The rapid development of new technologies has inevitably caused major shifts in the needs and desires of users, pushing UI designers to continue keeping up with these changes. Here are some increasingly popular design trends to update you on the latest trends:
Image courtesy of UX Collective
Glass-inspired effects have been appearing more frequently in places like Windows 11 and Mac OS Big Sur. Its most notable features include transparency (achieved through background blur), vivid colors, and light borders on certain transparent elements. Background blur was first introduced by Apple with the release of IOS 7 which allowed iPhone users to pull down on the screen to view notifications by blurring the background and its icons. Even now, when iPhone users pull down from the top right hand side of the screen, they can access their controls and whatever screen they are on becomes blurred.
This trend implements the use of gradients, colors, and soft blurs to create aesthetically pleasing backgrounds. In doing so it offers a more organic and comfortable look for users. The background of an interface is one of its most important aspects, thus making aurora backgrounds a powerful tool for designers to utilize when hoping to create visually beautiful applications.
A lot of popular brands and companies are beginning to lean towards more simplistic and minimal interfaces on their applications. The most notable characteristics of this style of design include: use of whitespace as background, round elements, large headings with legible fonts, use of real photographs, careful usage of colors, less cluttering visual effects, friendly details, and graphical elements. It also puts an emphasis on the contrast between elements as a way to help users distinguish between elements and discern the intended interface hierarchy. This “Modern Minimal” style is definitely something you should implement if you are looking to make your interface more sophisticated and clean.
Image courtesy of Vulture
Brutalism, the polar opposite of minimalism, has also appeared in popular interfaces, such as this year’s Spotify Wrapped. This trend is typically characterized by overlapping elements, asymmetrical page layouts, crowded and flat design, contrasting colors, bold/monospaced typography, and strong outlines; but, it has recently begun to implement more standard layouts used by other styles. Brutalist interfaces better portray the new generation of internet users through their raw, uncomfortable, and bold moods rather than aiming to be aesthetically pleasing.
Holographics/Neon Color Schemes
As virtual reality becomes more and more prevalent in the world of technology, holographic themes seem like an appropriate style to move towards. Through a gradual implementation of more advanced interfaces over the next few years, UI will soon evolve into new 3D projected holographic interfaces. For now, designers have become inspired by vibrant and glowy colors as well as holographic textures in order to develop more futuristic interfaces that align with the latest VR visuals.
Image courtesy of Dribble
This is another trend that emphasizes 3D elements in order to appeal to users’ cravings for depth on an otherwise flat screen. Designers can use tools such as inner and outer shadows to create the three-dimensional illusions and implement this on UI elements throughout their interfaces. This style ultimately allows UI developers to design elements that echo real-life clay objects, hence the label “claymorphism”.
These are just a few of the rising UI design trends that we predict will appear in a majority of interfaces and applications this year. As the evolution of UI continues, these trends and many others will continue to adapt to new technological environments—as they are now, in parallel with the growing popularity of VR. Looking to learn even more about this year’s trends? You can visit the UX collective’s annual podcast predicting the state of UX in 2022. Do you think you will be implementing any of these styles on your next project? No matter your decision, we wish you the best of luck in all of your endeavors in the new year!