User expectations and technologies are constantly evolving and trends became quickly outdated.
It is essential for agencies and website owners to stay constantly up to date with the upcoming development in the industry.
Let’s take a look at 8 web design trends that will inspire us in 2021.
1. Dark Mode
Check out this Dark Theme on Envato Elements.
Dark mode is a low-light user interface that uses dark backgrounds as an alternative to the well-known white one, which has been considered the only way to create empty spaces in web design for a long time.
Designers began adding darker elements several years ago, but Dark Mode became a trend in the industry just in 2020 and it is expected to become even more popular in 2021.
Facebook, Instragram and Twitter are just a few big brands name that offer alternative dark themes to their user interfaces. Apple users can even schedule the switch to dark mode at a certain time on their devices.
Here a few reasons why designers love Dark Mode so much:
- Super modern look
- It’s good for our battery life
- It increases contrast and allows other design elements to pop
- Easier on the eyes in low-light conditions (how many of us are going through the phone at night just before going to sleep?)
In 2021 we are going to see more and more website and mobile apps implementing the Dark Mode. Several websites have started to add a “Dark Mode” toggle (switching between light and dark mode) on the website itself, to customize the user experience even further and to set it as a preference and not a requirement.
2. Parallax Scroll Animations
Check out this Parallax Scroll Animation on WEGLOT for webflow.
Scroll effects have been popular in website design since 2011, and ten years later we are still exploring and expanding our capabilities in this technique to amplify the browser experience and engagement.
By combining elements of our website with dynamic scroll effects, such as dynamic transition from one section to another, zooming in or out of images and horizontal scrolling, we can create a animation that creates movement and increase time on page and interaction.
Parallax scrolling is the most popular scroll effect. This particular technique is when the website layout sees the background of the web page moving at a slower rate to the foreground, creating a 3D illusion as the user scrolls.
3. Data Visualisations
The use of data and analytics is no longer a prerogative of large brands. More and more companies are using data insights to define their business and marketing strategies.
One of the biggest challenges in relation to data is how to communicate it in an engaging way. Data visualization is addressing this issue by sharing data information through infographics, charts and graphs. These visual elements help the viewer engage and learn essential information about your offering in a more compelling way.
Data visualization is no longer used just for internal communication but as part of marketing strategies. It makes it easier for the human brain to detect patterns and trends and to convey key data to a potential client through a visually appealing representation of raw data.
4. Load Time and Page Speed
Page speed has been one of Google ranking factors for a long time now. But with the new Core Web Vitals (a list of metrics created to help improve the user page experience), it reaches a new level of importance. Google has indicated it is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages.
A slow website conveys a sense of untrustworthiness and unsafety and drastically reduced the quality of the user experience.
A Page with a longer page load time is more prone to have a higher bounce rate and a lower average time spent on the page. As a direct consequence of a lower quality user experience, a slow website tends to have a lower conversion rate as well.
Here are some of the many ways to speed up your website:
- Optimize images
- Reduce Redirects
- Leverage browser caching
- Improve server response time
Check out this Minimalist Web Design on ray.care.
A design trend that has been around for over a decade, but refuses to quit is minimalism. Minimalist web design is based around the idea of creating a simple, easy to navigate and memorable website. Essential elements, linear shapes, limited color palettes, simple fonts and empty spaces are the essence of very simple and direct designs. The focus shifts on making the user experience simple and smooth, on the responsiveness and in conveying ideas and relevant information.
Visitors want to get the information they are looking for in the clearer and intuitive way on your website. They want to know what service you provide, why they should choose you instead of your competitors and how to move further to through the conversion funnel.
Minimalism doesn’t limit creativeness but provides a cleaner and modern approach that will provide a huge opportunity for businesses looking to up their website game in 2021.
6. 3D Elements
Check out this 3D Design on Adidas Chile 2020.
3D design elements have been used by web designers to create unique wow factors for many years now. Provided that they are used in harmony with the overall design and not simply for their sake, they are adding value to the overall user experience.
More sophisticated software is helping to achieve even more spectacular results. It is the classical example of design and technology working in synchronous. VR and AR technologies are getting more and more attention and becoming more accessible. This trend is only going to advance further considering that designers are going to have access to more advanced technologies and resources.
A requirement to implement a successful 3D design is having a high performant website. It should load fast and be well-optimized to being able to support such heavy content. The risk is to make your website appear slow and unresponsive, rather than benefit it.
Check out this Illustration on Mailchimp.
Not that long ago a website was just text and images or basic graphics. Realistic photography still plays a big part in modern web design. But we are seeing more and more websites moving from realistic pictures to illustrations.
Sometimes these are used as the only image style and sometimes they are used alongside or over realistic photography. Digital illustrations are usually used positioned in the hero banner or in the feature sections of the website.
Web designers use illustrations to tell a story and to connect with people on a personal level. Illustrations create an emotional connection with visitors, help them understand the message without having to read and make the website stand out.
8. Asymmetric Layouts
Check out this Asymmetric Layout on Padstow Breaks.
For many years the only popular layout to structure a website was the grid. It allows to organize symmetrically and orderly elements, create focus on specific key sections and it guarantees a balance in the elements’ disposition.
The limit of this approach was in terms of creativity, as the website has to fit a specific template. That’s why asymmetric design has been welcomed so warmly by the designers. It gives the opportunity to freely explore new and unique designs.
It is important to maintain balance and harmony within the overall design. Designers need to take into consideration color, size and weight of every single element when defining their composition.
Stay up to date with the upcoming trends for 2021. Update your website design, optimise its speed and accessibility to enhance the user experience.