The rapid growth of technology influences design trends every year. As designers we need to be aware of the existing and upcoming design trends, constantly learning, improving, and expanding our design toolkit in order to be up to date on the current market. Based on my research, experience, and observations I’ve selected very carefully 8 UI/UX design trends that you should watch in 2020. Let’s get started then!
1 Animated Illusion
Illustrations have been in digital product design for a long time. Their evolution in the last years is very impressive. Illustrations as very popular design elements add a natural feel and “human touch” to the overall UX of our products. Illustrations are also very strong attention grabbers: at the top of that by applying motion to these illustrations we might bring our products to the life and make them stand out— adding extra details and personality.
Another benefit of applying motion is capturing users’ attention and making users engage with your product. Animations are also one of the most effective ways to tell the story about your brand, product, or services.
Micro-interactions exist pretty much in every single app or website. You see them every time when you’re opening your favorite app —for instance, Facebook has tons of different micro-interactions and I assume that the “Like” feature is just the perfect example. Sometimes we are not even aware of the existence, because they are so so obvious, natural, and “blended” into user interfaces. Although, If you remove them from your product you will notice very quickly that something really important is missing.
Generally speaking, in UI/UX design sometimes even really small and subtle change might make a huge impact. Micro-interactions are the perfect proof that details and attention to them might greatly improve the overall user experience of your digital products and place them on the next/higher level. Every year, every new device brings new opportunities for creating brand new and innovative micro-interactions. 2020 wouldn’t be an exception for sure.
3 Graphic in Web and Mobile UI
3D graphics exists pretty much everywhere — in movies, video games, adverts on the streets. 3D graphics have been introduced a few decades ago and since then has improved and evolved dramatically.
Mobile and web technology is also growing rapidly fast. New web browser capabilities have opened the door for 3D graphics allowing us as designers to create and implement amazing 3D graphics into modern web and mobile interfaces.
Creating and then integration of 3D graphics into web and mobile interfaces requires some specific skills and tons of work, but very often the results are very rewarding.
3D graphic renders allow to present the product or services in a lot more interactive and engaging way: for instance, 3D graphic renders could be viewed in 360-degree presentation improving the overall UX of the product.
In 2020 even more, brands will use 3D render models to present the product or services in order to emulate the real world (in-store) shopping experience.
4 Virtual Reality
2019 has been a big year for VR. In the last years, we have seen a lot of progress and excitement in VR headsets — mostly in the gaming industry. We need to keep in mind that the gaming industry very often brings innovation and new technologies into digital product design. Research proves that VR is no exception as after Oculus Quest in 2019 launch many opportunities have opened for other industries. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has already tested an exciting hand interaction features and officially announced a hand-tracking updates for Quest, coming early 2020!
Sony and Microsoft will release their new generation consoles in the 2020 holiday season. These would bring a lot of opportunities and room for growth for VR technology.
5 Augmented Reality
In the last years, we have seen a lot of progress, excitement, and improvement of AR. The world’s leading tech companies are investing millions in AR development, so we should expect to expand and grow this technology in 2020. Even Apple has introduced its own AR toolkit called ARKIT 3 to help designers and developers build AR-based products.
There are endless opportunities to innovate and create brand new and exciting experiences in the AR space. UI design for AR will be one of the major trends in 2020, so as designers we should be prepared and eager to learn new tools, principles when creating AR experiences.
Generally speaking, Skeuomorphic design refers to the design elements that are created in a realistic style/way to match the real-life objects. The growth of VR/AR technology and the latest design trends shown on the most popular design platforms (Dribbble, Behance, etc.) might make skeuomorphic design comeback in 2020 — but this time with a lot of modern fashion and slightly modified name: “New skeuomorphism” (also called Neumorphism).
As you’ve probably noticed: Neumorphism represents a very detailed and precise design style. Highlight, shadows, glow — attention to details is very impressive and definitely on spot. Neumorphism has already inspired a lot of designers from all over the world and there is a big chance that Neumorphism will be the biggest UI design trend in 2020.
7 Asymmetrical Layout
In the last years, we have noticed a huge grown of asymmetrical layouts in digital product design. Traditional / “template” based layouts are definitely going away. 2020 will not be any different as this trend will continue. Proper usage of asymmetrical layouts add a lot of character, dynamic, and personality to our designs, so they do not template-based anymore.
There is a lot of room for creativity as the number of options and opportunities when creating asymmetrical layouts are endless. Although, creating successful asymmetrical layouts requires some practice and time — placing elements randomly on the grid wouldn’t work 🙂 also, they should be used and implemented with care — always keeping in mind users needs: we do not want to get them lost when using our digital products
Stories play a very important role in overall UX in digital product design. You might see them very often on the landing pages as an introduction to the brand, product, or new service. Storytelling is all about transferring data to the users in the best possible informative and creative way. This could be achieved by copyrighting mixed with a strong and balanced visual hierarchy (typography, illustrations, high-quality photos, bold colors, animations, and interactive elements).
Storytelling really helps to create positive emotions and relationships between your brand and its users. Storytelling might also make your brand a lot more memorable and making users feel like they are part of our products or services, so they would like to associate with them. Having said that, storytelling is also a great and efficient marketing tool that might greatly increase the sales of your products/services. Storytelling as a very successful tool will continue and expand in 2020.