2020 was very unpredictable as covid swept the world, and without exception, every industry was affected by it one way or another. In our trend collection article we wrote last year, we highlighted only trends that solely focused on the looks of a user interface. This time, our 2021 UI trends article has a slight shift in focus. Even though many services and businesses were forced to undergo digital transformation due to the pandemic, user interface trends didn’t change that much compared to 2020. The top 3 UI/UX trends of 2021 are explained in the following section.
Augmented Reality (AR) has been steadily gathering momentum in recent years, and it is easy to see why. Merging the physical and digital worlds is an exciting proposition that opens up a whole world of possibilities for users, and the companies hoping to reach and keep them engaged. From new ways of experiencing art to enabling customers to realistically try products before committing to a purchase, AR is becoming ever more pervasive across an incredibly broad swathe of industries. It has been identified that AR will evolve from one-off ‘surprise and delight’ moments to provide everyday utility and practical value, right across the consumer journey. This could include helping people visualize how products look in their home, locating products in-store through wayfinding applications, or getting more out of a product post-purchase through usage guidance.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic became the catalyst for what we now know as a socially distanced “new normal,” technology had been pushing us towards having more of our interactions in virtual environments. From virtual live comedy shows to professional poker tournaments, people had started to not only accept the premise of hosting their familiar interactions and experiences in immersive virtual worlds. Given the continuation of the pandemic, however, we have seen most events in the global conference calendar going virtual in some way or another, including one of the biggest highlights in the tech circuit – South by Southwest (SXSW) which is held in Austin, Texas in March. SXSW Online 2021 included a variety of online meetings, sessions, musical performances, and many attempts at virtually recreating the interactive experience of SXSW. As Tech Trends correspondent Laura Kobylecky reports, the world of virtual Austin exists within VRChat, an online, virtual reality, social platform which added a layer of immersion and interactivity to this year’s online conference and left her feeling as if she’d really attended the event.
Unique Illustration and Animation
Digital or hand-drawn, 2D or 3D, custom illustrations, you name it. The free forms, unaligned elements, components, and vast asymmetry, not only help platforms stand out from the generic but also, create a friendly and inviting environment that ensures a better experience for the users. Additionally, to make these pages stand out, these illustrations often come to life with complex motion design.
3D will be the UI Rockstar
3D has already been here for a few years now, but 2021 will be its time to shine. Fortunately, we live in an era where technical efforts and achievements, such as rapid improvement of semiconductor production and software optimization in the last decade made even the lower-end devices powerful enough to tackle complex visuals in real-time. Thus, animated 3D UI won’t be a pain to utilize anymore.
Source – Techtrends