Neumorphism in website design: pros and cons
Dribbble, a portfolio platform, often pleases designers with its innovations and ideas. This time, a shot (snapshot) of the user alexplyuto gained 3,000 likes - and immediately won the designer's hearts.
A new trend called “Neumorphism” from mixing the words "new" and "skeuomorphism". Let's analyze the new trend and answer the question of whether to apply it when developing your site.
What is the peculiarity of the style?
Neumorphism at first glance looks quite familiar. The minimalism of forms, colors, backgrounds, and elements has already become familiar to many designers and developers. But it is worth taking a closer look at the details in order to understand the essential and sad difference between the new style and the already familiar minimalism.
- A feature of neumorphism is "convexity". All cards have become part of the background, while in the usual design elements "hover" over the background due to contrasting shadows;
- The lack of contrast. Even minimal. All buttons and corners are made almost in the same color, without highlighting any elements. The only contrasting element in neumorphism is text. But if you pay attention, the color palette still remains the same;
- Smooth effects. This applies to buttons and all elements that should change the visual when interacting with them. Neomorphism assumes the smoothest possible transitions from one element state to another. This solution looks very nice but is extremely inconvenient for the user.
- Simple enough in coding. This paragraph applies to everyone who is asked to “add a shadow a little bit more here.” The effect of a convex card using the code is quite simple to achieve: the upper left corner is a light shadow (the maximum is non-contrast), and the lower right corner is a dark shadow (with the same contrast indicator).
Otherwise, the new style is similar to even more lightweight and unobtrusive minimalism. We can not say about futurism, which is achieved by the absence of the usual shadows and floating elements.
But let's not just think about beauty - let's go to the objective reasons to use or not use neumorphism in your design.
It is extremely difficult to distinguish the advantages of neumorphism by deviating from the convenience of users. Therefore, the first positive characteristic of the new style is visual freshness. The trend for "breathing" sites appeared in the design for a long time. Overloaded interfaces are bypassed by users. Neomorphism hyperbolized this flow - the site literally looks like a solid gray-white background with convex elements.
The second plus applies to all owners of monochrome brandbooks. Neumorphism should be used only in white and gray colors. Even the black design looks quite complicated and incomprehensible. If you wish, you can deviate from the course and add contrast in other color combinations - but we'll talk about this a little later.
The design, despite the trend towards user-friendliness, is not only a strict instruction. This leads to the following good news - you can use neumorphism selectively, based on your concept. If you like the fresh design, but objectivity says that the user will get lost in your interface - take only what will fit well into the overall appearance of your page. For example, you can design a certain type of card in neumorphism - make them convex and with a soft contrast.
The last advantage that we were able to identify is the ability to mix several modern styles. Neumorphism is still close to the usual minimalism, so taking an idea from a new current and mixing it with what is already familiar is a good solution. For example, take non-texture as a basis - this is what combines neumorphism with other modern directions of design.
Unfortunately, the disadvantages of neumorphism turned out to be more than the positive aspects. And this is due to very clear things - the basis of UX and UI is just in a clear, intuitive, and convenient interface.
First, we can not say about people with visual impairments. This applies not only to color-blind people and visually impaired - it is difficult to look at the buttons that can be pressed or cannot be pressed, even just for a person who has sat in front of the screen for a couple of hours. If your site requires additional visual strain, and after 10 minutes of viewing makes you do eye exercises - this is a bad indicator.
Second, neumorphism kills the intuitiveness with which the user can understand your site. Convex shapes, smoothed corners, and other elements make you lose yourself in actions. Did I press the button or not? Is it a button at all? Agree, these are bad questions for the CTA. User convenience should be in the first place.
Neomorphism dictates its own rules in the user interface. Before introducing a new trend to your site design, consider whether you are willing to risk the usual scenario of user behavior. Even better, ask the question: "will the user agree to follow the rules of my design?”. The answer is likely to be no. The high competition of clear interfaces allows the user to choose the rules that are familiar to them.
You can't omit the question of price. Despite the fact that neumorphism does not require special skills in the development and coding, the correct entry into a new trend, as well as its implementation within the framework of your design, will be expensive. Otherwise, you get a dry design in monochrome colors without futuristic bulges - cheap and cheerful.
The main disadvantage of neumorphism is an elementary inconvenience, which we mentioned above. It is unlikely that users will want to study your site inside out to find the CTA, shopping cart, or registration fields. Don't make the customer think and do a lot of unnecessary actions, especially with the help of design.
Conclusion: should I use it or not?
It is not necessary to intercept the trend of neumorphism. Despite the freshness, futuristic and beautiful design, the new design contradicts all the rules of UX and UI, deprives people with visual problems of the opportunity to use your site, and the cost of developing such a design does not justify the result at all.
Don't make your users suffer because of creativity - a beautiful visual isn't an indicator of convenience.
Did you like neumorphism? Write in the comments!