UI design trends that will dominate 2021

hauerpower / webdesign studio
13 min readMar 15, 2021


We present predictions and trends that steel the hearts of UX/UI designers and users this year.

  1. Minimalism

Minimalism is still one of the biggest UI trends, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to lose its position. Minimalism, art less, is a very popular design approach today. Experimenting with colors, navigation, transitions and even removing all elements altogether — there are more ways to implement minimalism than you can imagine.

Negative space called also a white space is the most important thing of minimalism. Mention negative space is basically empty space between visual elements. More empty space means more emphasis on existing elements

One of the most popular examples of minimalism in web design is well known Google search engine. At the beginning in 90s, Google started to focus on simplicity in its interfaces.

Minimalism brings numerous benefits to websites, such as for example a better ratio between screen sizes and shorter load times.

Every day people encounter various advertisements on websites, or notifications. In addition, consumers interact with various interfaces that are overwhelmed with information. Visual complexity has a decisive influence on the user’s perception of the site, it can be concluded that the more elements a design has, the more complex it will look to the user. Minimalism can help you focus your attention on the things you want to distinguish.

The main principles of minimalism in web design:

· user-friendly interface;

· hidden navigation;

· no more than three colors at once;

· lots of empty space;

· experimentation with fonts;

· no excess detail: color transitions, shadows, textures;

· no extra buttons.

Credit: Aleksandar Igrošanac on Dribbble
Credit: Aleksandar Igrošanac on Dribbble

2. Simplified UX

Each product built must serve a specific purpose. Simplified UX stands for “Simple To Use”.

In 2021, complicated interfaces will not be the best solution. The users shouldn’t be forced to take additional action. Now designers would be more likely to minimize the number of items.

How could it help your project?

Thanks to the simplified UX, we can see that people who have never even touched the mouse do all their tasks using their smartphone. When you see 5-year-old kids navigating YouTube, it’s not because they’ve become smarter than they’ve been in the past. The product has been designed with a wide range of users in mind, so that moving around it is as easy as possible.

Credit: ianamoor on Dribbble

3. Blurred, colourful background

This trend relates to the use of gradients and has been popular in the past and remains the current UI trend to this day. The new thing is that the gradients get lighter but at the same time look more complex.

Where is this blurred background trend appearing?

Blurred and colorful backgrounds are often found on websites that target web and mobile applications. This design trend is becoming more popular and is starting to unfold in non-app related websites.

Previously, designers used about 2–3 colors in linear gradients. Now it is possible to increase the number of colors to 10. Additionally, an overlay can be applied.

Credit: Awsmd on Dribbble
Credit: Foyager Design on Dribbble

4. Advanced personalization

Personalization in design is an approach in which the company, based on the information provided, creates personalized content and recommendations for each user.

Increasingly, customers require personalized experiences across all industries and will look elsewhere if a brand fails to meet expectations.

Many of us have experienced personalization through retail product recommendations like those from Amazon.

Personalization helps a lot to engage and retain customers, which ultimately allows you to increase revenue. While the fact that personalization is genuinely important is not clearly stated what form it should take. The form usually depends on the market in which the brand operates and its requirements.

The main goal of personalised design is to make the users feel that the whole thing was created especially for them and in this manner increase the conversion rate which is what all the commercial website owners strive for.

Credit: STRV on Dribbble

5. Unique and absurd 2D illustrations

Illustration is a visual representation of a specific concept, process, or text. This is a visualisation that is intended to clarify the author’s concept, facilitate navigation, or visual identity of the brand.

Interesting and unique graphics add style and creativity to the design, interface or other materials. Nowadays, when the market is forever overflowing, you need to stand out in order to win customers. Otherwise, people may not even try your product, as they will be more likely to choose the one that stands out from the crowd.

Illustrations are still one of the biggest trends in user interface design. Previously, web designers adhered to minimalism, but today they are able to combine it with interesting visualizations, which bring much better results.

On the other hand, it is very popular to use gradient in 2D illustrations. Designers try to use this technique in their work and it works great in illustrations.

Credit: Edi Gil on Dribbble
Credit: Sharath Gowda on Dribbble
Credit: Nitin Tiwarion on Dribbble

6. Voice User Interface (VUI)

Due to the significant development of technology, interaction with voice user interfaces has become one of the UX trends again.

Users who use recorded voice to communicate with customers are beginning to realize that designing a Voice User Interface (VUI) is just as important as any other key element for any business, such as a logo, website, advertising or any other interface with customers.

VUI is used in a very advanced speech recognition system (ASR). It works by interacting with customers in a way that mimics the natural conversation with another human being, the system deviates from simply recording voice commands that transmit a direct message to the caller. Changing topics, or providing non-standard messages, using phrases, and feedback are handled in a natural and intuitive way by a VUI-based application.

7. Physicality and realistic textures

Interesting textures are becoming much more popular in web design again. Ethereal gradients and smooth objects are a thing of the past, and they are replaced by textures that reflect the texture of realistic objects. However, they should not take all the user’s attention, but only give the style that a given brand is striving for.

Credit: Rafał Urbański on Dribbble
Credit: Rafał Urbański on Dribbble
Credit: Offriginal Dribbble

8. Pastel colors

Minimalism and simple website design still steal hearts, and the pastel colors in these designs additionally give space and lightness.

Color is definitely one of the strongest elements influencing the user’s experience. The choice of color in UX design is extremely important and is not limited only to choosing an aesthetic palette. Color psychology is a very important element to understand in order to be able to achieve the desired effects and consumer reactions.

How colors affect on your UI design?

Colors, as I mentioned, can evoke different feelings and emotions in a person’s life. The trend of web design using pastel colors is growing. They can be used to create a tranquil effect for users. Companies often use pastel colors to give them a light, childish or feminine tone.

Credit: habitat on Dribbble
Credit: Vladyslav Kuchaiev on Dribbble

9. Mobile-first approach

This method of designing allows the network to be automatically adapted to the screens of various devices such us the mobile phone or tablet, so that viewing is really comfortable for the user. However, if we would like to open these pages on a different in web navigation will be more difficult.

As the name suggests, the “Mobile first” technology means that product design begins with designing a mobile website, only in the next stage it is extended with a tablet or computer version.

The “mobile-first” approach consists in designing a website for desktop computers, starting with the mobile version, which should be developed with new functions and adapted to the large screen. This means building a website with mobile users in mind.

What was before the mobile-first approach?

The opposite approach is degradation. This takes into account all the intricacies right from the start and then removes them later for smaller devices.

Today, nearly half of all searches in web browsers come from mobile devices. People use smartphones for pretty much everything. The phone allows you to buy a ticket, choose restaurants, and so on. Nowadays, websites should look good not only on the desktop version of the website or application, but also on the phone. For this reason, the mobile-first approach has become a significant UX trend.

Credit: Valery Safono on Dribbble

10. Icons

Simple minimalist icons are considered to be the ever-living UX trend. It is about their ability to convey meaning in a smaller space than words.

Where could we find the most popular icons sets?

For example, in 2020, big companies like Apple and Sketch followed the latest user experience trends and completely redesigned all of their system icons.

Currently, icons with a 3D effect or a blurred, colorful background are becoming more fashionable. Still, simple icons that give a clear signal about their meaning are still considered the best and the most readable.

Credit: UI8 on Dribbble

11. Onboarding

Onboarding is a short introduction to a product offered by a given company. It can take many forms. It often helps to understand the key functions or applications of the product.

Many applications now offer a slide series with short, friendly phrases that explain what the application is for, how to use it. This is one of the very popular applications of onboarding. In this way, onboarding facilitates the use of the application.

Sometimes it is said, that onboarding is a sign of bad design and if you need to explain how the product works, and then something is seriously wrong with its design or description. Anyway, onboarding is getting more and more popular.

Credit: Raquwl Sanchez on Dribbble
Credit: heartbeat on Dribbble

12. Glassmorphism

Have you heard about style called glassmorphism? Even if you don’t know this name, you definitely have met it before. This is a trend in the user interface that creates a blurred background effect that creates a “through glass” effect on some elements.

The style has developed over the years. It has changed all over again with modern fonts, colors and shapes.

Last year, neomorphism was used extensively in web design. In 2021, however, web designers propose a new design called glassmorphism.

Why is glassmorphism so popular?

Glassmorphism is one of the most modern trends in UI design, which is still gaining new fans. Widely used in web and application design and can even be seen on personal CVs! It quickly becomes the mainstream.

The style rose in popularity sharply and evolved when Apple introduced it in 2013 with iOS 7. It reappeared when Apple restored the effect in its latest update, MAC OS Big Sur in November 2020.

Credit: Ronas IT | UI/UX Team on Dribbble
Credit: Dawid Tomczyk on Dribbble

13. Complex typography

Everyone knows how important it is to choose the right font for a website, product or application. Customers often associate a particular font with some big brand. People don’t like to read on the Internet, they are more likely to scan the text, which makes properly highlighted fragments catch their attention.

Sans serif or serif?

You should choose from well-known sources, sans serif or serif is a safe choice. It’s also important to choose a fit that will work well for a variety of sizes. A maximum of 2 fonts is recommended. One thing to remember is that some systems can get away with just two or three weights of a basic typeface.

It is better, when the contrast between two fonts appearing next to each other is bigger (e.g. on one website, in one application). Therefore, it is safe to combine a serif font with a sans serif font.

Credit: https://about.easil.com/support/serif-vs-sans-serif/

A font matched to the style of the company, reaching the target group, is an important element of the company’s visual identification.

Another idea is to consider making body text on-screen dark grey rather than black.

In HTML, heading tags assign semantic meaning to an element’s role in the page hierarchy. The component’s tags cannot be completely aligned with the HTML of each page on which it is used. This concept strongly encourages teams to separate the header level concept (the visual result of applying a style property) from the H tag (HTML elements like H1, H2, H3, etc.).

For this reason, experiments with fonts became one of the remarkable UI design trends. Today web designers use complex typography they try to highlight the most important information to their customers.

Until now, sans-serif fonts were UI designers’ favourite fonts, but with 2021 this is changing. With the advent of newer technology, we come to the conclusion that serif fonts have significant advantages, including being easier to read on large screens, and the higher resolution also makes heavier letters appear clearer.

How to choose a good font?

Georgia or Times New Roman remain the most popular and adored fonts, but lesser-known fonts such as Portrait and Noe Display have also become popular.

There are also titles and headings in the form of animations with different shapes, colors and effects. The role of this element is decorative, not just as reading text, which can give a specific, unique character.

Additionally, there is an interesting page that helps you choose fonts depending on your preferences for similarities level.

We leave a link for you here: https://fontjoy.com

We will present front combinations that, according to many designers, fit perfectly together:

Ubuntu & Lato
Quando & Judson
Poppins & PT Serif
BioRhyme & Space Mono
Work Sans & Bitter
Chivo & Overpass

Credit: https://www.fontpair.co

14. Immersive 3D visuals

Immersion technology is a technology that allows you to create a completely new reality using the space of 360.

3D design is developing very quickly. Certain types of immersion technologies augment reality by superimposing digital images on the user’s environment. Others create a new reality by completely cutting off the user from the rest of the world.

The Different Types of Immersive Technology

The different types of Immersive Technology are 360, VR, AR, MR, and XR:

· 360 — the most basic and the most popular immersive technology. These days, 360 content can be seen practically anywhere online — especially on YouTube and Facebook With VR, a user is completely shut out from the rest of the world while being surrounded by content.

· AR — Augmented Reality is a different type of immersive technology where digital images are presented on top of the real world. This means that users who leverage AR aren’t completely shut off from the world. Instead, AR extends their reality. A great example of AR is Snapchat Filters.

· MR — Mixed Reality is somewhat a combination of AR . An MR headset that is currently available to the market is the Microsoft Hololens. There’s also the recently launched Magic Leap.

· XR — Extended Reality is the term used to describe the full spectrum of Immersive Technology (VR, AR, MR).

Credit: Rick Waalders on Dribbble
Credit: Mako Tsereteli on Dribbble

15. Dark mode

Dark Mode is a user interface (UI) that is the opposite of the standard white interface. It has low lighting, where the background is dark and is usually black or some shade of grey.

Why dark mode is healthier for the user?

There is an upward trend in the use of monitors and screens all over the world. Designers come to the rescue by proposing interfaces with dark themes. They help reduce eyestrain, especially in low light or at night. This allows you to extend the work in front of the screen, which, especially during a pandemic, has become inevitable for many people. Moreover, the dark mode also saves the battery life of the device.

Obtaining the right colors and contrasts when designing this mode is key, otherwise the text may be more difficult to read, understand and require more time to spend on it. As a result, the working time with the device is longer, which will result in negative feelings such as headache or eye pain.

Many users use this mode for its health and energy-saving benefits, not for aesthetic reasons. In addition, it increases the efficiency of work by minimizing the pain in the head or eyes of the employee.

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hauerpower / webdesign studio

Tworzymy, projektujemy strony internetowe, zobacz na https://www.hauerpower.com [we design web in minimal ux/ui way]