Neumorphism – 2020’s Hottest UI Trend?

Neumorphism, also referred to as ‘embossing’, has been a heavily discussed topic since the beginning of 2020 in designer circles. Many have fallen in love with the more realistic feel it gives to user interfaces – as if actual buttons were embedded into our screens – and many others consider it a designer fad that doesn’t take accessibility into account. But regardless of what your position about neumorphism is, it is nonetheless true that it comes at a cost: the inherent challenge to create a high enough contrast between layers of similar colours and mastering shadow effects, which are necessary to make it work as intended. 

We wanted to put the theory into practice ourselves and see how a juggernaut brand like Nike could benefit from neumorphism. Despite having to cope with identical background and button colours, we were able to give the product page that signature ‘neumorphic look’ with embossed elements thanks to borders and shadow orientation. If you look closely, you will see the main difference between what appears to be a pressed button and an un-pressed button are the inverted shadows and white linings, that either highlight or deepen your design depending on how you use them.

The end result looks promising and keeps good usability as the design element’s states remain distinct from each other. But more importantly, neumorphism gives us a breeze of fresh air and inspiration in an online universe overwhelmingly following traditional flat design standards. 

Do you think neumorphism is here to stay? Is it realistic to see it one day adopted in large-scale projects? We’d love to hear what you think 🙂


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