Each year, new trends make their way onto the design scene. Some of which are old trends that have been developed, but others are brand spanking new. The design industry is constantly evolving, so how you explore the latest trends and collaborate with the present-day tools says a lot about you as a designer.

With 2020 fast approaching, it’s time to look ahead at what might shape the UI landscape in 2020 and beyond. This article looks to uncover the latest trends and talking-points that today’s designers have to look forward to. I’ve compiled a list of the top trends and explained the movement behind them.

Illustration and Animated Graphics

High-Readability-Card-Design

After a hugely successful year for micro-animation, there’s no surprise that we’ll see more of this UI trend in 2020. We’ve reached a point in time where good animation and interaction are expected, meaning the tools available are becoming increasingly more advanced.

There’s no denying that micro-interactions are aesthetically pleasing, but these tiny fluid-like animations evoke emotions and connect users in a seamless; picture perfect way. Micro-interactions are everywhere, and often taken for granted. A good example of this is the like button on Facebook, which is used by millions of people every day but goes fairly unnoticed when it comes to being a UI design tool.

We are seeing it more and more, brands using micro-animation and interaction to boost user experience. Such examples of forward-thinking UI give websites or mobile apps their own unique identity. Thus, making them more unique and memorable.

AI Technology

The next talking-point for 2020 is the voice, and by that, I’m referring to the smart speaker industry. The number of smart speakers in use is set to rise from 100 million to 200 million by 2020, reaching 225 million by 2022.

What is AI?

Statistics show that AI technology will continue to strive towards perfection, and according to Alphametic, by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches. Chatbots and communicating interfaces have significantly improved, and bots are fast becoming one of the most popular new trends among UI design. Consumers are using their Google Home and Alexa devices for basic functions such as checking the weather and playing music.

But it’s not just the smart speaker industry that will continue to evolve and force boundaries, a large proportion of mobile apps have started using voice communication, following in footsteps of Apple’s renowned virtual assistant – Siri.

Colors, gradients and the overlapping effect

According to Websitehostingrating.com, digital media is expected to generate 51%, or over $240 billion dollars, of all ad money spent globally in 2019. Without a doubt, the advertising industry is one of the largest industries to fuel the economy. The rise in digital media and digital advertising will continue to grow.

But what does that mean for UI?

A huge chunk of advertising and digital media campaigns are using color gradients and a technique known as the overlapping effect. Overlapping is a technique which creates a sense of space for a more structured interface. Modern displays such as Apple’s Retina Display produces more advanced color production than previously seen, which has encouraged color gradation to make a come back throughout 2019.

Gradients are perfect for adding depth and realism in a similar way to how we see things in real life. We’re already seeing them used in illustrations, UI design, and text. If you’re familiar with Spotify, you’ll know what I mean when I say that their color gradients are on point. Much as the rise with typography-based designs which started in 2018, CareerFoundry predicts that by 2020, we will see a lot more of bold colors and gradients mixed with transparency.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality is the fastest growing UI design trend on this list. After hitting the mainstream in 2016, sales of Virtual Reality devices have since taken off. After its renowned collaboration with PlayStation, VR now has numerous possibilities for use in marketing and other industries. In fact, in years to come, we could see Virtual Reality used for educational classes, conference calls and product demonstrations. Instances like these that require action from a distance could hugely benefit from Virtual Reality.

How Does Virtual-Reality Work – The VR Experience !!

So, can we expect more of the same in 2020?

Well, we’re only a quarter of the way through 2019 and it’s already possible to attend events, concerts and festivals. By 2020, it’s predicted that VR will continue to improve, leaving communication tools such as Skype and WhatsApp quaking in their boots. What started off as a gaming phenomenon has already begun changing the lives of marketers and businessmen around the globe. And it looks set to continue.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Designers around the world are going beyond screen-only interfaces to include physical interactions. And we’re already seeing the likes of Google and Apple introduce their own AR development platforms that blend both physical and digital worlds. Looking ahead at 2020, and it feels like UI designers are putting emphasis on real-world interactions.

In a similar way that Virtual Reality has made an impact on the design industry, Augmented Reality has followed suit. As devices become more powerful and capable of creating higher quality visuals, the understanding of how humans can interact within virtual environments will also evolve. In theory, Virtual Reality will allow students to practice anything from construction to surgery, while the augmented environments will allow information to be passed to the student in real time. Augmented Reality is a new way of thinking.

In 2019 and beyond, UI designers will strive to find the right balance between VR and AR. As a result, we can expect to see some groundbreaking designs hitting our screens. Watch this space!

And That’s a Wrap!

2020 is set to be another exciting year for UI design trends. With new brands looking for ways to stand out, and prolific brands such as Google using new technology to optimise their existing products, it looks set that UI design will continue to excite in 2020.

These are just a few predictions for the UI design trends we’ll see in 2020. Have your own predictions? Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below.

The following two tabs change content below.

Prince Pal

UI UX Consultant Helping Digital Startups & Stakeholders Grow Their Business at Think 360 Studio
For 15+ years I have designed, developed and marketed websites/apps startups in New York, California, Florida and in India. Always focused on great User Interface is key.

Latest posts by Prince Pal (see all)