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Digital Design Trends to Watch in 2021 and Beyond

Digital Design Trends to Watch in 2021 and Beyond 

Vying for the unknown’s attention has been controlling our lives for centuries, irrespective of whether we have ever noticed or not. And with the urge of the digital realm, this concept is intensifying in leaps and bounds. 

Well, I don’t want to sound negative here. Still, the truth is after the unwanted pandemic hit, strengthening your online presence by using every weapon from your arsenals has become a necessity. 

If you are lucky, some of your digital marketing strategies might receive stardom, while others don’t approach.

“The screen is a window through which one sees a virtual world. The only challenge is to make that world look real, act real, sound as well as feel real.” – Truly said Ivan Sutherland. 

As long as I know, you must build a website that is a pretty easy thing to do. The tricky part is not to get tempted by the bells and whistles of the design process. 

Besides, no matter how hard you strive upon this, it is a wolf in sheep’s clothing unless you aren’t doing it right.  

Now you know designs are no longer just a necessity but can also assist your business in the long haul.

Furthermore, on the Internet, website design tips and tricks are widespread. 

Numerous individuals seem to comment regarding what the ideal site resembles. This means one person might like it, while another might find the same thing terrible. 

Moreover, there’s no getting away from digital design trends. Like it or not, they are and will remain one of your web presence’s core elements. 

The following post emphasises some of the best digital design trends to keep their eyes on in 2021 and beyond. 

With 1.7 billion active websites out there, differentiating your one from the rest can be a pretty tricky venture. It’s not impossible!   

The future is highly unpredictable! 

Without any further ado, let us figure out some of the best design styles that might come out as a significant trend. It’s time to grab the mug of your favourite coffee and enjoy the read!

The best part here is knowing what the future holds, especially in regards to digital design trends! 

Trend #1 Minimalism

Minimalism Digital Design Trends 2021

Less is more. Keeping the concept in mind, it turns out to be the leading digital design trends for 2021. 

Each day we are bombarded with tons of information, advertisements, brands endorsements finding ourselves interacting with different interfaces. 

To avoid such an overwhelming situation for your valued customers, all you can do is develop graphic elements that are simpler and elegant at once. 

These days other than looks and feel, it is crucial to consider what functionality your chosen element offers. 

Gone are the days when highlighting product qualities was good enough. In addition to this, one should convey the right emotions in regards to its usage to customers. 

Trend #2 Illustrated Animations

Illustrated Animation Gif

When it comes to creating attention-grabbing designs, illustrated animation is the best way to succeed. 

To bring out the personality of your design, try to come up with tiny detailing. Also, make sure all this is done subtly or else there are high chances of miscommunication. 

According to UI/UX experts from, the application of motion was one of the most seen digital design trends in animation. 

Was it meant to bring them to life and make them stand out? 

Imagine where you are not staring at a lame image but a moving one. What exactly would happen is? 

  • Your users will grow in terms of curiosity. 
  • Enhanced and improved user engagement.
  • You will successfully leave a memorable impression behind.

Trend #3 UX writing

Microcopy Examples

Before we proceed further, UX is all about crafting the texts to appear throughout the interface of websites or mobile apps without damaging the overall impression. 

Copywriter vs UX writer – pick wisely. 

Copywriters sell a product, whereas a UX writer isn’t limited to such terms. They offer way more than that. 

In the end, they ensure to provide some value to end-users by crafting an experience that will improve day to day lives. 

Trend #4 Virtual Reality  

Of course, we all know what virtual reality technology is capable of, especially in the gaming industry. 

All thanks to the increasing VR headsets, I mean what unmatchable experience these tech has given us. 

As a result, several companies, the big ones like Facebook, have already started experimenting with VR.

Also, industries like healthcare and education seem that digital design trends have started opening a significant amount of opportunities so that UX designers can come up with more interaction and deliver more valuable output.

Trend #5 Artificial Intelligence

Google Smart Artificial Intelligence

Unfortunately, with the advent of emerging disruptive technologies like Artificial intelligence, Machine learning, AR/VR, many designers have this unknown fear of losing their jobs. 

The ground reality is that these technologies are meant to ease their work and not replace them. 

Have you noticed the AI’s data-collecting capability? The tech collects enormous and vast amounts of data. 

As a result, imagine a space where you get to offer more personalised products entitled to every individual’s needs. 

Another interesting example is that you know where the websites ask your preferences. 

You need to check all the relevant tags or topics you might be interested in later on after signing up for the app. 

Apple Music genre bubbles are the best example I can think of as of now. 

If you had asked me earlier, I could never think of generating accurate responses. 

And now we have Google’s AI-powered Smart Reply, and Smart Compose tools in Gmail. 

And you know what the best part is? All the responses suggested are well distinguished, noticeable. 

It is assumed that products will learn more about the user based on their behaviour leading to a better-personalised user experience in the upcoming years. 

A higher conversion rate is all you can get. 

Trend #6 Mobile-first approach

Best Mobile App Designers In Belfast

This is a known fact that nearly half of the search queries come from mobile devices. 

Related:  Brand Audit Checklist: Key Components & Benefits

Right from booking a movie or having dinner or shopping online, we seem to depend on our smartphones. 

This probably means your web design shouldn’t just look good on your desktops but also on your mobile devices. 

So I hope now you know why the slowly and steadily mobile-first approach is becoming a significant UX trend

Other than these, I would also like to add something here about combining augmented reality with mobile design. 

With the changing years, augmented reality seems to be pushing the boundaries of mobile UX design by nourishing user experience with first-person, immersive designs.  

All the physical barriers to genuine user engagement seem to have been removed, and the era entirely seems to have been reinvented, especially the way people interact with the brands. 

Now, the end-users get to engage with products and services rather than just read about them, especially when integrating fictional design elements. 

Have you come across virtual home staging and improvements, interactive learning, simulated gaming experiences among several industries, including eCommerce, retail, education, real estate, entertainment, and media. 

Trend #7 Optimism and playfulness

Instagram Marketing Trends In 2021

Do you think we have overcome the pandemic? 

Of course not! Even though we have warriors, vaccines, but that doesn’t mean it is over. 

In such situations, the best part is nobody has given up. Each one of us has come up with something productive. 

So no matter what happens tomorrow, creative industries will always demand to help different businesses uplift them in 2021 and upcoming years down the line. 

As a result, positivity, playfulness, colour and vibrant patterns are supposed to make the big splash. 

Trend #8 Storytelling 

Example Visual Storytelling

 Last but certainly not least, visual storytelling has been one of the most potent tools leveraged by designers these days. 

Whether you are a kid or a school goer, college grad, or a worker, we humans love to hear stories, fascinating ones. 

Since stories are supposed to be long, it becomes tricky to engage the end-users as most of them have less patience and time.  

Unfortunately, words usually can’t do a picture justice. Visual narrating is a ground-breaking method of rapidly reverberating with end clients. 

It can transform your site into something relatable for the client and help it stand apart from the competition’s remainder.

Here comes the big question! How can storytelling be used in your design process? 

I remember as a child, I used to force my grandmother to tell me one every night. 

Now scientifically speaking, when you hear a good story, something that is relevant and resonated with a hormone called oxytocin tends to increase. 

What happens is it boosts good feelings such as trust, compassion and empathy. 

Now imagine what if you can infuse storytelling into the product design and your end-users like it. 

A few reasons stating that storytelling matters in UX: 

  • Stories provide clarity and memorability. And the best part is they are 22 times more memorable than plain facts and figures.
  • They structure a bond with your pursuers. Individuals are not intelligent animals; we connect more with feelings. This is useful for B2C and B2B associations because your peruser is consistently a human, paying little mind to their calling. 
  • Stories engage. Usually, you have only 10-20 seconds before a client chooses to leave for great. Curiously, the more they stay past that, the almost certain they remain significantly more (see outline beneath). An engaging story can hold them back from leaving during that urgent window. 
  • Catch consideration. A brisk certainty – an average human capacity to focus warning is not precisely that of a goldfish. Stories are an ideal approach to command notice. 

Have you perused a book or watched a video, or tuned in to somebody to talk and constrained to make some move just after? Call to action! 

Do you realise what actual storytelling is? It’s when words combined with the conspicuous feelings behind them creeped you out and gave you goosebumps like none other.

UX Designing is not going anywhere! 

Professional Ux Designer Process

Whether you are conducting an online or an offline business, the end goal is about increasing sales. 

And UI/UX plays a crucial role in achieving the objective, which means it will be going nowhere. 

From Information Architecture, you must incorporate Interaction Design, Usability, Wireframing, Visual Design, all these in your design or else it won’t be of much help.

Information Architecture 

One can emphasise fulfilling business methodologies by planning the application’s or the site’s data structure. 

Interaction Design 

Here it’s about making a reasonable plan with which the clients communicate with the item and application. 

This connection incorporates different components like style, shading, textual style, symbols, pictures, movement, sound, space, illustrations.


Another term for this can be user-friendliness. 

Additionally, one will want to sort out if the clients get the data. If the application/site is not difficult to explore, these approaches can help you deal with the mistakes. 

Visual Design

Another name for this is the company’s brand. Finalising the visual design can do a significant influence on the clients’ conduct and consequently. 

Visual design isn’t just about choosing the best pictures, colours, symbols, text styles, yet addition recognising the presence of the application impacts its clients’ association.

As per business perspective! Both UI and UX design trends focus on the user’s satisfaction and pleasure. 

Lastly, what makes a great user experience? 

Unfortunately, there is no cookie-cutter solution to such a question; I wish we had! 

User experience isn’t the same for everyone. 

For some, it may be great, whereas, for others, it can be entirely not worthy at all. 

So when designing either for web or mobile, make sure you know that you are not your users. So please don’t assume you know what they want or what they need. 

A great user experience can only be defined when you somehow happen to get close to your end-users. 

Interact with them. This is the only way to try getting inside their heads and then come to a conclusion. On and all, pay attention! 


So what does this all add up to? 

There are hope, passion and determination to meet the new year head-on, especially in the upcoming digital design trends. Let’s keep our fingers crossed! 

Photo of author

Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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