2021 was full of events and shook the digital world with its adaptation to the ‘new normal’. The UI/UX design community couldn’t stay aside the changes. While everybody was getting used to post-pandemic transformations, new revolutionary trends were set, the technologies continued to increase their influence, and finally, Facebook announced its Metaverse.
Now, it’s time to look into the future and try to anticipate what 2022 holds in store, which UI and UX trends are the most likely to appear or increase their impact, and why.
The following predictions draw on the rich experience of creative thinkers and trend-setters from Halo Lab design company.
Why Checking UI/UX Trends is Important?
In simple terms, following the latest UX trends is the way to experiment and find new unique design approaches. It helps seize the moment and keep up with today's audience needs. The clients want to access the most up-to-date solutions, benefit from new user-centric features, and enjoy fresh and beautiful UI designs.
At the same time, the design trends’ nature is in constant change and evolution. It prevents stagnation and doesn’t allow the professionals to stop their development. Some UI UX trends emerge ahead of time and remain relevant for a long period. The others may become viral in a short span, helping increase awareness, stand out from the competitors, and expand the customer base.
However, the key to successfully using the newest UI and UX design trends is their competent adaptation to the project’s goals and business needs. Good design always sticks to a certain purpose, not imposing unsuitable yet popular innovations. It’s always worth focusing on the task and implementing new approaches only when applicable.
Maintaining the right balance and consistency in modern design trends leads to enhanced user experience, clients’ satisfaction, and relevance of the implied techniques.
Latest UI/UX Trends
Here, we’ve collected top UX and UI trends that will likely shape the future of design and remain relevant in the coming years.
People spend more and more time with their devices, which increases the demand for mobile applications and responsive design. According to Statista, the number of smartphone users will be up to 6.925 billion in 2022 (4% more than in 2021) and is expected to keep growing.
Yet, from a developer perspective, the mobile-first approach doesn’t seem so fancy as it may lead to an oversimplification of the product. The ‘graceful degradation’ scheme – creating the full-fledged solution and then reducing it to a beautiful and functioning mobile piece seems more productive. Why? It allows keeping focus on the big picture and do not miss important options. That’s why we’re dealing mostly with web development to exercise our potential to its fullest.
Seamless onboarding is one of the User Experience trends that will increase their influence in 2022. Nowadays, it’s not just a way to introduce an app or a service to new users. It’s a way to retain those users, directly leading them to the product’s core value. Thanks to a successful onboarding experience, your customers will quickly understand the service’s key functions and benefits.
A well-designed onboarding shouldn’t overwhelm customers or make them think that the app is too difficult to use. Future belongs to interactive onboarding that can guide users, ensure their comprehensive experience and keep them engaged, quickly persuading a potential customer to start using the service right away. Take a LinkedIn app, for instance: it has a progressive onboarding process, helping a user set up their profile in an exciting way.
Various UI trends and effects tend to gain and lose their popularity quite rapidly. However, glassmorphism has been successfully evolving for the last two years (yes, thanks Apple and Microsoft!) and has all chances to remain one of the hottest UI UX design trends 2022. Just a year ago, our designers made some noise, introducine the glass effect in web design with a guide on creating a stunning card in Figma.
The interface elements resembling glass look transparent and stylish, supporting a multi-layer approach. It’s particularly applicable to certain application objects like cards.
Unlike neumorphic and skeuomorphic effects often avoided by designers nowadays, we expect glassmorphism to stay longer. Surely, people get quickly bored with the interfaces, though glassmorphism allows plenty of options to vary the style. Perhaps, it will stay with us until transparent phone screens will be the new black.
The concept of brutalism that might have sounded too bold and provocative for the modern web design ideas is getting back in vogue. Its core principles resemble the heavy and honest style of 1950s architecture. Brutalism supports the same minimalist and unobtrusive idea as other modern design trends and, at the same time, remains their opposite in many ways.
Digital design brutalism strives for the simplicity and blankness of old-fashioned HTML websites with their blue links and default system fonts. Additionally, it allows for the uneven grid, sharp edges, and raw photos.
It’s worth mentioning that in many cases, brutalism may seem inaccessible or too sharp for the users’ eyes. In 2022, we predict the use of certain brutalist elements and combining styles that support a slightly softened “neobrutalism” idea.
As an alternative to common scrolling through a landing page, we’re observing the appearance of a new “scrollytelling” approach. It’s gaining popularity and will likely become one of the hottest UI trends 2022. This technique uses interface elements to tell a comprehensive story.
Thus, instead of a standard boring description of the company’s services, the introduction of the team and its values, etc., the customers get a truly unique user experience. And, just like any other exciting story, scrollytelling pushes users to find out what happens next. A viewer can select their degree and speed of immersion by merely adjusting the scroll. This way, you can create an effect of a self-directed presentation (here’s a great example).
The use of scrolling animations is one of the latest UI UX trends we expect to grow in popularity. To make this experience more unique and entertaining, the designers may turn to various creative solutions to surprise and engage the users. Parallax effects, 3D elements, and detailed graphics are just some possible ways to impress the visitors and make them explore the page with curiosity and enthusiasm.
Scrollytelling is a great option to improve the onboarding experience, introduce the services on your website, or else. However, this method is quite complex to design since every “chapter” of your story should be carefully considered and properly implemented.
Micro-interactions are simple yet crucial interface changes caused by users’ actions. They make the user experience more streamlined and clear. Imagine telling jokes to a person with a poker face. You’d get frustrated, right? The same goes for interface: when we see no reaction on our action, we get confused. So, normally, small animations or visual hints represent micro-interactions, instantly helping the users make the right decisions.
Although the use of micro-interactions is not a bare new trend, it’s worth paying extra attention to it in 2022. For a modern web or mobile app design, details are vital as they ensure a positive user experience and help them understand how the product functions. When implementing micro-interactions, you may also benefit from good color combinations that make it easier for users to find what they were looking for easily.
Lately, designers tend to experience nostalgia for the good old days when most modern rules and trends simply didn’t exist. So looking to the future often means rethinking the styles that seemed to have gone into the past forever. In 2022, we expect many designers to draw inspiration from the digital aesthetics of the 1980s and 1990s.
In particular, we will likely observe the return of bright-colored backgrounds, robotic fonts, retro-style graphics, shadows, etc. Many features of this style are inherited from vintage magazines combined with modern web design approaches, resulting in a fresh and fashionable interface look.
The use of geometric shapes has significantly affected the recent web and graphic design trends. The idea involves various combinations of massive geometric blocks that visually convey more subtle and concrete ideas. This concept can be developed both within simple geometric figures and in more complex 3D graphics.
In 2022, many designers will find their inspiration in abstract and art deco styles, with their subtle, symmetrical, and bold lines.
The usefulness of visualized data has long been proven. According to an MIT report, 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. What’s more, it directly impacts the perception of various data in many fields, from education to e-commerce and finance.
Even if your website doesn’t have to report any specific and complex statistics, the information about your company’s achievements may look much more convincing if shown as symbols or icons instead of plain advertising text.
That’s why dashboards and other data visualization forms are gaining popularity, remaining one of the key user experience trends of 2022. Remember that “the more, the better” logic doesn’t work here. Graphs, charts, and tables should be consistent, clear, and non-overwhelming.
Blurred, Colorful Background
So-called Aurora background became an influential visual trend for 2021 and will remain popular the following year. Organic and attractive color combinations may add more delicate and friendly-looking value to your product’s interface.
The combinations of color splashes resembling the Northern Lights applied to the background or its certain parts don’t break the minimalistic concept vital for accessibility and functionality. At the same time, they make a website or an app look more fresh and distinctive since most modern minimalistic designs are getting very similar.
Swiss Style Design
The Swiss Style dates back to the beginning of the 20th century and is closely associated with Ernst Keller and his followers. The hallmarks of this typographic style are the predominance of typefaces and photos over illustrations, the use of classic sans serif fonts, clear layouts, and general minimalism.
The idea of the content that dominates over the form hasn’t lost its relevance, and the Swiss Style is still on top of design trends. To the same extent, the fundamental principles of the Swiss Style, such as readability and objectivity, are applied by most modern designers. Therefore, well-organized layouts, Helvetica-like fonts, and strong color schemes are the Swiss Style legacy relevant for contemporary web design, logo design, and typography.
The role of typography in web design is likely to expand. Large typography is one of the latest UI design trends raising words to the status of graphic elements that are a full-fledged part of the overall composition.
Bold decisions regarding oversized typography allow for various experiments. Namely, they enable putting the text over photos or images, delivering powerful and instantly visible messages, playing with alignments, or even filling the entire screen with a single word. Can’t help but say that we adore this approach and have hundreds of successful cases.
In addition to large font sizes, we recommend paying attention to some other trends related to typography. In particular, these are the use of typographic pairs and creative work with large text forms.
We believe that photo and video content is the future of web design. That’s why we often use real photos in our works. Such an approach is perfect for transmitting true emotions.
Additionally, many websites can use real photographs to personalize their content and get closer to their audience. Lively photos representing the team and their work are a greater way to introduce the company’s values than neutral stock pictures or illustrations that don’t emphasize your brand identity.
The trend for minimalism in design has taken root so firmly that all subsequent innovations either echo it or try to balance it. Anyway, the concept of simplicity and intuitiveness will stay long, remaining one of the key UX design trends 2022. And there are several good reasons for this.
Here are a few key ones:
- Convenience. The users find it easier to navigate a website or an app where everything is clear and precise, from colors and fonts to interactions.
- Speed. The visitors can quickly operate your product if it’s intuitive and all the elements are placed where expected.
- Functionality. Of course, visual and creative components matter. However, minimalist design ensures they don’t prevail over the content.
3D Icons and Illustrations
No modern UI trends list can be considered complete without mentioning 3D graphics. The hype around 3D has lasted for more than four years now and hasn’t subsided yet. However, things change, and three-dimensional effects are also experiencing their evolution. To be more precise, now 3D graphics are majorly used for creating volumetric icons and illustrations. They are simplified and don’t pretend to be too realistic, yet still look fresh and entertain users.
One of the main proofs of the 3D domination is that large corporations like Apple add such icons to their interfaces. Additionally, the number of libraries with a wide choice of 3D models increases rapidly. As a result, in 2022, 3D is no longer an advanced and inaccessible technology. It’s becoming mainstream.
VR, AR, and Metaverse
Even if you’re not particularly interested in the latest UX design trends and tech innovations, you’ve almost certainly heard something of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies. What’s more, the concept of Metaverse, an interactive virtual world, got closer than ever before. After Facebook announced their intriguing renaming to Meta, many started to believe that 2022 would open the potential of VR and AR to the whole world.
After 5G was successfully implemented, advanced technologies like Voice Interactions, VR, AR, and Metaverse started to seem more real. Very soon, we’ll see if 2022 will bring the expected breakthrough.
Inclusiveness of digital content and language has become one of the modern UX core principles. Therefore, the latest UX design trends involve making the products user-friendly and accessible in all senses. It’s worth mentioning that modern businesses have started to consider more and more aspects of this matter since many audience groups exist, and each of them requires a specific approach.
The use of such practices contributes to the improvement of user experience and, in addition, follows generally accepted regulations such as WCAG.
Thus, many features that provide accessible content are becoming common. To name a few, these are language guidelines, alt text, legibility, and more.
We’ve already mentioned a few ways to diversify and update the scrolling experience. Horizontal scrolling is an alternative way to surprise the users and grab their attention. However, using a side scroll doesn’t perfectly match all kinds of web pages. In most cases, the visitors expect to go up or down as it’s more usual and intuitively clear.
Scrolling from left to right can be a great option for specific cases. Thanks to such a solution, art or photo galleries, catalogs, and design portfolios may get some extra charm.
Modern web design is all about symmetry. Most websites and applications you use are built strictly based on the grid that ensures consistency and proper structure. However, it doesn’t preclude the possibility of experiments. The asymmetric layout is one of the latest UI trends many designers will keep turning to in 2022. It makes a web page stand out since it looks modern, bold, and simply non-standard.
Instead of following a common balance, asymmetry allows for more dynamism and bizarreness.
Keep Up with the Latest Design Trends
Many UX and UI design trends that emerged in previous years remain relevant. Some even increase in popularity, while others lose their influence and gradually fade into the past.
In 2022, there’s very little chance to see the development of skeuomorphism and overly stylized, non-universal graphics. Meanwhile, the use of minimalism, well-structured content, clear and recognizable icons, accessible typography, and many other UI/UX design trends show no signs of obsolescence.
The whole design industry is going through constant evolution, experiencing many changes on the go. Some are expected, while others occur almost out of the blue. Hopefully, our list of UI/UX trends 2022 helped you peek into the future with us.
Want to keep up with the latest design trends?
Halo Lab offers responsive web design services, ensuring great performance, intuitiveness, and user-friendliness of the products we create. Our professionals always follow the latest UX design trends and even set some of them!
Get in touch to learn more about implementing innovative ideas and find out how to create a product relevant to your business needs.