Product Design Trends for 2022
2022 product design trends focus on human-centered innovation, sustainable design, experimental fonts, minimalism, and immersive animations. We’re going to explore each of these and more in greater detail to inspire your next design project.
Skeuomorphism was one of last year’s biggest design trends. Skeuomorphic design describes the technique of making UIs look like real-world objects. The most common examples are the toggles, switches, and dials we see in many user interfaces.
Designers also got more personal in 2021, allowing users to customize their experience with colors, sounds, and layouts–a feature we see in Google’s Material Design 3 with Dynamic Color.
UXPin’s code-based design tool continues to evolve, with Auto-Layout and Storybook for Merge product releases in 2021. Why not make code-based design your 2022 trend with a free 14-day trial?
13 Inspiring Product Design Trends for 2022
There are so many unique, quirky, and engaging graphic design trends this year that we battled to narrow them down. Here are our top 13 product design trends for 2022.
1) Code-Based Design
As proud code-based evangelists, we’re excited to see more organizations making the switch to code-based design tools like UXPin. 2022 is a particularly exciting year for UXPin users with our Merge-MUI integration.
Designers can use MUI’s React UI library (inspired by Material Design) to build fully functioning prototypes in UXPin. Designing with production-ready components not only improves usability testing but eliminates product drift and streamlines design handoffs.
Try this revolutionary code-based technology for free with UXPin’s 14-day trial.
2) Material Design 3
With the release of Material Design 3, Google’s flagship UI library continues to be the preferred choice for many product designers. The comprehensive and fully customizable UI kit allows designers to quickly design, prototype, and scale products.
Material Design 3 comes with three new features:
- Dynamic Color is a perfect example of how brands are giving more control to users with user-generated color schemes through wallpaper selection and other customization settings.
- Google released UI design patterns for foldable mobile devices, including postures, reachability, hinge, and screen divider components.
- Design tokens allow designers to create CSS variables for repeated styles like color, typefaces, measurements, and more.
Typography is crucial for creating on-brand UI design and delighting customers with unique experiences, but it can also adversely impact usability.
As noted by leading digital asset provider Envato, “global businesses, including Uber, Santander, and Badoo, have moved towards simpler, friendlier brand identities with type that reflects a more inclusive aesthetic.”
Typography will likely follow other 2022 trends of inclusivity, accessibility, and sustainable design, with designers opting for legible, UX-friendly typefaces using subtle quirks and eccentricities to separate themselves from the competition.
4) Sustainable Web Design Trends
In 2021 designers and engineers made conscious efforts to move towards more sustainable web design and product development practices, which continues to gain momentum.
Some of the biggest sustainable web design trends include switching to green hosting providers, using lightweight content management systems, optimizing UX workflows, and buying refurbished equipment.
5) A New Approach to Minimalism
With a shift to sustainability, it’s no surprise that designers continue to favor minimalist and simplistic UIs. Minimalism not only looks cleaner, but it’s better for a product’s user experience.
Minimalist UIs play a critical role in UX design psychology, accessibility, and inclusive design. Reducing components and CTAs makes it easier for users to digest interfaces and find what they need.
Minimalism also enhances design consistency and makes building and scaling a design system easier–creating more efficient end-to-end UX workflows.
6) Dark Mode
Although it’s not a new trend, dark mode is one way users reduce blue light from screens. Some people prefer dark mode for accessibility reasons because it puts less strain on the eyes and makes content easier to read.
Popular UI libraries like Material Design, iOS, MUI, and others offer dark mode alternatives. Many digital products and websites provide users with a dark mode switch, which reiterates one of 2022’s popular design trends of user personalization.
7) Motion Graphics and Microinteractions
Designers continue to innovate UIs with motion graphics and microinteraction experiences. These immersive animations increase engagement while providing users with context and system feedback.
Designers also use microinteractions as creative distractions to disguise screen transitions and page loads for a seamless user experience.
8) Thumb-Friendly Mobile Navigation
In keeping with 2022’s human-focused inclusivity theme, designers optimize websites and digital products with thumb-friendly mobile UIs. Thumb-friendly designs provide more accessible navigation for users with only one hand while benefiting others who are preoccupied, on the go, or holding a child.
Using a prominent CTA as a floating button for mobile devices allows users to take action without scrolling. Thumb-friendly designs also help with conversion optimization for eCommerce.
One of Shopify’s most popular mobile-first themes, Streamline, uses a floating footer menu for the main navigation. Streamline’s designers have made a conscious effort to optimize every page for thumb-friendly navigation so users can browse and checkout using one hand.
9) Voice User Interface (VUI) Design
VUI is one of the fastest-growing and exciting UX design trends–that’s right, Alexa, Siri, Bixby, and Google Assistant are here to stay! According to Statista, the number of voice assistant devices will exceed 8.4 billion units by 2024-more than the world’s population.
Accessibility and industry-standard VUI design patterns are still areas where voice design is lacking. We’ll likely see more innovation and standardization for VUI over the coming year.
There are also exciting things happening with machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) in the VUI space, which could see more personalized user experiences, new products, and possibly less screen interaction as the demand shifts to voice-first design.
10) Ecosystem Design Trend
Digital product ecosystems allow users to effortlessly switch between applications and devices for greater productivity and efficiency. The most famous example is Google Workspace which features a vast suite of Google apps complemented by third-party applications through its Marketplace.
11) VR UX & The Metaverse
Facebook’s rebrand to Meta and shifting its focus to the Metaverse will likely mean increased VR product demand for gadgets like HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Google Cardboard, to name a few.
There are currently three VR user experiences product designers create:
- Virtual Reality (VR): A fully artificial environment with total immersion using a headset and other hardware.
- Augmented Reality (AR): Virtual object overlays in a real-world environment using mobile devices or glasses.
- Mixed Reality (MR): A mixed real-world and virtual environment.
VR UX design follows a similar design thinking process; however, the viewports and environments are significantly more complex. Much is happening with VR and the Metaverse; it’s difficult to pin an exact trend, but we could see a push for more work-related VR products over the next 18 months.
If you’re new to VR product design and want to know more, this article from UX Planet goes into more detail about Designing User Experience for VR Applications. Also, check out UXXR’s article about human-centered design principles for VR.
12) Glassmorphism, Aurora, & Holographic Neon
There are three background/graphic trends that we see a lot:
- Glassmorphism: Semi-transparent objects with colorful blur backgrounds made it into Apple Mac OS Big Sur and Microsoft Windows 11 UIs.
- Aurora: Colorful blur backgrounds, similar to those used on the Material Design 3 document pages and a few new UI components.
- Holographic Neon: This holographic look incorporates abstract shapes with bright colors and hologram textures.
We often see these colorful designs for hero headers or blurring the background for overlays.
13) Cardboard Eco-Look
The cardboard effect is a popular design trend for brands wanting to align themselves with sustainability and eco-consciousness. Designers often use big, bold san-serif typefaces, earthy tones, circles, and rounded edges to complete the eco-friendly cardboard cutout aesthetic.
Take Your Product Design to New Heights With UXPin
Code-based design is revolutionizing UX workflows and changing the way designers approach design. With UXPin’s advanced features, product teams can create high-fidelity prototypes that accurately replicate code-based products.
Here are four UXPin features that designers can use to enhance prototypes:
- States: Apply multiple states to a single element or component, each with different properties, interactions, and animations.
- Interactions: Create complex interactions with advanced animations and conditional formatting.
- Variables: Capture and store user inputs and use that information to take actions or personalize a user experience.
With our new MUI integration, you can take product design and prototyping to a whole new level. Designers can use React components like date pickers, charts, data tables, and more to create complex prototypes in minutes.
Sign up for a free trial and see how UXPin can optimize design processes, enhance prototyping and testing and create beautiful product experiences for your customers.