21 UI/UX Design Trends to Look for in 2023

As the world of technology continues to evolve, it’s important for designers to stay up-to-date on the latest UI/UX design trends. In this article, we’ll be discussing 21 design trends to look out for in 2023 that pertain specifically to the development of user interface and user experience design projects.

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But first – as a quick refresher – let’s define UI/UX design. UI, or user interface, design refers to the way a product or service is presented to the user. This includes the layout, buttons, and overall appearance of the product. UX, or user experience, design refers to the way the user interacts with the product or service. Good UI/UX design aims to create a seamless and enjoyable experience for the user.

Got that? Good. Now let’s move on to our list!

Trend #1: Minimalism

clean minimal workspace

Minimalism has been a popular trend in design for several years now, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Minimalism in design means using simple and straightforward elements, such as flat design and negative space. The goal of minimalism is to create a clean and uncluttered look that is easy for the user to navigate.

One benefit of minimalism is that it can help to improve the user’s focus and attention. With fewer distractions, the user is able to easily absorb and process the information presented to them. Minimalism can also help to create a more cohesive and consistent brand aesthetic.

Trend #2: Personalization

Personalization is another trend that is gaining traction in the world of UI/UX design. Personalization refers to the customization of a product or service based on the individual user. This can include personalized recommendations, custom profiles, and personalized notifications.

This trend can greatly enhance the user experience by making the product or service feel more tailored to the individual user’s needs and preferences. It can also help to create a sense of connection and engagement between the user and the product.

Trend #3: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are revolutionizing the way we interact with technology. In the world of UI/UX design, AI and machine learning can be used to create more intuitive and efficient user experiences.

For example, chatbots and virtual assistants can use AI to understand and respond to user requests in a more natural way. Predictive analytics can help to surface relevant content and recommendations to the user.

AI and machine learning can help to improve the user experience by making it easier and more convenient for the user to access the information and functionality they need.

Trend #4: Voice User Interface (VUI) Design

Voice user interface (VUI) design refers to the design of voice-enabled products and services, such as voice assistants and voice-enabled devices. VUI design requires a different approach than traditional graphical user interface (GUI) design, as the user is interacting with the product or service solely through voice commands.

VUI design can greatly improve the user experience by making it more natural and convenient for the user to interact with the product or service. It can also be particularly useful for users with disabilities or for tasks that are difficult to complete using a GUI.

Trend #5: Micro-interactions

Micro-interactions are small, specific interactions that a user has with a product or service. Examples of micro-interactions include a “like” button on social media, a progress bar, or a notification sound.

These small interactions serve as a way to provide feedback and guidance to the user as they interact with the product or service and serve to enhance the UX by making it more engaging and interactive.

Trend #6: Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

woman wearing a VR virtual reality headset and smiling

The use of AR and VR in design is expected to continue to grow in 2023. This could include the use of AR and VR for immersive experiences, such as product demonstrations and virtual tours, as well as the integration of AR technology into everyday apps and websites.

This technology has the potential to revolutionize user experiences by allowing users to interact with products and services in a more immersive and realistic way. For example, AR could be used to enable virtual try-ons for clothing or furniture shopping. It could also be used to create interactive online tutorials and learning materials.

Trend #7: Animation

Animation is becoming increasingly popular in UI/UX design as a way to add visual interest and engagement. Animation can be used for everything from simple transitions between pages to more complex interactive elements.

This has the potential to add life and energy to an interface, making it more visually appealing and enjoyable for the user. It can also be used to provide guidance during interactions so site visitors can interact with your content more intuitively.

Trend #8: Retro and Nostalgic Designs 

Everything 90s and Y2K is back in fashion, and often playing into this nostalgia can have a powerful effect on user engagement. Retro and nostalgic design elements can help create a more enjoyable experience, as well as evoke an emotional response from users. This could include using colors, fonts, or illustrations that are reminiscent of the past. 

Trend #9: Human-Centered Design

Human-centered design is an approach to design that focuses on creating products and services with the user in mind. The goal is to create designs that are intuitive, efficient, and enjoyable for the user.

This approach puts the user at the center of the design process by focusing on understanding their needs, preferences, and behaviors. Human-centered design can help to ensure that the user experience is as intuitive and enjoyable as possible.

Trend #10: Anti-Modes

Anti-modes can help users customize their experience as well as opt for conventionally non-traditional modes as default. Most commonly, dark mode is increasingly the standard rather than light.

Dark mode is a design element that uses dark colors and contrasts to create a more visually appealing user experience. It can be used for everything from websites and applications to operating systems.

This could also include the ability to pause or turn off certain features, such as notifications or ads, while still being able to access the product.

Trend #11: Sustainable Design

wet leaves on a tree

Sustainable design is an increasingly important aspect of UX and UI design. Sustainable design aims to reduce the environmental impact of a product or service by minimizing resource use, waste generation, and emissions.

This approach can help designers create products and services that are both effective and efficient while also being socially responsible. Sustainable design principles can be applied to everything from product materials and packaging to the energy efficiency of web applications.

Trend #12: User-Generated Content

Allowing users to contribute their own content, such as reviews and ratings, is expected to continue to be a popular trend in the coming year. This can help build a sense of community and engagement with a brand or product.

User-generated content can also be used to improve the user experience by providing helpful and honest feedback about products or services. This feedback can then be used to refine the product or service, resulting in a better overall user experience.

Trend #13: Accessibility

As the importance of accessibility in design becomes more widely recognized, designing for users with disabilities will continue to become the standard. This could include the use of alternative text for images, closed captions for video content, and the use of clear and concise language to make content more easily understandable.

Designing for accessibility is an important part of creating a user experience that works for everyone. It can help to ensure that the product or service is usable by as many people as possible, regardless of their abilities.

Trend #14: Conversational Interfaces

three men gathered on the street having a conversation

Conversational interfaces are becoming increasingly popular in UX/UI design. These 

interfaces allow users to interact with an application or website through natural language, making it more intuitive to use.

This approach can help reduce the amount of time it takes for a user to complete a task and make the user experience more enjoyable. The rise of conversational interfaces as a trend is largely fueled by the emergence of voice-based technology. 

Trend #15: UX Research Investments

Companies are investing more and more into understanding user needs and behaviors, which can help inform their design decisions. This could include conducting surveys or interviews with users to get feedback on the current product, or running usability tests to see how people interact with the product.

Investing in UX research can help to create a better user experience, as designers can make more informed decisions based on data and feedback.

Trend #16: Mobile-First, Always

Mobile-first design has been a popular trend in UX/UI design for years, and it’s only becoming more important. Mobile devices are increasingly being used as the primary device for web access, so having a mobile-friendly version of your website or application is essential.

This means designing with the smaller screen size of mobile devices in mind, as well as considering the different ways a user might interact with an application on their device. Mobile-first design ensures mobile users have a pleasant user experience.

Trend #17: Gamification

black and white image of a person holding a game controller

Gamification can help to engage users and make interacting with your content more enjoyable as it incentivizes their interactions This might include adding progress bars or achievements for completing tasks, giving rewards for certain actions, or using a points system to encourage users to interact with the product.

These techniques can be used to increase user engagement and increase overall satisfaction with your website, product, or service.

Trend #18: Asynchronous Communication

Asynchronous communication describes a type of communication that allows users to interact with an application without needing to be logged into it at the same time. This can make for a smoother user experience, as users can still access and interact with the product even if they are offline. It also allows for more flexibility, as users can respond to messages on their own at a time that makes sense for them individually.

Overall, asynchronous communication is expected to become even more popular in the coming year, as it can help make applications or services more user-friendly and convenient. 

Trend #19: Custom Illustrations and Iconography

Custom illustrations and iconography are trendy as well because they can help to make a product more visually appealing and engaging. This could include custom illustrations for the user interface or icons to represent different actions or features within an application. This can also help create a more consistent style throughout the product, which can improve the overall user experience.

Custom illustrations and icons can help to create a more unique and engaging user experience, which is why this trend is expected to continue in the coming year.

Trend #20: Motion Design

Motion design is still another UX/UI design trend worth noting, as it can help to make an application or website feel more alive. This could include things like animation or transitions when users interact with the product, as well as subtle movements throughout the interface.

Motion design can help to create a smoother user experience and make the product more engaging and interesting to use. It can also help create a consistent style throughout the product, which is important for creating an optimal user experience.

Trend #21: Data Visualization

stock graphs in red

Data visualization is a trend that is expected to continue in the coming year, as it can help to make complex data more accessible and easier to understand. This could include visuals such as graphs or charts that help users quickly understand large amounts of data within an interface.

Plus it can be used in many different ways, from helping users compare different products to helping them track their progress or performance. 

Trend #22: Off-White Color Schemes

Off-white color schemes can help to create a more relaxed and calming atmosphere. This is especially important for products that are targeted at people who need to relax or de-stress, such as meditation apps.

Avoiding bright white colors can also help to create a more aesthetically pleasing and inviting atmosphere that’s just generally easier on the eyes.

Which UI/UX Design Trends Will You Put to Work in 2023?

Trends in UX/UI design are constantly evolving, and new trends are emerging all the time. By staying up-to-date with these trends, designers can create better user experiences for their users.

By following the UX/UI design trends mentioned above, you can help ensure that your product or service keeps up with the latest standards and leaves users walking away from their interactions with your product or service feeling satisfied. From accessibility to gamification, these trends can help you create an enjoyable experience for your users.

Good luck!