January 19, 2021

Three Key UX/UI Trends of 2021

This year we're looking at interesting UX/UI emerging trends especially in this post-pandemic digital world. These are three trends we have identified and will continue following.

A Remote World

The past year has shown the world that there is ample opportunity for virtual and remote technologies that assist team communication and collaboration. In a time where travelling to work has become dangerous for many people, more people are looking to Virtual Reality as an avenue that can provide a new work solution. In the coming years, a VR workspace could be a popular alternative to the physical office workspace. But currently there is much development to do; one notable hurdle is creating a truly realistic work experience, especially when interacting with colleagues. The use of avatars provides a more authentic workplace experience, but their visually simplistic design typically doesn't translate any real human-like qualities into the virtual world. In order to address this, Facebook Reality Labs has been developing avatars that are uncannily life-like. In perhaps a few short years we'll be able to replace the need to travel into an office with a realistic user experience of a VR workplace.

MeetinVR launches online VR meetings with 'superpowers' | VentureBeat
Photograph: MeetinVR

The Animated and Illustrated 

Good UX and UI design consists of many elements but an important goal for designers is to create an enjoyable and engaging experience. The onset of motion and animation effects have made static websites an object of the past. Simple effects on text or images that are triggered when users scroll through a page adds another dimension of interactivity and personality to a website. Unique illustrations are also a straightforward way to inject personality to a page, and an opportunity to introduce an audience to your brand's visual style. Purposefully using these features to web and app design gives brands more opportunity to add creative flair and personality to their interfaces. It makes any brand's website stand out and it is simply more engaging for users to be guided through an interface with these unique features than one without. 

Motion exercise N°002 by Bastien Allard

SnapSound Homepage by Mike Kus

Collaboration is King 

Collaborating is vital in producing meaningful user experiences, and with working remotely being the new norm, it is important that the tools that we use help us do so effectively and efficiently. Live collaboration features like Multiplayer Editing in Figma or Freehand by InVision in Microsoft Teams allow users to communicate ideas with each other instantly, replicating that of an in-person brainstorming session. These real-time features offer teams the ability to work agile more effectively than ever before, and as working remotely continues to become more commonplace, further development of these tools will make collaborating increasingly easier and fun for us all.

Multiplayer Editing in Figma

Summary

The advent of a global pandemic in 2020 has affected many facets of our daily life, particularly our work lives. As we begin the new year, we are all set on looking for new ways to improve on our day to day experiences. In 2021, the UX and UI trends will notably shift towards providing a smooth experience as we increasingly rely on technology to help us transition into a life where working digitally and virtually is the new norm. 

Written by Amy Vuong

Amy Vuong is a UX/UI Designer at 42 Interactive focused on bringing meaningful projects to life through digital design.