This year's design trends will be inspired by what we experienced the past year. Creating special things in this time can help make each of us better. Online shopping, entertainment, communication platforms, amongst many others, have all seen rapid growth. In periods with drastic change like we have witnessed, technology and trends have to reflect the needs of the customer.
UX is integral to every digital product that will be successful, now with a shift in online behavior and usage, it is important to implement the trends and fashions that have become increasingly popular in 2021.
During our keynote event in January, we had the chance to have a talk with Tibor Udvari. In charge of the technology center in ECAL, he told us that their students — the next generation of designers — have started increasingly adopting XR technologies specifically AR and VR.
Take a look at the full video to learn more about the future of design with ECAL.
1. Immersive digital experiences
More and more experiences are lived through a screen in this past year, so the digital community has to come up with stimulating and creative immersive experiences that can be as good as the real thing. Blurring the boundaries between real and virtual with practical experiences.
Fairworlds is an immersive agency that creates complex AR and VR experiences. One of their projects was a virtual tour of the company Dell’s data center, which is not possible to be shown live because of the size and location.
2. Minimalism takes over
As minimalism has come and gone throughout the years in UI design, it seems to retain popularity this year. The sleek, easy and simple design attracts visitors and retains them. Easy and seamless navigation is key to ensure the journey of the user.
UI/UX design agencies are working rapidly without losing quality and delivering projects that will keep people interested.
Customizable interfaces consider different types of users and how to benefit them, delivering a personalized web experience. Modifiable assets that reflect our style, identities and tastes which leads to a more inclusive design that will allow users to tweak interfaces in order to match their needs. Awareness of digital accessibility continues to grow, companies like Spotify and Netflix already offer a fun example of personalization.
Previously UX designers design interfaces that work for the largest number of people possible. Which meant incorporating user research into the process and understanding why people use particular tools or products. Anticipated research has become an opportunity to design interfaces that become more adaptable to users. Now users expect to see offered content that reflects their interests. Personalization also offers a smoother and easy-to-use experience, which leads to users spending more time with a product or service. This tool serves as a powerful one to better meet user needs, in a more intelligent and efficient way.
Many e-commerces offer personalization to enhance shopping experiences like Amazon, ASOS. With cross selling personalization, enhanced shopping experiences, segment based personalization and more. Coca Cola for example uses location based personalization; according to local interest, tastes, cultures. Making personalized IU in every country represented which results in better conversation.
4. AR portals
In the remains of the pandemic world, online destinations are becoming as popular as physical destinations thanks to 3D, AR, and VR. Online environments in 3D that mimic festivals, stadiums, stores, and more are a way for users to shop, escape and connect from the comfort of their home. With AR portals are a great way to bring a designation to a user and teleporting them into a 360 environment that gives them freedom to walk around and explore. Brands, retailers and events will be hosted in physical real world spaces, creating branded mini worlds in virtual universes.
FlyAR agency focus on AR projects that have to do with engineering and manufacturing creating augmented models of office spaces or infrastructure over it as well as many other innovative marketing projects.
5. 3D Design
3D is big in 2021, in all kinds of ways; combining 3D objects with 2D designs, illustrations, and images. This adds a depth of reality with creative and innovative techniques. These ultra realistic objects give a sense of being able to reach in and touch it alongside patterns, texture, and animation.
3D design and specifically typography have become increasingly popular with designers using them to portray playful concepts and ideas. Whether it is geometric or organic shapes, the trend will have them developed into 3D.
6. AI & AR
Content creators working with AI and AR are creating special effects, from cartoon characters and anime to ground and sky segmentations its shown how AI can take AR to another level. Specifically in social AR, creators developing lenses, filters, videos and special effects to deliver AR experiences in forms of videos, stories and posts. Adding value to their storytelling with AR and AI with dynamic experiences.
AR agencies continue to find creative new ways for customers to interact with products, through social AR and WebAR, web-based experiences working closely with 8thwall and SparkAR to offer clients a chance to explore AR experiences.
Areyes Studio create trendy and innovative Instagram filters, usually imitating real world textures like glass, latex skin etc.
7. Emoji Design & Animated Characters
Emojis are fun and playful, custom emojis in 2021 is a way to show a more emotional side, and grabs the attention of customers.
When creating animations a major appeal is to create all sorts of characters. Could be mimics of real-life people or exaggerated characters; they make the audience feel like they are approachable, humorous, and cheerful. Since 2020 there has been an enormous growth in digital exploration and animation, and it continues in 2021 even for marketing and commercials.
8. Voxel Art and Geometric Shapes
A voxel is a 3D cube, in the past year, this style has been increasingly adopted in fashion, game design, and many others. As 3D is a major player in the 2021 trends, the use of shapes and form elements has become very interesting for creation as well. Voxel is a mix of these two, simple blocks formed together creating something much bigger, giving a retro look that is very appealing to the audience.
Geometric shapes come in hand with 3D, its simplicity, and block design with shadow, depth, and gradient effects. Gives great scope to innovative and imaginative creation and design building layers on layers that pull you in deeper and deeper.
9. Digital Fashion
During a year of major change, the fashion industry found itself needing to adapt rapidly with a digital transformation. This transformation brought with it many benefits for fashion brands, from collection creation all the while transforming the entire process from within and to better adapt to the market and industry.
“The use of digital technology in order to change the way a company operates, to drive growth and efficiency in new or existing markets and add more value to customers.” - Colin Marks, from DeSL)
Adopting new technologies in creation, creating garments in 3D, clothes and accessories try ons with digital tools, digital runways and showrooms with immersive 3D narratives. These new challenges for designers allow for them to push boundaries and explore new digital tools that can help them achieve the same focus on human wants, needs and culture.
Furthermore, the digitalization of fashion is a step in the right direction for sustainability. Since the traditional fashion industry production cycle greatly contributes to environmental issues, waste would reduce significantly by turning to digital creation.
If you're interested in reading more about Digital Fashion take a look at our blogpost: Digital fashion: a new "Eldorado"?
We hoped you liked this article and share with us what you think are the biggest trends for 2021 😊.