New trends emerge in UX design every year, and the past twelve months have been no exception. The COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdowns have resulted in a significant shift in how we communicate with the environment, both digitally and physically. 

People have begun to think and act differently as a result of their increased online time. The coronavirus situation has affected current UX trends and has laid the groundwork for UX trends in 2021 and even in the future. So what are some of the more impactful trends for UX? 

 

Negative space

white space example UX design

Negative space is a common UX design trend that arose from consumer demand for a more minimalistic user interface. Simply put, negative space refers to the empty spaces on page layouts that are either outside or inside the objects. The term "negative space" is often used to describe "empty space" or "white space." Many of these terms have the same meaning. You can use this user interface trend in dark mode or some other colour when the room is free of elements. It has already evolved into a distinct design element with important implications for visual aesthetics and user experience. Significant examples include Apple's official stores and Google's homepage.

Negative space's primary purpose is to declutter a web page and attract users' attention to important objects and messages. Establishing a clear content hierarchy aids UX designers in directing the user's attention to the most relevant information. 

 

Creating Emotional Connections 

Two female friends on mobile device smiling

Emotions are the language that people understand and react to, making them feel heard, understood, and cared for. This is one trend especially exploding with UX designers that work in Finance/Fintech. According to a survey done by Motista, customers who have an emotional bond with a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value, stick with the brand for an average of 5.1 years vs 3.4 years, and recommend brands at a far higher rate (71% vs 45%). For the finance sector to make more extraordinary leaps in 2021, they must consider accessibility and user interface and incorporate customized, positive interactions that create an emotional bond. That's why there is no doubt that the need to convey emotionality in UX and even UI will be a crucial trend.

As consumers compare their digital experiences, the accessibility and experience of social media sites like Facebook and Instagram and their banking app are often vastly different. To keep up with the significant techs' adventures, finance companies should figure out what their customers like about their goods and consider incorporating it into a more emotionally engaging experience.

 

Voice Interfaces

Man in glasses on mobile app voice command

Voice commands are still one of the hottest trends in the UX sphere, as this year has shown. It's fair to say that you shouldn't forget it. Voice chatbots and virtual assistants will undoubtedly continue to gain prominence in 2021 and heading into 2022. When it comes to digital interactions, users continue to seek convenience and quality. Brands have no choice but to incorporate voice-based features in their products due to market demand, high expectations, and the rapid growth of artificial intelligence technologies.

Several companies are already setting the groundwork for widespread VUI adoption. Starbucks, for example, has launched My Starbucks Barista, an AI-powered chatbot. Its mission is to enhance the coffee-ordering experience by enabling users to purchase their preferred beverages using voice commands.

 

Minimalistic UI

Minimalism is perhaps one of the most noticeable visual design trends right now. Users are exposed to an ever-increasing number of important messages that website owners want to communicate. Cookie popups, coupon advertising, and other alerts are all designed to engage and convert website users, but they also drain our attention. This is where the importance of minimalistic user-centric design is highlighted.

However, "minimalistic" does not imply "drab" or "primitive," but rather "elegant" and "efficient." Even though a small palette of colours, design elements, and bright combinations is needed, UX designers can experiment with proportions and compositions. Furthermore, element functionality takes centre stage, and the ability to correctly highlight product features and convey the right message necessitates a great deal of imagination. Components that are mainly used for decoration, on the other hand, are increasingly losing their utility.

 

Imperfect Elements

After the COVID-19 pandemic, online interactions will be different from what we've been accustomed to. In a relatable way, UX architecture represents imperfection. Designers purposefully include certain "imperfections" in layouts to make the brand's digital presence more relatable. 

In general, imperfect design can be a great way to show off a brand's personality and distinguish it from the competition. However, if you want to implement this UX pattern, keep in mind one important rule: there must be a balance. If you overdo it, it won't work.

 

Neumorphism

UX Design Neumorphism.jpg

The neumorphic style is a hybrid of two other standard UI design approaches, skeuomorphism and flat design, which are often seen as opposed. Skeuomorphism is the imitation of real-world objects and our interactions with them. A few decades ago, it was expected when hyperreal elements were needed to construct a user-friendly and intuitive user interface. On the other hand, flat design is a newer, more straightforward idea based on two-dimensional elements, minimalism, and bright colours.

Neumorphism is a hybrid that combines the best of both worlds. It employs graphic-heavy elements, shadows, and gradients to create buttons and cards that imitate natural objects while not replicating them. The neumorphic form should not go overboard with realism. Instead, it aims for a "warm" look with light colours and low contrast.

For the past year or so, one of the most talked-about subjects among UI/UX professionals has been neumorphism. Although there aren't many actual digital products with this approach to user interfaces yet, many designers are enthusiastic about the idea. Neumorphism instances can also be found on professional websites like Behance and Dribbble. So we have every reason to expect that by 2021, this pattern will have found its way into our phones and laptops.

 

Necessity is the Mother of Innovation

As we continue to down a path into a strange new world, new ways of interacting, working, studying, and gathering will impact how UX design changes and morphs to the needs of many. However, these trends will continue to make significant impacts on the way we interact with brands, social media, and one another for the time being.