5 realistic UI/UX trends that will rule 2020

Design is an ever-changing industry, and it’s vital to keep up with the varying landscape to be a competitive UX Designer. Every year we look at these changes to have a heads up about what to expect. 2020 isn’t going to be any different.

We’re embracing dark mode (finally)

via The Verge

Let’s face it; we love dark mode. Dark mode has gone from a “nice to have” in design to an essential feature. Slowly but steadily, tech companies started adding a dark mode to their products. And when Apple finally embraced it, we knew it’s going to force many others to follow their path as well. It’s just tech nature.

Going beyond the aesthetic value it adds, dark mode also helps preserve battery in specific displays. The extra battery preservation that comes with dark mode for OLED screens was a welcome feature for everyone.

In addition to that, darker interfaces are also easier on the eye.

It’s official, 3D is a thing

via Bluereceipt

You might have noticed that 3D illustrations have taken over some landing pages. I know we’re used to a lot of flat design in our interfaces, but 3D pictures and icons are slowly becoming mainstream.

Sites like Blue Receipt has nailed it with 3D illustrations and made it a massive part of their design system. It not only makes the design look more sophisticated but is aesthetically pleasing too.

I have noticed a wide range of designers on Behance posting 3D illustrations, which shows a lot of enthusiasm among designers for the trend. And with open-source software like Blender, the technology is available for more people than ever.

Quirky is the new cool

Since we’re on the subject of illustrations, quirky graphics have been getting a lot of attention. We don’t have to go too far to find them. You may have noticed these types of illustrations on Medium itself.

A design style that goes very closely with these quirky attributes is the Bauhaus design style. Bauhaus style involves pictures that contain harmoniously balanced geometric shapes and an emphasis on function.

via Aga Giecko

Bauhaus illustrations are usually paired with bold typography and colors.

Motion makes anything better

via Gleb Kuznetsov

Motion can be used to bring life to a product. It can make a static webpage or screen look a lot more lively. Research has also shown that motion is a great way of communicating your brand identity to the user.

When it comes to motion design, it’s important that we pay attention to the details. There are various kinds of motion. A subtle animation with a slow fade-in effect is different from a faster animation with a different type of transition. The element we deal with can be the same, but the motion of them can convey completely different messages.

Motion in a user interface adds another level of interaction for the user. Animations can also help the interface guide the user through the UI.

In addition to all of these, motion makes the interface more delightful to the user.

Heavy renders

via Apple.com

Have you visited the Apple product pages recently? If you have, you may have noticed the high-detail and over-the-top image renders in their webpages. The landing pages for the new Airpods, for example, are nothing short of breathtaking.

UX Designers should no longer feel limited when it comes to their creativity since developers are now ready to bring those ridiculous designs to life.

This high detail renders gives the designers a chance to get a more life-like and “in your face” kind of experience of the product to the user.

Honorable mentions

Inclusive design

Inclusive design gets thrown out a lot when discussing UI/UX trends. It’s the idea that we should take diversity into account when we create designs. Correctly understanding people from different cultures and backgrounds is crucial to creating products that produce good commercial success.

UX Audits

Designing products that adhere to principles is more important than ever. Research has shown that products that follow design principles and guidelines report significantly more growth than the ones that don’t. UX Audits play a huge role in identifying the faults in current systems and improving them by applying these principles.

AR and VR

What UX trend article is complete without AR and VR? Even though these technologies haven’t yet disrupted industries as we thought they would, companies are gradually implementing them as much as possible. And with companies like Apple investing huge amounts in AR, especially with their upcoming Apple Glasses, AR is definitely going to be a hot topic this year in design.

Design is a rapidly changing industry and as a UX designer, your value depends on the ability for you to adapt to these fast changes. Keep an eye out for new trends and be one step ahead of the game.

Accessibility Evangelist & Certified UX Wizard. Perfecting the art of humanizing technology at CityWide Automation— more on HasnainBakhtiar.com