10 Top UX Design Trends For 2021
by Arina Smith Technology 13 September 2021
We know how important UI and UX designs are for SaaS. At present, when it comes to UI and UX design trends, it’s something that changes every year. Due to new advancements in technologies and their capabilities and changes in consumer expectations, it’s only natural for things to change.
As a UX designer, there are plenty of UX design trends that are being picked up by businesses in 2021 to help improve their customer’s experience when using their product. Whether it be a service, app, or software, paying attention to changes within the industry is essential. This is mainly so due to the impact of the pandemic over the last year and a half.
10 Top UX Design Trends For 2021
UX design trends are repeatedly changing processes. Some of which you may already be doing and have heard about, others may be new to you.
With that being said, let’s dive straight in!
1. Working From Home
The pandemic hasn’t been easy on anyone across the globe. In particular, for businesses of all industries, working from home is the new norm. The effects of the pandemic have impacted the work realities as we know it. Any meetings that would usually take place in-person are now over Zoom, whether from home or outside of the office.
As such, many UX designers have to adapt to this new way of living and the reality that working from home is likely a permanent situation. However, with a survey revealing 97% of employees not wanting to return to the office full-time, it does seem like many businesses may be taking their employees’ feelings into account.
Of course, there are benefits to meeting in person and having an office as a collaborative environment to work from. The reality of workplaces isn’t simply going to disappear. However, a lot of companies will likely ensure that UX designers are prioritized to avoid delays and maintain efficiency for developing a trendy UX design.
2. AI technology
The main goal with UX design is to provide products and services that provide everything the audience needs. The wider the audience it caters to, the better for the success of the product.
AI technology has been a part of UX design trends and technology advancements in businesses all over the globe for a number of years now. So much so that 86% of CEOs say AI is a mainstream technology that’s used in their offices in 2021.
Increased use of AI is expected when it comes to UX design in order to offer a more customized and personal experience for each and every user. Many companies are using AI to provide recommendations, whether that’s Netflix’s streaming service to online retailers upselling their products.
In order for UX design to be successful through the use of AI technology, a good understanding of accessibility, consistency in features, and usability need to be provided.
3. Simple Onboarding Processes
A big frustration for users can come at the beginning of their customer experience with your product. How simple you make your onboarding and authentication process will likely influence their overall satisfaction.
If you make the onboarding process too complex or time-consuming, the user will likely switch off before even creating a profile or completing the tasks needed. Remember that the customer creates that first initial impression within just a few seconds of engaging with your product with new UX design trends.
UX designers are shifting their focus towards a better design when it comes to onboarding that’s simple and easy to flow through as a user. As a result, it creates a more rewarding user experience.
4. Mobile Is A Priority
A staggering 69.4% of internet users use shopping apps on their mobile devices. Therefore UX designers should be focusing a lot of their attention on mobile-friendly interfaces with the latest UX design trends. Furthermore, seeing as the demand on usage is mainly for mobile, a lot of the design process should ensure the customer experience is catered for those using a smartphone.
By having a mobile-first design approach, the product in question is going to be more responsive and functional across all mobile interfaces. In addition, it helps ensure that the primary demographic of users are experiencing the product in the best way when on their phones.
In an internet-driven world, access to the internet on the go is important to have available. It’s somewhat of a disadvantage for businesses that don’t have a mobile-friendly interface, particularly for websites design with the latest UX design trends.
Making sure your products are easy to use for everyone is essential, and it’s a trend that’s here to stay. Accessibility is important. Otherwise, it can risk freezing out those consumers that may have become loyal customers. Customizable features and interfaces are critical to keeping their users engaged and catering to those with disabilities.
A product that lacks accessibility isn’t something that’s welcomed with open arms in 2021. It’s all about inclusivity, diversity, and offering equal opportunities to everyone, and that includes your customers. New UX design trends should prioritize the product’s usability to those who may be at a disadvantage when using the current features in place.
6. Remote Research
Due to many employees working remotely, work habits during the pandemic have certainly changed. This means that there’s likely to be a change in your users’ user experience and behavior.
This requires more research to understand where these changes are and how your product needs to change when it comes to the features you add in or take away as a designer. Due to remote working, the traditional ways of doing UX research are made more complicated. It means that remote user testing is more common, rather than doing it in-person.
Despite the pandemic, remote research is being introduced to many new UX design trends to prevent disappointment from its users.
7. Virtual And Augmented Reality
Just like AI, there are more forms of technology being implemented for UX designers. The AR/VR headsets will reach 65.9 million units by 2022. These are two technologies that are impacting many industries and changing the user experience in ways that many of us could only dream could happen, let alone in this lifetime.
Even though the progress both have made is still fairly slow in what many technology experts predicted, it’s still going to prove influential for UX designers. For example, there’s been a lot of businesses making use of trendy UX design trends.
8. Live Collaboration
Taking care of remote working and live collaboration can still be done even though it’s not in-person. Thankfully, there are a lot of platforms that teams can use to continue collaborating on the projects in question. From live editing, commenting, and sharing files, it’s all possible to do with many of the platforms that are out there.
Apps like Invision, for example, are a great prototyping tool that helps designers import UX design trends designs to shared space.
There are also platforms like Asana or Trello that are handy for project management and communication between team members.
9. Brand Transparency
Branding is essential within a UX design. There’s been an increase in UX being focused on brand ethics and showcasing how the products are made. They want a more involved and personal experience so that they can fully understand the brand’s values. A deeper understanding of the brand as a customer will strengthen the relationship between you and your consumers.
For your UX design, consider what ways you can help incorporate and deliver the ethics and values of your brand. Good examples of this might be labeling the product in question, highlighting certain benefits of the product to the user.
Another example is showing an insight into certain processes that the product goes through that might be interesting to the user.
10. Take It Back To Basics
It’s already been mentioned, but simplicity is a word that keeps cropping up in UX design trends for 2021. From the accessibility of the product to the user flow, everything needs to have a minimalistic approach.
Taking your product back to basics and simplifying each and every feature is going to avoid overcomplicating the product. There are many apps and products out there that do this effectively, like Uber, for example. The app helps the user select the correct type of vehicle, set a time for pick-up, and input the pick-up location and drop-off point. All of which can be done in under a minute.
There’s really no need to make your user experience so elaborate that it ends up self-sabotaging itself. Instead, keep it basic. Sometimes essential can be more effective than making it more complex.
Utilize Latest Trends For Your UX Design
These are some of the top UX design trends of 2021, but you may find some are more relevant to your business than others. A lot of the new directions above have been influenced majorly by the pandemic, and we could see another shift in trends over the next few years.
Despite all that 2020 threw our way, businesses are still surviving and thriving. Utilize these trends for your UX design so that you can continue to wow your audience.