Neumorphism: The ruling UI Design trend

# Neumorphism

blog

Jay Anthony

12 April 20218 min read

Insight 1

 

It is important for businesses to keep up with the new UI trends in order to remain competitive. Although many services and businesses have undergone a digital transformation as a result of the pandemic, User Interface developments have also changed a bit since 2020. Every day, customers visit a large number of websites, so businesses must use extra creativity to stand out. To keep users interested and engaged, businesses rely on visual appeal and usability. The new such trend in the field of UI is Neumorphism.

There's no wonder that when we say Neumorphism, there are many who stare cluelessly. What exactly is Neumorphism? If you're interested in learning more about Neumorphism, check out our previous article on All the buzz about Neumorphism in UI design.

The next issue that many people have is whether Neumorphism is really New?

Well, based on history, we can assume that it isn't!

Neumorphism is not a modern idea; rather, it is an ancient concept that has resurfaced in popularity. Like an old fashion trend that reappears after a period of time, or an old album that unexpectedly becomes a chart-buster. Once Again!

Neumorphism came into existence with some polishing and turned out to be a new concept in architecture. Its characterized by a minimal and reliable user interface which represents a kind of new way of dealing with Skeuomorphism. 

While Skeuomorphism is designed to make UIs look like your counterparts in the real world. The aim of Neumorphism is to increase the realism and touchability of interfaces.

In this article, we'll look at the role of Neumorphism in UI and how it's influencing UI trends.

 

The Combination of Minimalism and Skeuomorphism

The most intriguing aspect of Neumorphism is that it is derived from Skeuomorphism as well as other widely used design forms, such as flat designs. They both are opposites and Neumorphism falls somewhere right between them both. Neumorphic UI elements appear to be bound to the background as if they have been extruded from or inset into the background. Because of the way soft shadows are used to produce the effect, they've been labeled "soft UI" by some.

The concept of flat design is seen a lot lately. Flat design altered the overall look of the design by some inch and everything on the design changed. 

Therefore, Flat design stands by its name, it's FLAT! The look, the design, everything is being enhanced to something different. The once shiny, beveled buttons lost their dimension, icons have no drop shadows, and shapes have very few gradients. All of these changes adhere to the flat design concept.

Now when we see Neumorphism coming next in the line of trends, it has certainly broken the barriers on which Flat Design and Skeuomorphism stand. Neumorphism gives UIs a more realistic and tactile feel than flat nature and that’s why it doesn't resemble much of the theme that Skeuomorphism talks about.

 

The Cards and Buttons

The Neumorphic cards are distinct from other design types, like material design cards, as they don't look like they float. No shadow is produced to generate this floating effect, even if the user hovers over the card. 

The Neumorphic card claims to extrude from the past, however. It is an elevated form constructed from the very same background material. Looking at it from the side we see, it does not float.

Now, Neumorphism plays with two different characteristics:

1. First, a single color palette that feels like the background and elements belong on the same surface.

2. Second, depressed UIs that provide a gentle, touchable aspect to the interface.

 

neumorphism

 

It's easy to achieve this effect by playing with two shadows, one with negative values and the other positively. But it can't be black or entirely white. At least a little bit of tint is required so that the shadows are both "light and dark." One can use any hue to the background depending on the preference, it can be warmer or cooler. 

Buttons, in any design, play an important role. Like if you visit a page and you don't see a button, where can you click? Startled right?

Therefore, Buttons in any interface are a key UI component. They must be highly visible and alter the statements of the button as users interact. Not only in a split second but users must also be able to notice keys, they must change their colors and interact.

 

 

Neumorphic keeps their buttons classic. They designed it to be pleasing to the eye. It necessitates a low level of color contrast and a limited number of color pops. Designers are logically free to use Neumorphism to the extent they see fit, rather than trying to use the theme everywhere. 

 

Is Neumorphism perfect?

Well, let's be honest. When every trend has benefits, it comes up with few drawbacks too. The same goes for Neumorphism. It does provide all the fairy and fresh look to the designs, but it somewhere draws a restricted line also.

Visibility and Accessibility are one such issue. 

Accessibility says that some elements must appear differently in each of their validation and user interaction states. Now Neumorphism does have some constraints and restrictions that limit the customization options available to achieve, which is not the best fit for an accessible UI. 

 

neumorphism

 

Neumorphism is all about a soft user interface. The subtle variations in a shade that distinguish elements and components are a little too soft though. It's entirely possible that users with low-resolution screens would miss these important design specifics because of the low contrast. When the effect is overused on a website, page hierarchy is difficult to perceive. Due to the background color constraints, there is no particular feature. It will be hard to decide which elements users can interact with and are static because of the extrusion effect.

Accessibility is a huge issue, and it's probably the biggest flaw in neumorphism's idea of color contrast. 

 

Conclusion

We know it is a surprise that with such a critical issue, Neumorphism is still trending!

It's because Neumorphism, despite its flaws, can still give the designs a more practical feel. There is no question that usability and visibility are disadvantages, but they can be overcome if the designer checks the appropriate accessibility boxes.

Eventually, Neumorphism is what users actually find pleasing and it can be best used to enhance the design style. It's probably a good thought to use Neumorphism because it gives everything on the screen- a new and fresh look.

Despite the fact that Neumorphism is the UI trend of the moment, it will take some time for it to fully develop itself in the design world. For the time being, it may find a home in some design systems as a novel alternative to cards and static container types.

Although this recent trend has undoubtedly influenced many designers. It's time to let their imaginations run wild and experiment with this new pattern by tweaking it a bit. Designers will have to rethink what it means to be different and fresh, and there will be obstacles along the way. However, it will be fascinating to watch them experiment with new design styles and forms in order to produce something spectacular.

 

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Concluding message

A well-designed website for users with disabilities is a site that is more accessible to use for all types of users.

A well-designed digital business can easily explain the process of online buying and selling for users with disabilities and can add more value to the business.

Therefore, add some mint into the users’ cup of tea and provide an accessible zest to your digital assets by making it more compliant.

Feel free to get in touch with TECHVED Consulting!

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WRITTEN BY

Jay Anthony

Marketing Head | TECHVED Consulting India Pvt. Ltd.

He led efforts to develop a fully integrated marketing communications plan and growing team. He is responsible for successful corporate re-brand and update of all branded assets.

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