2024's UI Design Trends

Ditch flat design for 3D fun, personalized data stories, and chatty interfaces! This blog explores 7 hot UI trends that'll redefine user interaction in 2024: 3D objects, dynamic features, VR/AR, light & dark mode choices, bite-sized content grids, and more! Buckle up, UI enthusiasts, and dive into the future of design!

Draftnet Media

February 8, 2024

Had enough of the plain, boring designs? Want to try something exciting? Get set to explore the world of 3D fun,stories that fit you perfectly, and interfaces you can talk to! Get ready, UI fans, because we're about to dive into the cool new stuff that's changing how we use computers & web!!

But wait, before you scroll down, have you ever wondered why that perfectly-designed button on your favorite app feels... soulless?

​​Summary: Top 7 UI Trends for 2024

  1. 3D Takes Center Stage: Move beyond flat design with interactive 3D objects for depth and playfulness.
  2. Feature Showcasing Redefined: Engage users with dynamic demos, micro-animations, and personalized content.
  3. VR & AR: Beyond the Hype: Seamlessly integrate UI elements into immersive VR/AR experiences.
  4. Dark Mode Dominates (But Light Makes a Comeback): Offer system-based themes for user preference and accessibility.
  5. Bento Grids: Bite-Sized Content Perfection: Organize content into modular sections for easy scanning and digestion.
  6. Skeuomorphism with a Modern Twist: Use subtle skeuomorphic elements for familiarity in complex applications.
  7. Beyond Borders: Chat-based Interactions & Spatial Design: Embrace AI-powered chatbots and spatial design for natural and intuitive interactions.

In 2024, UI design goes beyond just getting every pixel perfect. It's all about making experiences that really grab you, understand what you want, and tell cool stories with numbers and info.

So, ditch the design rulebook and join us as we unveil the top 7 UI trends that will redefine user interaction in 2024:

1. 3D Takes Center Stage: Move over, flat design! We're entering the era of interactive 3D objects that add depth, dimension, and playfulness to interfaces. Imagine rotating a product in your shopping cart or manipulating data points in a 3D visualization – that's the power of this trend. In 3D specifically we are looking forward to Minimalist with Depth, Soft & Playful, Bold & Experimental trends to take over this year, compared to others. Here are some website which will help you to research more on this topics:  

Use it strategically to enhance specific functionalities, tell stories, and create emotional connections with users

3D element website example
3D element website example

2. Feature Showcasing Redefined: Landing pages are no longer static billboards. In 2024, expect to see dynamic feature showcases that highlight key functionalities through interactive demos, micro-animations, and personalised content based on user preferences.
For eg: let’s assume you own a financial service company and now you are showcasing your product to the users, as a first time user doesn't know how to use it, you need to explain users the core functionality and clear many doubts. Now imagine showing the same with interactive demos, for each use case. This saves your time plus has additional benefits that companies love.
Listed below: 

  • Higher Conversion Rates
  • Reduced Support Costs
  • Improved Brand Perception
  • Data-Driven Optimization

With this users also love because they get benefits like Engagement & Interactivity in the website, Personalized & Relevant information in user finger tips, Time-Saving & Efficient for users, Visually Appealing & Memorable. 

Example of feauture showcasing on first go
Example of feauture showcasing on first go

3. VR & AR: Beyond the Hype: Virtual and augmented reality are no longer just futuristic concepts. Expect to see UI elements seamlessly integrated into VR/AR experiences, blurring the lines between the digital and physical world. Imagine configuring furniture in your living room virtually before buying it, or receiving walking directions overlaid on your real-world view. Few necessary things you should remember while designing this UI. The major will be a mindset shift. As a newbie or pro designer we intend to design on a flat surface, now with this it can be challenging to design a UI to “Think spatially, not flat” plus with this we need to add more human natural interaction and how our UI will react to it with focusing on the surroundings of a user.
Few principal you need to follow: 

  • Clarity and focus: Keep interfaces simple and uncluttered to avoid overwhelming users in immersive environments. Prioritise essential information and minimise distractions.
  • Hierarchy and depth: Use visual cues like size, colour, and layering to establish hierarchy and guide users through complex information.
  • Feedback and affordance: Provide clear and timely feedback for user actions. Design elements that naturally suggest their functionality through visual cues and interactions.
  • Accessibility and inclusivity: Consider diverse user needs and physical limitations. Design for different eye sight capabilities, hand sizes, and interaction styles.
AR/VR experience headset
AR/VR experience

4. Dark Mode Dominates (But Light Makes a Comeback): The love for dark mode continues, but with a twist. While dark themes offer comfort and accessibility, expect to see a resurgence of light themes with warmer color palettes and improved contrast for better readability. The key is to offer system-based themes that automatically adjust based on user preference and device settings.
As from user perspective they like it because: 

  • Eye Strain: While dark mode initially gained popularity for reducing eye strain in low-light environments, some users find extended use of dark interfaces fatiguing in well-lit spaces. Light mode offers better contrast and can feel more natural in brighter settings.
  • Accessibility: Users with certain visual impairments can benefit from increased contrast and brightness offered by light mode.
  • Content Consumption: Reading text-heavy content on dark backgrounds can be challenging for some users. Light mode enhances readability for tasks like browsing articles or reading emails.
  • Preference: Ultimately, user preference plays a key role. Some users simply find light mode more aesthetically pleasing and easier on their eyes.

And from the designers perspective: 

  • Making Interfaces Easy for Everyone: Designers and developers work hard to make sure everyone can use their designs. Light mode is usually the first choice because it follows rules of UX/UI design principle that make it easier for everyone to see and use.
  • Clearer Content: Some things, like charts and pictures, can look faded in dark mode. Light mode makes sure everything is bright and easy to see.
  • Keeping Things Clear: Light backgrounds help make sure you notice the important stuff, which is really useful for certain designs.
  • Sticking to the Brand: Some brands have logos and designs that work best with light backgrounds, so using light mode keeps everything looking consistent.
 light & Dark mode mobile designs
Difference of light & Dark mode

5. Bento Grids: Bite-Sized Content Perfection: Gone are the days of overwhelming, information-dense layouts. 2024 embraces the Bento Grid concept, where content is organized into modular, bite-sized sections, making it easier for users to scan and digest information. Think of it as a well-packed bento box, where each compartment holds a delicious (and visually appealing) piece of information.
As per designer perspective we can see the that help us to do 

  • Flexibility & Organization: The modular nature of the bento layout allows designers to easily organize and re-arrange content without compromising the overall structure. This makes it adaptable to various content types and purposes.
  • Responsive Design: Bento layouts translate well across different screen sizes and devices, making them ideal for responsive design principles. Each section can adapt and adjust to ensure optimal viewing experiences on any device.
  • Improved Collaboration & Handoff: The clear visual structure of the bento layout facilitates communication and collaboration between designers and developers, making handoff and implementation smoother.
  • Trendy & Modern: The bento layout reflects current design trends towards minimalism, grid layouts, and user-centric design, making it a popular choice for designers seeking to create modern and visually appealing interfaces.
Bento layout in web design
Bento layout in website

6. Skeuomorphism with a Modern Twist: Remember those realistic-looking buttons in early iOS versions? Skeuomorphism is making a comeback, but with a modern twist. Expect to see subtle skeuomorphic elements used to add familiarity and comfort to new interfaces, especially in complex applications. Imagine a music app with a subtly textured "play" button, reminiscent of a physical record player.

7. Beyond Borders: Chat-based Interactions & Spatial Design: As AI-powered tools become more sophisticated, expect to see chat-based interactions taking center stage. Imagine interacting with an intelligent assistant through a conversational interface, asking questions and receiving personalized recommendations. Additionally, spatial design principles will influence UI, creating a sense of depth and context within interfaces, making them feel more natural and intuitive.

Remember, these trends are just the tip of the iceberg. The future of UI design is all about personalization, accessibility, and creating meaningful connections with users. So, unleash your creativity, experiment with these trends, and be part of the UI revolution!

What UI trends are you most excited about? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

P.S. Don't forget to share this blog with your fellow design enthusiasts!

I know you will have question regarding this, here's the list of common questions we have also had

Q. How can I incorporate 3D elements into my designs without going overboard?

Ans. Focus on strategic use for specific functionalities or storytelling. Start subtle, with minimalist or playful styles depending on your project. Explore tools like Spline and Blender to get comfortable with 3D design.

Q. What are the biggest challenges of designing for VR/AR experiences?

Ans. Shifting your mindset from flat surfaces to spatial thinking is crucial. Prioritize clarity, hierarchy, and feedback in your UI elements. Remember accessibility and inclusivity for diverse users and physical limitations.

Q.When should I use light mode over dark mode, and vice versa?

Ans. Consider both user preference and content type. Light mode offers better contrast for reading text-heavy content, while dark mode reduces eye strain in low-light environments. Ultimately, offer system-based themes for user choice and accessibility.

Q. How can I use the Bento Grid effectively in my designs

Ans. Embrace its flexibility for organizing and rearranging content across devices. Utilize its clear visual structure for smoother collaboration with developers. Remember, it's a trendy and modern choice for minimalist and user-centric design.

Q. How can I ensure my designs are accessible for users with disabilities?

Ans. Accessibility should be baked into your design process from the start. Follow WCAG guidelines for color contrast, keyboard navigation, and alternative text descriptions. Test your designs with assistive technologies and involve users with disabilities in the testing process.

Q. When is it appropriate to use skeuomorphic elements in a modern UI?

Ans. Use skeuomorphism sparingly and subtly to add familiarity and comfort, especially in complex applications. Avoid overly realistic elements that might seem outdated or clash with the overall design style. Prioritize user-friendliness and clarity over purely mimicking physical objects.

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