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Top 5 embedded UI/UX trends of 2021, according to industry experts | Crank Software

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In today’s digital world where information is aplenty and attention spans are limited, companies are constantly looking for new ways to engage with consumers. From the first interaction to the remainder of the customer journey, rich graphical user interfaces (UI), and interactive user experiences (UX) play a critical role in shaping each step.

While this may seem like a relatively new concept, it's just the beginning. Six industry experts were asked their opinion on the top embedded UI/UX trends and this is what they said.


Trend 1

Voice control/hands-free entertainment and assistance will continue to takeover the tech world

Patricio Quiroz, Digital Marketer, Code Authority

“Companies around the globe have caught onto the UX design trends of voice control for ease of access.”

In recent years, both Amazon and Google specifically have used UX design to change the way consumers interact with their devices in terms of hands-free entertainment and assistance. 

“Not only are these devices used for entertainment purposes, but users can also adopt them as a smart home hub. From turning on lights within the home to creating grocery lists and beyond, users can pair their voice device with other smart technologies such as light bulbs and plugs.”

“Whether utilizing the devices for entertainment purposes or as home assistance, both Amazon Echo and Google Home offer unique UX design that fulfill the needs and desires of the consumer.”

While voice control has transformed the way that consumers behave in their everyday lives, the industry will need designers to go beyond the basic voice applications seen today and enter undiscovered gaps

Trend 2

Low-contrast gradients

Jacob Cass, Brand Designer, JUST Creative

“2018 started this trend with blue and purple gradients being extremely popular. 2019 softened the shades a bit, the same continued in 2020, and in 2021, it is expected that even lower contrast in gradients will rule the roost.

Other than just adding a dash of color to your design, gradients with less contrasting colors can also guide user action if used in the right way.

While it is a trend that is fairly easy to incorporate in your UI design, a lot of complementary factors need to be considered.

Instead of just mixing any two colors, UI/UX design experts now take the color wheel much more seriously. Complementary colors, soft transitions, and limited (two or three) color stops are gaining ground.”

Read Jacob's full article here.

 Gradients are a key feature in Storyboard 7.0


Trend 3

AR/VR design will show no signs of slowing down

Beck Beach, Lead UX Designer, Mom Beach LLC

“A top UX trend is AR/VR (augmented reality/virtual reality) design. It's impactful because AR/VR is getting more and more popular. We need to make it user-friendly so that it’s less difficult to navigate 3D spaces. VR games are becoming super popular and continue to increase in sales every year. If you are a good user experience designer and get involved with AR/VR then you can expect lots of jobs available to you. It's an excellent industry to get into.”

In agreeance with Beach, is Marti Romances, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Territory Studio.

“I think with where things are moving towards, augmented and mixed reality in our everyday lives is maybe one of the most exciting things I can think of when thinking of new beneficial technologies. I would say, next level, is then to talk about Elon's Neuralink!”

The recent growth in sales, as well as the wide window of opportunity in this industry, presents AR/VR as a promising career for embedded UI/UX designers.

Trend 4

Wearables for health

Bernard Marr, Forbes

“Understandably, features designed to help us monitor our health and stay safe will remain a top priority for developers of wearable technology during 2021. Many smart watchmakers are now adding blood oxygen (Sp02) sensors to their devices as standard, ECG monitors and other sensors that provide both warnings that something may be wrong with us, as well as the capability to analyze data over a time period and make suggestions about how we might improve our health.”

Read Bernard's full article here, and register for our upcoming webinar on wearable application development:

Person using smartwatch


Trend 5

Speed and simplicity are key

Daniel Levine, Trends Expert and Keynote Speaker, The Avant-Guide Institute

“The biggest trend in UI/UX is all about speed and simplicity. The world seems to be moving faster and, as a result, consumers are looking to do business with companies that make their lives easier. Brands across the industrial spectrum, both online and off, are gaining loyalty by offering quick, easy, and effective experiences that let them take care of business and move on with their lives.”

As the consumers’ everyday gets busier, use it as an opportunity to build a lasting and loyal relationship by showing them how you can help navigate the chaos.

It's no secret that it is becoming more difficult to not only capture a consumer’s attention but it’s even harder to continue to keep them captivated throughout their journey. Considering the above tips in your UI design should allow you to deliver a smooth, standout experience to consumers, that matches the smart experience they are expecting.

With the rapid design import and iteration technology of Crank Storyboard, designers and developers can align the user experience created in Photoshop and Sketch documents with the backend application, ensuring the end product matches the UI/UX intent.

Whether by eliminating redundant activities with the sound of their voice, having rich and sophisticated experiences, using a beautiful wearable app, experimenting with AR/VR, and other creative additions in between, these top embedded UI/UX trends are bound to impact consumers worldwide in a positive, engaging way.