What are micro-interactions in UX design

The 10 hottest UX / UI design trends in 2021

What can we expect in the digital sector in 2021? More than ever, people will be looking for new exciting experiences and, of course, entertainment in the digital world. In order to meet the increasing user needs, companies create unique online experiences that promote emotional connections to the community. Of course, the UX / UI designers are at the center of this development.

The trends that move them move the whole Internet and that's why we've scoured hundreds of links, spoken to industry insiders, and analyzed other listicles on the subject. The result is the 10 hottest UX / UI design trends for 2021.

Curious? Then just read on and discover our countdown to the UX / UI design trends 2021.


10. Bold Typography

Bold fonts are not an innovation in 2020, but this trend is gaining momentum. As in the print sector, most users pay attention to the headlines online. They are predestined to draw a user's attention. With bold typography you can give the displayed information a hierarchy and thus give it more visual meaning. Apart from the usability aspect, this trend gives website design a more modern look.

For example, Apple is actively implementing bold fonts for its website headings, especially on product pages. In this way, the company emphasizes the high quality of its goods. Another good example of the use of bold typography is the relaunch of the New York Times, whose UX / UI design for the 2020 presidential election shows how information is only structured by typography.

You can find the complete template here.


9. Elaborate micro-interactions

It is often the small moments that stay in our minds and create the overall impression of things, events and digital products. Micro-interactions are those effects that are triggered by the user himself in the course of his consumption and, for example, turn a product presentation into an unforgettable digital experience. Since they are almost invisible, they add dynamism, interactivity and intuitiveness to the user interface.

The spectrum ranges from funny upload animations - and no, we don't mean flying documents when copying onto a Windows computer - we are talking about scrolling mechanisms, interactive navigation elements and of course swipe effects.

A successful example of these micro-interactions are the product pages of large smartphone manufacturers such as Huawei. A picture would not do justice to the experience, that's why we invite you to the elaborate micro-interactions on their landing page eeasy to experience for yourself


8. Asymmetrical design

Depending on the design strategy, asymmetry on the web and mobile interfaces can be used to create balance and harmony or to specifically create a sense of confusion and randomness. This first approach often uses spaces, split screens, clean lines, and contrasting color schemes in asymmetrical UX and UI design. However, when it is supposed to be provocative, it relies on unusual compositions, scattered layouts, unconventional color choices and seemingly random objects. However, well-designed asymmetries always assign the content to a clear path that the visitors' eyes can follow and expand the limits of the imagination. The goal is to create an extraordinary experience here too. This design prototype from Venice Fashion Week is a good example.

Venice Fashion Week - Boulevard of Green by Peter Müller


7. AI & automations

Almost every current development these days has an element of machine learning and artificial intelligence. The user interfaces have become easier to use and better overall. But what was the biggest result of this implementation? Exactly, the personalization of services.

Some great examples of these personalization services are Spotify's weekly music selection or Netflix's individual movie selection.


6. Storytelling with illustrations

The use of illustrations is by no means new. Countless top brands such as Buffer, Pipedrive, Bolt and others are already using them and more will follow. Even Google is constantly working with digital artists to create creative illustrations for its products and services.

With digital illustration, every brand has the opportunity to tell its story without words. It transmits brand mood and personality and gives customers the feeling of becoming part of something bigger than just a revenue-generating algorithm. The digital illustration in UI design for mobile apps and websites helps to create emotional bonds with users and increase their loyalty. This aspect was particularly important to Starbucks in its last mobile redesign.

You can find more views of the redesign here.


5. AR & VR elements

AR & VR have been in the starting blocks for a long time and are just waiting to fundamentally change the experience in the digital world. In 2021, thanks to the expansion of the 5G network, there will be even more space for both technologies and then there will be a few things to consider for UX / UI designers and app developers alike.

# 1 The distance between the user and the content determines the size of the content. In other words, UX / UI designers need to be very careful when scaling the content.

# 2 The goal of virtual reality is to provide real experience. Therefore, the UX / UI designer must ensure that the overall layout is as natural and intuitive as possible.

# 3 Fixing a reference point is also a good idea. This can be a dashboard or a horizon line that remains stable when the user moves.

Home Office in Mixed Reality by Volodymyr Kurbatov


4. Realistic 3D elements

Like some of the others on this list, 3D elements are certainly not a revolution, but closely tied to the success of AR & VR, hyper-realistic 3D elements in apps and websites are definitely on the rise. They expand the boundaries between real life and the digital experience and are far less complex to integrate than VR & AR. It is important to keep a close eye on the data size and the page structure, because the user does not forgive longer loading times. How the whole thing looks implemented is shown, among other things, by Apple with its Big Sur 3D icons.

You can find out more about Apple's 3D icons here.


3. Minimalistic UI

The digital age is characterized by a growing oversupply of information. Pop-ups, spam mails, notifications and smartphones that are constantly vibrating. And it really takes its toll. So it's no wonder that users want reduced and tidy layouts when consuming media. While minimalism was previously more of a stylistic element of luxury brands, the user welcomes a minimalist representation almost always and everywhere. For UX / UI designers, this means becoming even more selective in order to create aesthetic, tidy experiences. This claim becomes very clear in the following Lufthansa website concept.

Find out more about the Lufthansa website concept.


2. The Dark Mode

If in 2020 it was still “The rise of the dark mode”, in 2021 it will finally determine the mainstream. The big players like Facebook or Apple have discovered dark mode as an alternative to the standard design and more and more will follow. But what makes dark mode so special? Here are some of the main reasons:

# 1 It's just modern, elegant, and sophisticated.

# 2 The dark background is a better place to highlight other design elements.

# 3 OLED / AMOLED screens can even save battery power

# 4 In poor lighting conditions, dark mode is more pleasant on the eye.

With most apps, users can activate the dark theme at any time, while other products offer automatic switching. A nice example of dark mode as well as skeuomorphism, which is also very popular, is this redesign of Spotify.

Spotify Neumorphism UI redesign by Sangeeta Baishya


1. Voice User Interface (VUI)

Everyone should have this in mind in 2021: The increase in smart home devices such as Nest, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Siri has been simply breathtaking in recent years and Econsulancy's statistics speak for themselves:

Google voice recognition technology has one 95% accuracy in regions where English is widely spoken.

55% of American teenagers use voice search on a daily basis.

50% of searches will be performed without a screen or keyboard by 2021.

While it has been important to present an appealing UX / UI design in recent years, this is meant literally in 2021 😉

Speaker Channel Interface from Divan Raj


And with that we are already at the end of the hottest UX / UI trends for 2021. Much of it is not new and some trends such as bold fonts or AR & VR can already be found on the listicles of recent years. However, technical progress and user habits promise a further increase in all of the trends mentioned here and more digital experiences than ever before.


Become a UX / UI design hero yourself

With the UX Design online courses at the Talent Garden Innovation School Vienna, you can dive deep into the world of UX / UI design within a few but very intensive weeks and are ready to assert yourself in the fast-growing job market. Choose between our UX Design Online Bootcamp - Full Time or UX Design Fundamentals Online Course - Part Time.

After graduation, you can plan a user-oriented design process, carry out targeted user research and build on this to create a smooth digital experience. New online courses start continuously and are also suitable for career changers.


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Credits Text Images: Dribbble, Behance
Credit Featured Image: Unsplash