The UI trends in 2021: what you should pay attention to in your project, which way to develop, and what tools to use? We’ve turned to the expert’s opinion of FreySoft Senior UI designer and clear up the TOP seven of the latest trends in creating an outstanding user interface.

Trend 1. 3D elements

Today, UI designers are increasingly using 3D elements. These are simple shapes and fairly primitive objects, but they look great and fresh as a visual for projects.

3D Elements UI trends
3D Elements

The increasing use of 3D is also associated with the availability of new software. Let’s consider, before, how many of us have missed our heads when opening complex programs like 3D Studio Max or Maya? And now, there are available 3D libraries with ready-made 3D illustrations and icons on various topics. As an alternative,  any designer can quickly learn how to create beautiful 3D scenarios with relatively simple tools such as Blender and Cinema4D (C4D).

Indeed, the trend is in swing and will be fully formed a little later. And if your business needs a customizable UI, the ideal option for you is to order the author’s 3D services. In such a way, your design wouldn’t be hackneyed, and you will take the best of it. 

At Freysoft, we also already leverage the 3D elements for SMM goals.

FreySoft 3D Illustrations for UI SMM
FreySoft 3D Illustrations for SMM

Trend 2. Absurd 2D illustrations

Yes, break logic and amaze, since absurdity and foolishness are in trend today. There is no need to drive yourself into frames and think that your visual part of the business will not be understood. Courage illustrations, the upside-down approach, the unique vision are what the present-day audience wants to observe in detail. 

Absurd 2D illustrations UI trends
Absurd 2D illustrations

Creative author’s images are especially valuable and in demand today. Note that there are online editors and constructors where you can change and refine design creations for the tasks of your specific project. As the great-in-use platforms, we can emphasize GetIllustration, Wrrooom!, Blush Design, ITG. Also, on the Minty resource, you can order unique illustrations for your projects directly from illustrators from all over the world.

Trend 3. Attention to icons

Miniature icons that replace thousands of words are given special meaning. Needless to say, icons have come a long way from black and white flat pixel images to self-contained elements that anchor the user’s attention. We outline the next styles you can take the advantage of based on your project: 

  • Hand-drawn icons

Such trendy icons give your project a playful, light, and informal mood. Besides individuality, they bring emotion and humanity. Styles for these icons can be very different, from simple shapes and lines to full-color icons.

UI trends icons hand-drawn
Image source: rawpixel
  • Emoji-based icons

Believe it or not, the world now speaks an emotional common language with adorable emo/jis. This year, we will see emojis expand their presence outside of messaging and move into more widespread use in design.

Emoji-based icons UI trends
  • 3D icons 

As we mentioned earlier, 3D is becoming more and more popular, and its use in creating icons is not an exception. The style is quite fun and sometimes uses hints of up and down trends such as elongated shadows. 

Importantly, browse and choose the customizable 3D libraries for staying unique and ahead of your competitors. To illustrate, a collection of modern 3D icons Glaze by Grafik Stash is relatively new on market, characterized by its adaptability for projects, abstract shapes, and objects on popular topics. There are 80+ icons in the collection in Figma, Sketch, Photoshop, and PNG format.

3d Icons UI trends
3D Icons

Trend 4. Minimalism

Not an innovated, better say an old favorite style of minimalism is a king today and has an impressive impact on the users. Don’t overload layouts, keep your design simple and not intrusive. Focus on clear details such as fonts, icons, colors and grid.

We cannot underestimate as well the impact of minimalism on the creation of design details. Like, if before linear gradients were highly used, now deeper volumetric ones are taking their place. Though they are easier to perceive but more difficult for designers to implement. 

Google minimalist design: emphasis on the search bar
Google minimalist design: emphasis on the search bar

Also, with the focus on simplicity and minimalism in UI design, pastel colors are grabbing their popularity. They fit well with the concept of an unobtrusive UI, do not overload the design, set the tone and atmosphere.

To explore stylish websites in minimalism style, get inspiration on Minimal Gallery. That is a curated library of minimalist web designs, with distinct examples and fresh ideas for your projects.

Trend 5. Glassmorphism

Not to mention, everything new is well forgotten old. Glassmorphism technique proves it. The first appearance of the style was first widely introduced in Windows Vista and iOS7. And now you can observe this technique in macOS Big Sur and Microsoft Fluent Design.

Glassmorphism technique UI trends
Glassmorphism technique

The characteristics of glassmorphism include the frosted glass effect with blur, the layering of objects, and vibrant colors that accentuate blurred transparency. It is widely used in minimalist designs (our trend 4) since the technique helps to add depth, visual hierarchy in your UI and avoid heavy elements.

Trend 6. Bold typography

What’s the first thing your user reads on your digital platform? That’s right, the title, and leaving it boring and outdated would be a mistake.

Now a huge number of modern and fresh fonts have appeared on the market, which are actively used by designers. Wherever it is appropriate, there will be more and more daring moves to use styles of typefaces such as evolved brutal, serif and outline fonts, text-image blending.

Cyrillic fonts have not stood still either and have been actively developing. For headings, the popularity has gained extended fonts, while for body text – clean, geometric, and slightly wide ones. All in all, there are already so many creative resources with modern Cyrillic fonts on the Internet, that it wouldn’t be a question to find the most suitable for your project. In particular, for this goal, we underline such platforms as Cyrillic Design, Brownfox, and Type Today.

Trend 7. Mobile-first approach

First, let’s look at mobile market statistics:

  • According to Forbes, mobile users spend almost 90% of their time in mobile apps and only 10% of their time in the browser.
  • The Digital report 2021 claimed that mobile users have grown by 1.8 percent (that is 93 million) since January 2020, while the total number of mobile connections has increased by 0.9 percent (72 million) to reach around 8 billion at the start of 2021. Besides, millennials check their favorite gadget 150 times a day!  

That is to say, platforms that focus more on web services will be at a disadvantage both in terms of user experience and development. Adapting UI to work on smartphones is what companies should pay attention to for today and in the near future. More information on the mobile users in our reality and the solution of Progressive Web Application (PWA) for your business, you can find out in our recent article

Mobile-first Approach UI
FreySoft PWA case – mobile-first approach

Turning to UI, we’ve composed the next tips that make your mobile interface user-friendly and effective:

  • Easy-to-reach navigation buttons
  • Responsive framework
  • Minimalistic design (look trend 4)
  • Expandable widgets
  • Avoiding large graphics
  • Setting content priorities
  • Vivid CTA (call-to-action)
  • Usability testing 

As a great present-day opportunity, you can also leverage the design patterns for your mobile app. Those are carefully curated collections of the latest mobile design patterns from apps that display the very best in design. 

One of such resources we recommend is the Mobinn by Jiho Lim. The platform contains screenshots of the applications, the user’s steps and behaviors. By studying such materials, you can better understand your potential customer and see how different companies build a user journey map. And just be able to see the entire project in expanded form.

Turn to the niche experts

Before embracing a trendy UI design, you should consider well whether it will be best for your company, business, and your users. Direct the trends where they are appropriate and bring value to your project, and not otherwise. 

For this reason, we recommend relying on experts in the UI/UX niche who can estimate your existing needs, and create valuable up-to-date deliverables that tailor to your specific audience and market.

FreySoft UI/UX team has deep experience using first-class technology to create innovative B2B and B2C products for industry-specific businesses (Fintech, retail, e-commerce, healthcare, travel, etc). Contact us to bring the actual value to your business.

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