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Top UI/UX Trends for 2021

UI/UX Trends for 2021

Leigh le Roux
2 September 2021

Over the years we have seen many different design trends come and go. In this article, we would like to highlight the top UI/UX trends for 2021. What is the difference between UI and UX design? User Interface or UI refers to the aesthetic elements by which people interact with a product. On the other hand, User Experience or UX is about the experience a user has with a product or service.

Top UI/UX Trends for 2021

1. Neumorphism

One of the biggest surprises of UI/UX trends for 2021 is the rise of the drop shadow effect that many designers are familiar with. Neumorphism is a visual style that combines shapes, gradients, background colours, and shadows to create strong graphic UI elements. It brings together flat design and skeuomorphism. The style achieves a soft bubbled plastic look that mimics 3D styling.

While this style is sleek and elegant, it has UI and UX designers conflicted in its use. UX experts have raised concerns that visual usability is not strong enough for users with visual impairments.

2. Dark Mode

While not a new feature, dark mode is rapidly gaining popularity as UI/UX trends for 2021. Apple is just one of the tech giants that have made the decision to integrate it into their IOs operating system. Dark mode is stylish, modern and positively impacts the user experience, as more users are becoming aware of the strain that bright screens can have on your eyes.

You may find that you now need to start planning for dark mode in the next stage of the design process. Some of the benefits of using dark mode include:

  • It saves the battery if the device uses an OLED or AMOLED screen,
  • Dark mode is better in terms of the readability of text,
  • It reduces eye strain while using the device at night,
  • It reduces the screen glare and minimizes effect of blue light.

3. Animations

Animations are taking the UI space by storm. We’re now at a point where the way we take users from one screen to the next can add to the experience our users have with our products. You can expect to see more animations in the future.

Animations have shown to be one of the most immersive ways for mobile apps to convey messages without the use of a modal or banners, which users are tired of.

Top UI/UX Trends for 2021
Animations are becoming more popular

4. Micro Interactions

Micro-interactions are present in every software application that has fully invested users. An example of this is Instagram’s “like” feature that shows up as a heart in the centre of an image when you double-tap a post. These micro-interactions have become the signature of these apps. Advanced micro-interactions such as gestures and touchless controls also bring new opportunities to crafting a more intuitive experience.

5. Bold Typograhy

Have you noticed that typography in web design is getting bigger and bolder? The primary goal of any design is to make a statement and typography is being creatively applied in the tech scene in fresh and innovative ways. 

Bold typography is one of the most powerful ways to grab a user’s attention.

Bold typography stands out from its surroundings and draws the user’s eye in to read. But it needs to become a part of the visual language in order to make sense if it is used on a site. Many popular websites are adopting this style of typography and we will see it growing even more in 2022.

Some of the most notable landing pages using this trend currently are Nike, Drift and Dropbox, so this style is making an impact.

Top UI/UX Trends for 2021
Big, bold text is a major trend

6. Smooth Gradients

Gradients were once the nightmare of designers in the 2000s. Now this trend is used by brands that are the face of design. Apple and Google both redesigned their logos with the gradient-based trend in mind. 

How did this even happen? The new generation of designers came in and reworked how we use gradients. When we toned down the gradients and used colours that work subtly with one another, something beautiful was discovered. Gradients naturally complement designs rather than overpowering them.


There are many more UI/UX trends for 2021 that I could share with you but this is only a brief introduction. 

When you go online now you will be able to start identifying trends coming up or even noticing when you are seeing older design trends. Design trends are not only present on websites or apps, but even on outdoor advertisement posters.

Whether you like or dislike these trends, it’s unavoidable that the visual landscape is changing. That’s why we work hard to stay on top of the latest trends here at Intergove. If your website is out of date, we can help you get back up to speed.

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