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The design process behind inUseAward.se

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The nomination period for inUse Award 2021 is open! And we got a brand new visual concept for the website. We invited Billy Morén, Director of visual design at inUse, for a chat about the new visual expression and the trends of UI design 2021 and forward.

Can you describe your own design process for a new visual re-design?

– Doing a re-design is always interesting because you are usually limited to something that came before. This gives you some limitations, and through those limitations also possibilities! For this year's Inuse Award I wanted to simplify the visual expression a lot to make it more recognizable compared to last year, and also easier to work with across platforms and formats. We did not want to rebuild the whole site as well, so I had to come up with a tonality that could live in that existing format.

What was your inspiration for the new design?

– InUse visual identity is centered around the orange dot, or circle if you will. It's the main shape we use in our communication and brand. I wanted to use the same shape for the Awards, but apply it in a different way than before – using scale and animation as the main mediums.

– Also, I did not want to provide a defined color scheme, but rather a range of gradients that will be applied at random (if you hit reload in your browser, a new color will be applied each time). By doing this, I wanted to communicate the ever-changing format, shape, and landscape that good design is applied in the world today.

What did you/we learn during this process?

– It's always a good reminder to try to achieve as much as you can with as little as possible. This makes for a scalable design language that will work across platforms and screen sizes.

– For me, trying to apply a set of parameters (such as the inUse circle, few colors in the UI) in new ways is exciting.

What are the biggest trends within UI design in 2021 and forward?

– There are a few clear trends that I can see. There is a lot of 3D, and achieving depth & affordance by using shadows and gradients for a sense of connection to our physical world.

– Taking cues from print and graphic design is also popular. Designers use Typography and traditional formats to create big contrast, clear hierarchy, and eyecatching design.

– And lastly, making user interfaces come to life through animation is and will continue to be a driving force in digital experiences. Visual design is not necessarily seen, but also felt. Communicating through micro-interactions and storytelling is crucial in making digital services that connect to their users.

Nominate your favorite design of the year to inUse award 2021.