The things that surround us are changing – with every update of our phones or web browsers, we see a new version of the tools that help us manage our days, keep us entertained and connected. Nonetheless, there are some things that seem to align and form trends – and as every year, I have tried to compile the most interesting and popuplar ones into a small list.
As usual, we are ignoring the evergreens like “Big Typography”, “Background Videos” or “Photos” – these aren’t trends, just things that are happening in our designs for a while now.
Thanks to Apple’s Big Sur aesthetic and the rise of CSS filters, translucent glass in UI design is becoming a thing in 2021. Using this milky glass effect for overlays, icons and illustrations, we will be surrounded by that effect a lot more this year. An all-time favourite: illustrations of background-blurring credit cards in finance apps.
It started with Otto, the illustrated company dog at Pitch.com. The Berlin-based startup has ever since cultivated the style of cutesy, lovable 3D illustrations that start to pop up all over the internet, slowly but surely replacing flat design humans. Always present: 3D hand illustrations, holding, pointing or high-fiving in the header section of our favourite website.
Last year was all about juicy gradient illustrations, in 2021 we will see more of the likes of Mike Perry. The psychodelic, positive style of the artist behind Broad City will motivate designers to put much more entertaining qualities into their designs.
Like with every trend, be careful: Design Trends are an interesting tool to reflect what is going on in our society and how the world will look like soon. Feel free to give them a try and play around with these trends – find your own spin an keep developing these techniques. Whatever you do, make sure that they fit your product and style – don’t follow these trends blindly!