UI Design Trends for 2024
UX Design Trends for 2024
To constantly innovate and improve the user interface (UI), our designers are always looking ahead. As we anticipate what’s to come in 2024, though, the trends we’re expecting signal a vibe shift in digital design. The common theme? More is more. UI and graphic design are moving away from the minimalism that defined the 2010s and venturing into maximalism’s fearless creative expression. We spend so much of our time staring at screens that it’s only natural to crave a more vibrant, personality-driven experience.
When it comes to the user experience (UX), we’ll see the line between design and development blurring even more this year. New technologies are making their way into our daily lives, and the products and devices we use will shape how designers create digital experiences.
Read on to see what’s in store for UI/UX design in 2024.
We’re now in an age of retro revival, guided by Gen Z’s uncanny ability to modernize 20th-century influences. While Y2K is a fashion era most Millennials want to forget, digital natives are resurfacing and redefining the aesthetic. 1990s grunge, 1980s new wave, and 1970s disco are also in the mix, lending themselves to collage-like graphics, bright color palettes, and vintage typefaces.
Referential design blends the nostalgia of years past with today’s UI design to create experiences that feel both familiar and fresh. When Snap came to Big Human looking to revamp its in-feed content templates, our landscape analysis brought us straight to referential design. The result? 23 new templates in five styles that help viewers attach visual themes to the content they consume.
Now that personalization (the method of tailoring the user experience to an individual’s preferences and needs) has cemented itself as a best practice in UX design, there’s more room for personification in UI design. In literature, personification means giving human attributes to non-human objects to help readers connect to the story. A world-building device that effectively translates to the screen, personification in the digital world means indexing on a company’s identity and personality to give platforms and products a human touch.
Truth be told, it’s the baseline of UI design, but 2024 will put artistic representation front and center. Colors, icons, graphics, illustrations, and even layouts and whitespace — there isn’t a visual element that won’t exude a brand’s essence. Design’s answer to a posh and elegant online persona may be sleek buttons, luxe textures, and Art Deco-inspired typefaces.
If design is a vehicle for content, enriching the narratives that compel a brand’s audience to take action, then typography is the driver. When typefaces are more emotive and expressive, we’re more likely to remember the information we’re reading — so why not give them the attention they deserve?
While there’s still an emphasis on accessibility and legibility, sans-serifs are getting bigger and bolder while serifs are going all-in on scripts and italics — and there’s nothing more eye-catching than the two juxtaposed on a full-screen hero banner. We’ll also see bubbled, mixed-weight, and chrome-glazed lettering.
2024 is about making the nonphysical feel tangible, with designers taking cues from augmented and virtual reality (more on that below). They’re adding realism to the digital experience with three-dimensional elements and iridescent glowing effects that have an airbrushed, glass-like finish. And because you never want to overwhelm the user, strong visuals will be balanced by simple, rounded geometric shapes, most notably in buttons and cards.
Color is one of the first things a user notices, and with UI designs trending toward sensory stimulation, vibrant hues are a straightforward way to draw attention to different areas on an app or website. More specifically, echoing referential design, 1980s neon is making a comeback. In turn, gradients, though still in vogue, are getting a much-needed refresh with more vivid shades.
Along with machine learning, AI will take personalization a giant leap further by maximizing user data (in-app preferences, search histories, and cross-platform web activity) to generate hyper-customized, more inclusive digital journeys. Take Pinterest, for example: AI has long been a part of the virtual mood board, but the platform recently improved its search diversity by integrating a body type filter into its tech suite, allowing users to search and shop for clothing based on their body types. With FigJam AI currently in beta, designers might even use some AI tools (or Big Human’s Literally Anything) to generate user interfaces, too.
Augmented reality and virtual reality have been around for some time, but the novelty of cyberworlds and at-your-fingertips gaming is taking a backseat to more practical applications. We’ve already seen these technologies innovate the online shopping experience, but with spatial computers like the Apple Vision Pro entering the market in 2024, AR and VR will bring us closer to the mixed realities we’ve only seen in movies (so far). We’re moving closer to a hybrid world, so UX designers will be tasked with transporting the digital into the physical. As they focus on making feature-rich user experiences more accessible, intuitive, and efficient, we’re also predicting skeuomorphic design will rebound, helping users acclimate to their new digital devices.
When you pair well-composed narratives with trigger-based animations and immersive scrolling, you get the digital equivalent of a pop-up picture book. Propelled by triggers (clicking, scrolling, hovering, dragging, etc.), these interactive elements use graphics, photos, videos, and sound to keep readers engaged on content-dense websites and apps.
Trigger-based animations and immersive scrolling add depth to on-screen storytelling; they direct a user’s attention to the most important information, improve memorability with visual reinforcement, and make content more engaging overall. Way back in 2019, Big Human built a digital experience for Tablet Mag’s “100 Most Jewish Foods.” The functionalities spun a dynamic narrative that allowed users to digest all of the information without overwhelming them.
In 2024, no part of an app or website will be treated as secondary; even the smallest elements will be carefully crafted for interactivity. Enter microinteractions — subtle UI animations designed to go unnoticed yet give the user experience a little liveliness. Think of them as visual indicators and intuitive guides tied to a single task like refreshing a page or clearing a status message, providing users with immediate reactions to their on-page activity. Mini but mighty (and often accompanied by haptic feedback), microinteractions make a digital product more inviting and familiar.
Going beyond responsive design, cross-platform synchronization is the process of making products and experiences work seamlessly across various screen sizes, devices, web browsers, and operating systems. There are multiple ways we can connect to Netflix (TVs, phones, and computers) but no matter the platform, the experience is the same, even down to our personal settings.
iOS or Android, Macbook or Surface Pro — these systems and devices each have their own tech specs, usability criteria, and design considerations, so it’s a UX designer’s job to take native functionalities and ensure an app or website’s experience can be fluidly recreated and serve as many users as possible.
Interested in revamping your web or app designs in 2024? Send us a message.