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Tips to help create better UI shadows.
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Shadows play a huge role in modern user interfaces. They bring depth and hierarchy to organized rectangles.
Based on how you use them, they are able to bring joy and a feel of elevation to your interface. So here are my tips to help create better shadows with such design tools as Sketch, Figma, or XD.
Tip 1 — Make it Soft
Don’t use default application shadows. Instead, adjust the shadow opacity around 5–25%, and set a higher level of blur.
Tip 2—Use multiple shadows
To better mimic the distance between element and background, apply multiple shadows on a single layer.
You can also perform this trick with CSS. Here is a great material showcasing many use cases of applying multiple shadows within a single property.
Tip 3—Don’t use pure black
Avoid using #000 for shadows. To make the shadow look more realistic — pick a color based on the element background or its surroundings.
Tip 4—Use a separate layer as a shadow
For a more decorative purpose. You can duplicate the layer and put it beneath the original to emit a more natural-looking shadow.
Add a smaller layer with a maxed blur behind your fore element.
Tip 5— Add depth
Position your shadows based on the light source to emit its direction. Lower the fore layer’s opacity and a add a slight border for more depth vibes.
Tip 6— Make it crisp
Add a 2-step gradient stroke/border to highlight the shadow and make it crispy.
Tip 7 — Blur images background
Put a blurred image behind another to radiate a more natural colored shadow and match it with the image.
Tip 8—Handy tools
▪ neumorphism.io — Generate Soft-UI CSS code;
▪ brumm.af/shadows—Make a smooth shadow visually and copy the code;
▪ softui.io—Generate neumorphic styles;
▪ neumorphic.design—Neumorphic playgroud.
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