12 Leading UI/UX Design Trends to Dominate in 2020-2021

Digital tendencies and users’ expectations change every day. Some trends become outdated and move beyond, but others gain ground. It means that entrepreneurs need to follow the most recent tendencies to stick out from the crowd. Why is it important?

Customers visit tons of websites constantly which means that businesses need to somehow draw their attention and make them stay on a platform. One of the ways to succeed is to build a visually appealing and intuitive web solution. Here comes the question of what tendencies to follow.

Let’s now explore the leading UI/UX design trends of 2020-2021 in detail and see how popular brands implement them successfully.

1. Dark mode

One of the hottest web design trends for 2020 is dark mode. Such brands as Instagram, Apple, and Android offer alternative themes in their products. Here are the core reasons for the trend’s popularity:

  • It looks ultra-modern;
  • It allows highlighting and popping other design elements;
  • It saves device battery power (in case of OLED/AMOLED screens);
  • It reduces eye strain in low-light conditions.

Many applications provide visitors with the ability to choose when to activate the dark mode. For example, Apple users can schedule times to change their device appearance automatically. You can pick the “Sunset to Sunrise” option or set a certain time to perform the transition.

Dark mode design by DStudio

Here is a powerful and striking dark mode implementation by DStudio.

2. Shortcomings that add uniqueness

Incomplete, free-hand web application design elements infuse positive emotions. They make websites unique and authentic. In 2020, users positively accept hand-drawn, exotic, and imperfect visuals. They add personality and humanity to impressions.

With the help of unique shortcomings, you can show the customers your brand identity and stand out from the crowd. Actually, this tendency of design thinking stands for contrast to the trends of pixel-perfect web elements. Create something new, unique, and inventively different to grip the attention of users and prove how exclusive your brand is.

Unique and imperfect web design with shortcomings

Zhenya Rynzhuk created an imperfect and unique web design using this trend.

3. Immersive 3D elements

3D design elements have fascinated users for many years. The popularity of this trend is going to increase in 2020 as VR and AR technologies gain momentum now. So, it becomes a perfect idea to combine these techniques to create hyper-realistic 3D visuals taking up the whole users’ screen.

Do you want to know what design tendencies were trending in 2019? Check our article from the previous year: Hot Web Design Trends of 2019

The trend allows UI and UX designers and entrepreneurs to prettify their websites. This way, they encourage potential customers to stay longer and increase the average session time. Such visuals attract users as they transcend boundaries between the virtual space and real life.

One of the key requirements for a successful 3D graphics implementation is the high performance of your website UI. If your platform is not fast-loading and well-optimized, it will not smoothly support such heavy content. As a result, your website may provide users with lags, low response time, and so on.

Implementing of immersive 3D visuals by A-0 Design

A-0 Design built a flawless example of implementing immersive 3D visuals.

4. Soft shadows, layers and floating elements

The innovative design tendency stands for building intensity. Do you want to create a 3D element but smooth it over? Soft shadows and floating visuals evoke positive emotions. They show the depth in elements and make your webpage looking slightly 3D. The trend is applicable not only to graphics but also to the text, images, videos, etc.

In 2020, UI/UX design companies actively use layering to place elements on top of each other. Also, it is recommended to apply soft drop shadows for showing enhanced depth. This combination gives the possibility of creating a drown effect and a lightweight feeling. This way, you can move away from classic, flat, and immutable designs where layers are placed strictly in the right order.

Layering, soft shadows, and floating elements by JPSDeisgn

To see this trend in practice, take a look at the excellent example by JPSDesign. It combines such techniques as layering and soft shadows to create an expression of floating elements.

5. Mixing photography with graphics

Another hot UI/UX design trend in 2020 is overlapping graphics onto the images. Such a mixing technique allows you to unleash creativity and implement fabulous designs.

This collage-like tendency is flexible. You can use it both to create childness for product images or add seriousness to a financial or tech website. It is a perfect way to customize images and add extra personality to your web design.

Want to get the best from this trend? Unify the style of the designs and visual elements with your brand personality.

Mixing photography with graphics

Planit created a perfect example of mixing photography with graphics.

6. Voice User Interface (VUI)

Voice chatbots and virtual assistants definitely become one of the hottest technology trends in 2020. They change the way we search for information, take notes, and so on. Such brands as Apple, Android, and Google implement the trend in their UI/UX design process.

You can take a step further with this human-centered design tendency. Implement a voice user interface design trend to become a leader in your niche and stand out from competitors. It is a new technology that is expected to become hot in 2020.

Voice User Interface integration

Laetitia Meunier strikingly shows the way it implements voice user interface design trend on a website.

7. Abstract data visualization

Nowadays, you need to find new ways of data visualization. The matter is that tables, databases, lists and other formats look out-of-date, unattractive, and tiresome. Abstract data visualization is a good solution for websites that are tech- and production-oriented.

Do you deal with hardware, server appliances, or any technical production? Illustrate your products abstractedly by showing its aces moving in all directions. UI/UX design firms state that such visuals attract users and create a feeling of featheriness, depth, and floating.

Abstract data visualization by Koniku

Koniku’s website perfectly demonstrates its co-processors in motion. It shows abstract data to attract first users.

Implementing abstract data visualization by Mogney.com

Mogney.com also implements the abstract data visualization technique. This way, it creates a feeling of depth and originality.

8. Fabulous product photos

The era of classic and realistic product images is a thing of the past. Forget about them and step forward a new UI/UX design trend - surreal item photos. In 2020, it is expected to become widespread over most of the e-commerce platforms and online stores.

The main idea is to daze the customers and attract their attention by showcasing interesting and unreal elements. They force potential consumers to use their imagination and stay longer on your website. This way, you can increase the average session time and possibly improve the conversion rate.

Fabulous product photos by Gucci Zumi

Gucci Zumi is a perfect and famous example. It implements surreal illustrations with their product photos.

Nike implements the trend of fabulous product photos

Nike is also a company that offers fabulous product photos. They definitely attract customers’ attention.

9. Realistic textures

After several years of ethereal gradients and smooth isometric objects, textures come back. This trend has great potential in 2020. You can make users want to reach out and touch textures by designing contours and grains.

However, try not to overdo them. As a result, you can distract visitors and take away all their attention. Create generally pleasant and harmonious visuals for users on your website. UI/UX designers recommend that you choose the most relevant texture types for your application theme.

Realistic textures by Homecult

Homecult is a perfect example of choosing the right texture types for their website theme.

10. Bold fonts in UI/UX design

Bold fonts are not an innovation in 2020, but this trend gains momentum. The matter is that most users pay attention to the webpage heading first. For this reason, it is crucial to attract customers’ attention by using bold fonts for titles. This technique allows you to add more visual sense to the information, category, subject, service, or product. Apart from the usability aspect, this trend adds a modern view to website design.

For example, Apple actively implements bold fonts for its website headings, especially on product pages. This way, the company emphasizes the high quality of its goods.

Usage of bold fonts by Apple

A perfect combination of a product with bold fonts by Apple.

17 Issues implement the trend of bold fonts

An outstanding implementation of the trend by 17 Issues.

Combination of bold fonts and illustrations by Huge Inc

Huge Inc is a good example of combining bold fonts with illustrations.

11. UX writing and microcopy

Nowadays, it is not enough to just be a company with a great product and perfect service. Users want to be a part of the popular brand, its history, and its uniqueness. To get visitors engaged, you can implement the following methods.

Make your website texts more informal as users are bored with standard phrases. Many companies have changed their communication style. The goal is to make it less formalized and more similar to regular dialogue. Also, you can add a pinch of humor, but you should keep within the limits and know the target audience you interact with.

Usage of UX writing by Medium

Medium knows that they distract you from reading an article. For this reason, the platform apologizes for it in the heading which makes the communication style more informal.

Dollar Shave Club implements an informal communication style

Dollar Shave Club is also a perfect example of implementing a less formalized communication style. The website lets you know that your shopping cart is empty with a sense of humor.

Microcopies are another hot UI/UX design trend that greatly combines with UX writing. This technique adds a unique tone and sound to your website and allows you to build good relationships with users. The trend is effective if you want to capture the brand’s atmosphere. Microcopy texts are developed specifically for a certain brand to support its corporate style.

Implementation of UX writing and microcopies by Femme & Fierce

Femme & Fierce is a good example of a company implementing UX writing and microcopies. Such button texts as “Thanks babe!” and messages like “Let’s get you looking fly!” show the brand’s friskiness and courage.

UX writing by The Guardian

The Guardian follows the human centered design trend of UX writing by specifying the goal of filling in each field.

12. Unusual and futuristic color combinations

2020 is about bright and bold colors in web design. Colors that did not seem to mix well perfectly harmonize with each other and catch users’ eye due to their uniqueness. Especially, when users mostly visit minimalistic websites with a limited number of colors, bright combinations will definitely stick in the memory.

To succeed in implementing the trend, you should not be afraid of trying new things. Use neon glowing shades and intense colors on your website.

Combination of bright colors by Pest Stop Boys

Pest Stop Boys is an incredible website that combines multiple bright colors that make it unique and extremely engaging.

Implementation of bright colors and dark background by Haus

Haus also shows how vibrant colors perfectly harmonize with a dark background and complement one another.

Final thoughts

In 2020, design trends are a mix of good old-fashioned bold fonts, 3D elements, realistic textures, and futuristic dark mode, abstract data visualization, and voice user interface. To succeed in creating a unique and engaging user interface, try to choose and combine several tendencies.

At Codica, we firmly believe that the main goal of UI/UX design is to help users achieve their goals. For this reason, do not try to overdose your website with many web design trends that may complicate the usability.

If you are looking for a UI/UX design agency to implement all your needs and requirements, hire UI designers from Codica that will be glad to help you. Contact us to get a free quote and turn your idea into reality.

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