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Digital Design Trends to Watch For in 2021

Design has always played a pivotal role in shaping our vision of the future. But with numerous events and festivals being cancelled, companies are adopting the new normal of working from home; Retailers are overhauling their online presence to adhere to social distancing guidelines and occupancy restrictions. Designers across the world have come together to help restore a sense of hope and normalcy to our lives.

Here are some emerging design trends to look forward to in 2021.

The Web Will Feel More Like 'Real Life'

With the world going through a collective loss of real life experiences in 2020, designers around the world banded together to create immersive, 3D experiences beyond the monotony of daily zoom calls.

From fashion shows taking place online without an audience; to concerts taking place over the virtual realm of videogames. The digital world will soon adapt VR/AR technologies with the help of designers to further erode the line between real and virtual world, a trend likely to continue into 2021.

Even More Personalized Interfaces

Every year Spotify shows its users an end-of-the-year summary, showcasing their most listened to songs and artists. This is UI personalization at work. Similarly Netflix recommends movies to its users based on algorithms that track your viewing history and the habits of others.

UI personalization is also offered to users through dark mode, vanishing texts, and enlarged typography, and tools like chat themes in instant messages. Such features give users the power to reflect on their personal tastes and make online experiences more accessible.

Fitness Apps Will Be Funny

Since the world was in lockdown for a majority of 2020, virtual home gyms like lululemon’s Mirror to Studio Something’s Feels FM, a jukebox powered by emojis, health and well-being software saw a breakout year.

The focus soon shifted from physical wellbeing to mental and psychological wellbeing. Statistics showed that there was an increase in people seeking help for anxiety and depression. Designers sought to lift spirits by adding a pinch of gaiety to health and fitness apps. Animated icons, warmer color palettes, cheeky copy and machine learning algorithms calibrated to adjust to users’ performance and fitness goals have rejuvenated a once clinical design space, allowing these experiences to be fun, joyful and have a sense of escapism to them.

Soft Color, Outdoor Scenes: A New Hope

Out of all the design trends to emerge from the bleak year that was 2020, the one that will most likely gain a lot of traction is the use of softly hued colors, open landscapes and ethereal color palettes to present a vision of a hopeful and optimistic future.

Imagine hopeful blue skies on the banner of fashion brands opening ceremony or warm pastel tones and bubbly clouds on the website of a beverage brand. Hopeful colors, sunny skies and rainbows are some of the classic ways we see brands epitomizing hopefulness in their visual narratives.