For the Love of Design

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we at iconmobile are taking a moment to celebrate one of our greatest loves: Design. Below are five of the most innovative design trends you can expect to see more of in 2021.

  

  1. CONTEXTUALIZED COLOR

Color is arguably the most important element in design. It is one of the first elements our brain registers and uses to inform immediate impressions. In fact, a study that explored the impact of color on marketing found customers typically form judgments of a product or website with 90 seconds of seeing it, and that 62-90% of that judgement is based solely on color!

Full of meaning and feeling, colors can make users feel confident, creative, luxurious, brave, or ambitious. While designers can compel users to act just by applying the appropriate color palette, more than just feelings and behaviors, color can influence product usability.

Contextualized color – color that changes depending on content or location – is a great way to lead consumers through a product or service experience. Changing background and font hues to cohesively complement or boldly contrast featured content helps capture attention, set the mood, and guide users on where to look or “go” next.

The practicality, personalization and playfulness of contextualized color means it’s a trend we’ll see a lot more of in 2021.

Key Example: Spotify utilizes color to categorize its content. Color coordinated headers, background gradients, and image graphics help signify to users which genre of music they are current listening to.

 

 

  1. ANIMATED DATA VISUALIZATION

Data today is more dynamic than ever and represents the foundation on which experiences are built and stories are told.

Well-settled into the Age of Digitalization, every action we take, whether search, click, scroll, or share, produces datapoints that can be collected and analyzed. 2020 and the global pandemic propelled digital data production – with social distancing orders forcing the transition to virtual work, play and learning – and brought data visualization to the forefront as scientists and leaders sought ways to explain the ever-changing pandemic-induced impacts on health, habits, and movement.

Pie charts and static infographics are becoming artifact as designers merge advanced technology with visual art to create thoughtful, provocative stories about the world around us that evolve in real-time. In our new data-driven world, transparency and relevance are key to the brand-customer relationship, which is why animated data visualization will be a top design trend in 2021.

Key Example: Macrocosmic Flux is a real-time screen based public art installation that uses Singapore’s Land Transport Authority’s DataMall API to obtain live public transit data to map the current pressure on the network’s bus and train lines. The combined passenger load of the system is represented by flowing particles that change in numbers and velocity to paint a real-time picture of Singaporeans moving through the island.

 

3. MINIMALISM

Minimalism has impacted almost every industry, from Marie Kondo’s tidy movement, technology and health expert calls for digital detox, environmentalist pleas for zero waste, or fast fashion backlash. Consumers today recognize that less is often more.

Categorized by its exclusive use of only the most necessary elements, minimalistic design boils down to the basics, stripping away as much clutter as possible: no pop-up videos, no tabs, no dropdown menu navigation. Minimalism in design eliminates everything that doesn’t support the user’s needs or goals.

That said, minimalistic design DOES NOT mean boring. It is not design devoid of color, animation or text but rather intentional simplification meant to aid user experience. And after a year full of uncertainty, never ending change and information overload, it’s not surprising that minimalism will again enter the spotlight in 2021.

Key Example: Nike’s mobile app onboarding process is clear and direct, leveraging color contrast, simple language and minimal visual elements to create a pleasant and convenient experience.

 

  1. MICRO-INTERACTIONS

We’ve all heard about the shocking reduction of generational attention spans (8 seconds for Gen Zers) but you might be more alarmed to know that our patience and attention threshold diminishes even more in the face of slow downloads.

Studies found that 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. In fact, 40% of people abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load and a 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversion rates. To minimize the potential for such high risk, designers are turning to micro-interactions.

Micro-Interactions are used to provide extra, immediate insight or feedback to users, signaling the confirmation of an action taken. These interactions can be informational, educational or entertaining and often include animations, color changes, and haptic feedback (for mobile apps). Micro-interactions can elevate an experience from functional to exceptional by amplifying desired action, simplifying information, extending user interest and enhancing engagement.

As brands create new experiences to cater to our ever-increasingly digital lives, competition and opportunity for technological mishap will rise. Micro-interactions are an easy and effective way to differentiate your brand and keep users positively engaged throughout the experience.

Key Example: Google Assistant transforms the brand’s signature-colored dots into animated wave lengths to show users that the app is listening, receiving and processing their voice commands.

 

  1. AR and 3D FILTERS

3D filters are now a part of daily life for many consumers thanks to Snapchat, Instagram, and other social media platforms, and a global pandemic that has left more people reliant on computer and video technologies than ever before. Love them or hate them, 2020 has secured the prominence of 3D filters and their place among the top design trends of 2021.

AR and 3D filters have become such a vital part of the user experience that consumers expect brands to include them in their services and products. Shopify recently published results of a study that found interactions with products having AR content showed a 94% higher conversion rate than products without AR.

While practical for industries such as retail – where users can virtually try on products before they buy them – AR filters can also be used to increase accessibility, connect people through shared experiences, bring the imaginary to life and provoke user interest to learn about or discover subjects that may otherwise overlooked.

Key Example: Built into the Gucci app is a photo feature that lets users capture themselves “wearing” their preferred Ace collection sneaker models and share their snaps via text, email, or social media. The app is made possible by machine learning algorithms that determines contextual data including position, light, color, texture, etc. and uses the information to create 3D sneaker model. The end result is image that moves with you, regardless of angle or movement.

 

 

iconmobile combines expertise in design, business, and engineering to define and prototype digital solutions that deepen connections between the most trusted global brands and their customers. To learn more, email our VP of Client Success, Yaniv Snir, at yaniv.snir@iconmobile.com.