Top UI/UX Trends for 2021

Alice Bonasio
Apr 6 · 4 min read

This year is bringing some exciting technology trends that will help designers create more engaging user experiences. We pick our top 3.

Democratizing Animation

Marketers know that few tools are as effective in engaging your audience as a well-crafted animation. Traditionally, however, this type of material has been extremely labor-intensive — and therefore costly — to produce.

Yet LottieFiles is a company looking to change all that with its open-source tool that allows animators to spend less time learning and deploying complex code and more time crafting captivating content that will wow users and increase conversion rates.

Lottiefiles is a lightweight, interactive, and scalable animation format that allows for customization without having to code, build and render bulky files from scratch. In fact, Lottie files are, on average, 600% smaller than other popular animation formats such GIFs, allowing for a much faster, more responsive, and therefore engaging user experience (UX).

Popular apps such as Airbnb and Duolingo have wholeheartedly embraced this user-friendliness. Use cases for Lottie animations range from app loading and wait screes to gamification and user onboarding, as well a vast array of websites and apps looking to serve meaningful content to their users, according to LottieFiles CTO Nattu Adnan

“LottieFiles has helped hundreds of thousands of developers and designers from over 65,000 global fortune companies like Netflix, Disney, Google and Amazon to ship interactive animation faster and more effectively,” adds the company’s Co-Founder and CEO Kshitij Minglani.

Augmenting Reality

AR (Augmented Reality) has been steadily gathering momentum in recent years, and it is easy to see why. Merging the physical and digital worlds is an exciting proposition that opens up a whole world of possibilities for users, and the companies hoping to reach and keep them engaged.

From new ways of experiencing art to enabling customers to realistically try products before committing to a purchase, Augmented Reality is becoming ever more pervasive across an incredibly broad swathe of industries.

Research shows that AR will evolve from one-off ‘surprise and delight’ moments to provide everyday utility and practical value, right across the consumer journey. This could include helping people visualize how products look in their home, locating products in-store through wayfinding applications, or getting more out of a product post-purchase through usage guidance,” explains Jeremy Pounder, Futures Director at Mindshare UK

One example of how it is possible for innovative companies to bring their customers the best of both worlds by creating Omnichannel experiences is Canadian start-up StickerYou which offers customized, die-cut stickers online, but also maintains a physical shop where customers can touch and feel the merchandise.

“The broader trend in retail, particularly among millennials, is a shift in focus from products toward experiences. For this reason, many customers still choose to visit a physical shop even if it may be more convenient to order the item online, explains StickerYou Founder and President, Andrew Witkin. “For retailers, this presents an opportunity to leverage technology to literally augment the value of their products for their customers,” he concludes.

Meeting Virtually

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic became the catalyst for what we now know as a socially distanced “new normal,” technology had been pushing us towards having more of our interactions in virtual environments.

From virtual live comedy shows to professional poker tournaments, people had started to not only accept the premise of hosting their familiar interactions and experiences in immersive virtual worlds.

Given the continuation of the pandemic, however, we have seen most events in the global conference calendar going virtual in some way or another, including one of the biggest highlights in the tech circuit — South by Southwest (SXSW) which is held in Austin, Texas in March.

SXSW Online 2021 included a variety of online meetings, sessions, musical performances, and many attempts at virtually recreating the interactive experience of SXSW.

As Tech Trends correspondent Laura Kobylecky reports, the world of virtual Austin exists within VRChat, an online, virtual reality, social platform which added a layer of immersion and interactivity to this year’s online conference and left her feeling as if she’d really attended the event.

Tech Trends’ Consultancy services offer support for companies looking to enhance their brand’s digital strategy with immersive and emerging technologies such as Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality

Alice Bonasio is a technology journalist, communications consultant and Tech Trends’ Editor in Chief. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow @alicebonasio and @techtrends_tech on Twitter.

Tech Trends

Showcase for the latest disruptive technology that is…

Alice Bonasio

Written by

Technology writer for FastCo, Quartz, The Next Web, Ars Technica, Wired + more. Consultant specializing in VR #MixedReality and Strategic Communications

Tech Trends

Showcase for the latest disruptive technology that is changing the education landscape globally

Alice Bonasio

Written by

Technology writer for FastCo, Quartz, The Next Web, Ars Technica, Wired + more. Consultant specializing in VR #MixedReality and Strategic Communications

Tech Trends

Showcase for the latest disruptive technology that is changing the education landscape globally

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