With Pulp Blog

10 Top UX Design Trends for 2021

Sarah Harris December 29, 2020

Crafting a great user experience has taken many forms over the years. We saw plenty of unique UX designs take shape in 2020, and we look forward to seeing new UX design trends in 2021.

Today, we’re going to go over the 10 most exciting directions we believe UX design is headed.

#10. Rise of Employee User Experience

One of the most exciting UX design trends in 2021 is an enhanced focus on UX design for employee-facing software. Much of UX design is focused on the end user, the customer. This is about to change as designers shift focus to employees.

Whether it's content editors, web admins, accounting folks or others, brands will look for ways to help employees get their jobs done more easily.

We think this is long overdue. A brand's success depends on the people of that company enjoying their work. Employee UX will help achieve this goal.

#9. Remote Collaboration Becomes Standard

There’s no doubt that 2020 is the year that the world went remote. In 2021, as we start moving back to more traditional workplace environments, remote collaboration will be integrated with it.

UX design agencies will continue developing tools focused on remote collaboration. We’ll be seeing tools for development, design, and presentation rise to prominence.

These tools will push what remote collaboration means and show us what’s really possible.Accessibility research is going to empower more people than ever before to use these new tools as well.

#8. Website Speed Increases All Around

The Internet is about to get even faster. No, not because of ISPs. We’ll be seeing websites load faster than ever before, thanks to the ability to generate and serve up static sites from a CDN.

Businesses will start realizing that they can create a better experience with pre-rendered websites instead of relying on dozens of database calls per page.

When it comes to UX design trends in 2021, this one is going to shape the way everyone experiences the Internet, even if they don’t directly know it.

#7. More Diverse User Research

User research is at the absolute core of quality UX design. Knowing as much as possible about target users greatly informs our design process. As data and analytics continue to mature, so will user research.

UX design agencies will put a greater emphasis on diversity in research recruitment. This will enable UX research studies to more closely model the real world.

This trend may not be flashy or even visible to most people, but increased user research and accessibility testing will go far in informing UX design.

#6. Even More Accessibility Testing

Learning how to craft excellent user experiences for those who need greater accessibility has come a long way, but it’s about to go further. Deeper accessibility research will give way to voice interfaces and other tools that allow disabled people to use the tools and apps that they need.

Accessibility research and testing will allow UX designers to go beyond screen readers and develop unique experiences catered to the person’s specific needs. More SaaS tools will emerge that make accessiblity testing easier to facilitate.

We’ll be looking forward to watching this trend take shape right alongside even more accessibility research.

#5. The Superapp Takeover

Most apps have a specific focus, right? Well, not anymore. A superapp is an app that is your one-stop-shop for everything you need. This trend has been in full force in much of Asia, and we anticipate it’s going to gain prevalence in the West.

There’s plenty of financial incentive to building one app to rule them all, and it’s going to need an excellent user experience.

Besides this, every app is a community. Brands will work to support their communities by introducing features that encourage and facilitate in-app interactions.

#4. Next-Level Data Visualization

Being able to visualize data is the key to gaining insights from it. While data visualization has usually been left to data scientists, we believe UX designers are going to start dipping their toes in how data is presented. These brave UX designers will explore how data can be visualized in the most pleasing way possible.

UX designers will put a greater emphasis on finding the right visualization to tell a story. Or defining the right animation to convey an idea. This is an exciting space as the web will become a lot more dynamic and interesting.

#3. Augmented Reality Begins to Shine

We know, augmented reality has been teasing us for years. Is 2021 the year it really shows us what it can do? Facebook and Apple are saying yes. Facebook will be releasing their first AR headset in 2021.

We predict 2021 will be the year that enterprises start to take AR more seriously.

For example, we're starting to exciting use cases in the healthcare space. AR apps are emerging that help surgeons make better surgical decisions.

AR is also being used to create more immersive employee onboarding and training experiences.

#2. Cross-Platform Apps Go Mainstream

We’ve certainly been seeing a rise in cross-platform apps, but we anticipate it’s about to get much, much bigger. People want to use their favorite app on whatever device they want, including their laptops.

UX designers are going to have their hands full designing a spectacular experience that transcends what device the user is on.

There will be an even greater emphasis on design systems and design operations. These frameworks will help brands organize vast and growing UI and UX design libraries.

#1. Transparent Data Security and Privacy

We saw this trend grow in 2020, and we're happy to say that it’s not going to stop. Your average consumer is starting to care more about their data and privacy.

UX designers will become advocates for easy-to-understand privacy policies, terms of service and security options. They will advocate for giving users more control about how private information is used.

The companies that thrive will be those that take consumer data and privacy seriously.

With Pulp is a premium UX design agency that caters to crafting unique and exciting experiences. We’ve helped our past clients provide more value to their customers, and we can do the same for you. Contact us for your UX design needs today.