What are the hottest web design trends at the moment? The year 2021 will be marked by a resurgence of hope and a slew of novel breakthroughs. As far as strategy and aesthetics are concerned, web design is changing. After the events of 2020, including COVID-19 and the continuing community quarantine, new means of searching will be revealed. Trends originating in the mid-2010s will soon be commonplace. In light of these machine learning facts, each website will be tailored to the specific needs of the user.
It’s easy to miss why a website appears (and feels) the way it does in these exciting times. Regardless of whether the goal is to make it simpler for consumers to locate what they’re searching for or to convert leads into sales, major design concepts and principles are at play. Because of this, I’ve written this article: to help you learn how to use the latest techniques in web design to improve the usability, aesthetics, and functionality of your website.
Even if you don’t have any coding or design knowledge, you may still create a cutting-edge website by yourself. We’ve compiled a list of the top website builder software to help you get started with your own website or even a full-fledged e-commerce site.
Web Design Trends Table of Contents
- Flat is in
- Premium white space
- Web design in motion
- Smart video
- Color theory redux
- Asymmetric layouts
- Responsive and adaptive design
- Dynamic scrolling
- Evolution of SEO
- Dark mode
- Original illustrations
- Data visualization
- Hamburger menus revisited
- Split-screen layout
- Full-screen forms
- Privacy and data collection
Considering that 63.2 percent of the world’s population has access to the internet, we may anticipate customers to appraise a firm based on its website. In addition, 319 million additional internet users were added in 2020, making it the most populous year on record (DataReportal, 2021). With these figures, it’s clear that optimising your website for aesthetics, usability, and speed has a significant payoff.
After all, 40% of consumers would quit a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load (SocialMediaToday, 2021). Only 11.5% of website users are prepared to wait more than 13 seconds for a page to appear, according to another survey (Unbounce, 2020). That’s not all, however. 50 milliseconds is all it takes for the average person to create an impression about your website (and, by extension, your company) (WebsiteBuilderExpert, 2021).
1. Flat is In
Web design minimalism isn’t new per se, but Apple’s design ethos has brought it to the attention of the general public. Flat design and minimalism are not only about aesthetics; they are also about functionality. Using basic geometric forms and a monochromatic colour palette, flat design websites tend to load quicker than those with more complicated shapes and decorative decorations.
In addition to simplistic forms, flat design isn’t limited to this kind of design. To be precise, flat design makes use of basic shapes and few components, but it also pulls off a number of nifty little tricks. Flat websites, for example, often make use of navigation bars that are concealed from view and buttons that are kept to a minimum. Minimalist websites will also see a surge in use of Google’s Material Design (Toptal, 2020).
For the first time, these ideas will be taken to a new level in 2021. In the future, minimal will no longer imply black and white. Designers will use increasingly experimental layouts, such as overlapping parts, 3D or realistic components, and organic or natural designs. This trend is expected to continue.
2. Premium White Space
White space, which is related to the first trend, gives your website’s visitors a chance to rest their eyes as they read the information.
For single-page, dynamically scrolling layouts, strategic use of white space acts as a break. Reading becomes easier, which is a huge benefit when you’re trying to get a message through fast. Text-heavy pages might become tiresome for the reader if they aren’t broken up by plenty of white space.
Active or passive usage of white space is possible on both large and micro scales. On a website, there are two types of white space: macro (the space between visuals and copy), as well as micro (the space between text lines and letter spacing). Activated white space on the other hand, is the purposeful use of white space to guide readers to conversion (or to a CTA). White space that occurs naturally, rather than through design, is passive.
As long as the area is unoccupied, it doesn’t have to be perfectly white. Because it lacks context, the term “empty space” may also refer to “negative space.”
Website builder Wix employs white space to great advantage on their website.
3. Web Design in Motion
Future ecommerce web design trends are predicted to break new ground in the next years. All of this is done to ensure that the user has the best possible experience.
Micro-animations in the form of GIFs, HTML5, or CSS are one such trend many sites are relying on (Design Shack, 2020). As a result of today’s consumer need for immediate gratification, employing animations on your hero picture or above the fold helps the customer understand exactly what your website is and, therefore, what it can do for them. Moving visuals, on the other hand, express much more than words ever could.
The reason for this is clear. In 2009, a research (Alsudani & Casey, 2009) indicated that customers rate the trustworthiness of a website in as low as 3.4 seconds when the homepage loads. Since then, advancements in technology have made it possible for users to develop an opinion on a gateway in just 50 milliseconds (WebsiteBuilderExpert, 2021). 38 percent of visitors will depart if the design does not appeal to them after they have formed an opinion (99 Firms, 2021). Obviously, the design and loading speed of your website may have a significant impact on its attractiveness.
4. Smart Video
Auto-playing videos when a website loads has long been seen as a bad practise by SEO experts, but that may be about to change in 2020.
A website’s dwell time—the amount of time a person stays on a page after searching for it—is a crucial statistic to keep an eye on. Making the site load quicker, providing important information at the user’s fingertips, and making navigating painless are the most common ways to boost dwell time. For a user’s attention to be piqued, smart video uses video marketing concepts.
The numbers on video marketing are all in accord.
With videos, visitors spend 88% more time on websites (Home Business, 2020). However, as with micro-animations, time is a major consideration. Videos should be no more than two minutes long, with the majority of viewers engaging in the first 30 seconds (Vidyard, 2019).
5. Color Theory Redux
The absence of colour on a website isn’t necessarily a sign of minimalism. In contrast, vivid colours and gradients will be embraced in 2021 and beyond.
Using colour (Hosting Tribunal, 2020) and emotive design go hand in hand. For example, you may create an emotional connection with your consumers by using colour and other visual aspects on a website. There are many ways to employ subtle hues to elicit sentiments of empathy and sorrow, for example. In the same way, an e-commerce website may use bright colours that compel visitors to take immediate action.
It’s important to understand colour theory in order to make a website seem more personal. A colour wheel that correlates to specific feelings may be used by designers, like this one. In 2020, the importance of utilising colours to convey feelings has risen to a new level. After all, a website’s colour scheme accounts for 90% of the views people develop about it (Quicksprout, 2020).
6. Asymmetric layouts
Typically, a web page is put up in invisible grids, which enable the parts of a page to be ordered. This will not be the case in the next years.
In the near future, you’ll encounter a web page with parts that seem to be unruly or sloppy. However, this does not imply that the user should be left to their own devices to figure out how to get about in the “mess.” As a substitute, the new design will do away with the standard grid basis and allow the items on the page to float independently of one another. User-friendly navigation (Quicksprout, 2020) still holds true, nevertheless.
In the future, this style is likely to be influenced by other trends as well. These include unique typography, organic forms, and bespoke images and visuals.
7. Responsive and Adaptive Design
When it comes to creating responsive websites, it’s no longer simply a fad. Since 2015, mobile searches have accounted for 52% of all global Google searches (Google, 2015). With 93.22 percent of the population, this tendency has accelerated significantly in the year 2021. (Statista, 2021).
It’s long past time for websites to make the switch to mobile-friendly design.
However, there’s more to it than that. Responsive web design is expected to evolve in 2021 to become more homogeneous. Its goal is to improve the mobile user’s experience through enhancing responsive web design. Using a thumb-friendly layout is one method they may do this.
When browsing the web or scrolling down a page, mobile users often use their thumbs. You may make the experience more delightful by designing a site, page, or app with content that’s located in the green zone displayed above.
It’s also about how a page appears on multiple screen sizes and resolutions, which is a part of adaptive design. When it comes to responsiveness, this approach involves components like as scalable vector graphics (SVG) and CSS grids (W3Schools, 2021).
People with impairments aren’t the only ones who need accessibility. Voice, virtual reality, and other non-keyword input will all be part of the web design trend in 2021.
Just in time. Statista estimates that by 2021, there will be 132 million US voice assistant users, or 39.4 percent of the country’s total population (eMarketer, 2020). (eMarketer, 2020). Smart speaker usage is also on the increase, with 23.5 million devices expected to be sold in the US by 2021 (eMarketer, 2020) and a US ownership rate of 34.7 percent (eMarketer, 2020) (Voicebot.io, 2020).
Speech-to-text technology is also improving. When it comes to speech recognition, Google’s voice recognition currently scores 95 percent accuracy (DBS Interactive, 2021).
In other words, this implies that this year and in the future, web designers should create websites that can be indexed, searched, and enjoyed without the need of conventional techniques. It’s no longer enough to just type onto a computer to engage with websites. All aspects of the user experience (UX) should be considered.
The use of chatbots is on the rise. Automated systems are designed to take cues from human speech and use that information to solve problems.
In contrast to conventional human help, these bots provide clients with immediate response. A chatbot’s ability to arrange and filter questions into actionable items for human inspection means that even ecommerce firms may profit from using them.
We’ll see more chatbots take over customer service in the second half of this year and in the years to come. Technical help is rapidly catching up to human involvement in the most difficult challenges. This year, chatbots will handle 85 percent of human interactions with enterprises, according to a new report (Smallbizgenius, 2021).
There is no longer a single instance of a bot that interacts with a human user. On top of all the data it receives at the outset, it becomes a part of a single organism that gains knowledge from every human input at the same time.
A growing number of customers are aware that internet businesses allow them to customise many aspects of their experience. Moreover, in 2021, interaction will employ artificial intelligence to do this task.
Customizing the user’s experience and landing pages on a website indicates it is interactive. You can learn about your browsing behaviours while you’re visiting a website via interactivity, which uses machine learning and neural networks (ExplainThatStuff, 2020). That information is then presented to you in a more prominent manner than information you don’t require. A user’s activity on a site may have a significant impact on the information they view.
Azure Machine Learning, Adobe Sensei, and Cloud Machine Learning will all be in the spotlight in 2021. Businesses will be able to use these artificial intelligence software solutions to design and deploy AI to their websites in order to boost human involvement.
11. Dynamic scrolling
It’s still possible to scroll. This time, it’s for real this time. According to Impact+, 2021, there will be an increase in the number of websites with a single page that you may scroll down as well as parallax websites in 2020.
Single-page scrolling (also known as dynamic scrolling) is ideal for narrative-driven websites. Ideal for 2021 and beyond, when there will be a greater emphasis on brand narrative in web design (Google, 2020). In addition to capturing user attention and involvement, the tale may be accessed by simply scrolling down the page. Due to its ability to offer depth and aesthetic value to a website, parallax scrolling will continue to thrive (Impact+, 2021).
Apart from that, dynamic scrolling replicates the feeling of using a smartphone, which has surpassed desktops in popularity in recent years.
12. Evolution of SEO
For SEO to remain relevant, it will have to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of search and site design. Snippets, information cards, and graphs, as well as PAAs (People Also Ask), have all gained prominence in Google’s search results.
Search engines, such as Google, are also experimenting with non-keyword-based search, such as speech, in order to better serve its users. Since most people use voice search to look for information, long-tail keywords and natural language will be given more weight than artificially sounding standard keywords.
In the next years, local content will also become increasingly significant. 46 percent of Google searches now seek for local information, which will become much more important in the future. In the past two years, searches with the “next to me” or “next to me” modifiers have surged ninefold.
SEO software can assist your website in implementing best SEO practises in the future. With BigCommerce’s SEO integration, you can guarantee that you’re taking advantage of the most successful approaches in search engine optimization.
13. Dark mode
For a few years now, dark mode has been there, but it’s become the latest craze due to the fact that it makes it easier to read and enhances vision at night (Techliance, 2020). Additionally, it has become a popular UI framework for mobile devices.
It’s worth noting, though, that dark mode takes advantage of negative space above to create a sophisticated appearance and emphasise crucial parts of the page’s design. However, there are several practical benefits to choosing dark mode. Dark mode on iPhones may save up to 30% of your battery life, for example, as shown by PhoneBuff on YouTube (Business Insider, 2021). The energy savings from utilising dark mode seem to be limited to phones with OLED panels, therefore this feature is not recommended for LCD-screen phones.)
In the world of web design, dark mode is expected to become more prominent in 2021 and beyond. Dark mode is a great way to make particular pieces stand out from the rest of the design. For example, if you want to accentuate a call to action or your brand, this is a good option.
14. Original Illustrations
Creating “eye candy” on a B2B website is as simple as putting stock photographs on the page, and you’re done. In 2021, if you don’t update your site, you might end up with a dull and generic site. In order to give your online presence a distinct personality, you should employ images that not only show what you do and stand for, but also speak directly to your target audience.
These may cost more than finding the right stock photographs, but they may do much more. Narrative illustration is a kind of artwork that may be used to convey a tale, for instance. Illustrations of people, animals, objects, and even abstract things may be used to make your content more personal and approachable. Popular online mortgage broker Trussel has an attractive site with unique images.
People are increasingly often shown in artworks with a purple hue. Indeed, this colour has long been linked with openness and acceptance (Michael Page, 2020). Diversity issues or depictions of people of colour may be solved if the colour purple was used. It’s just a matter of time until we see a wider variety of graphical kinds in use.
15. Data Visualization
Data is a superior resource. Of course, data that can be envisioned and comprehended.
Without proper interpretation, data has no value. Business intelligence (BI) software already has several capabilities for automatically deciphering data. For the most part, this kind of information is exclusively available to companies and is difficult for your readers to get access to.
There will also be some kind of presentation of data in web design in 2021 that is simpler for the average person to grasp. Some websites go a step farther than merely embedding a snapshot of a chart or graph generated by your data visualisation programme. Using a variety of display modalities, sites like Codex Atlanticus take use of interaction to the maximum extent (Codex Atlanticus, 2021). In the year 2021, more of these will be integrated into larger websites, serving as service platforms rather than only informational ones.
Even while material design is still functional, consumers are gradually moving toward web design that has soft shadows and floating navigation bars..
There should be more to web design in 2021 than simply aesthetic aspects. The design may be made to “rise” from the flat backdrop and create depth and a pseudo-3D look by applying this design to the text as well.
Moving about the website is made easier by the use of “floating” menus, which keep navigational items at the top of the screen. There are many reasons to use a navigation bar on a website, but it can also be used to create a one-of-a-kind experience for visitors. You’re not restricted to the choices on the top menus. It’s a great way to make a statement since you can put them just about anyplace.
17. Hamburger Menus Revisited
In website navigation design, hamburger menus have taken over due to its ability to conserve a significant amount of page space. However, they are not without their drawbacks, the most notable of which being the tendency of hamburger menu navigation components to be obscured.
The hamburger menu will be redesigned to be more apparent in 2021. Using soft shadows and layers, you can make the menu itself appear like a button (see preceding section). Additionally, removing the hamburger menu’s call-to-action links and allowing them to be seen in the open, as well as not concealing the hamburger menu’s primary navigation link, would make it more usable.
Burger menus, while popular, aren’t for everyone. If you’re not sure whether or not they’ll benefit your site, stay with the traditional grid or the next option on our list instead: floating menus.
18. Split-screen Layout
Split-screen layouts may also be considered a component of the “broken grid” trend, however this is an oversimplification of the concept. Split screens allow for the presentation of two separate items, yet they are generally connected in some way. The menus are on one side of the screen, while the information is on the other. Because of these reasons, split-screen layouts are becoming more popular in e-commerce websites.
In 2021, the split-screen design will undergo a major revamp. More asymmetric designs will be used instead of the traditional split-screen, where two content categories are divided evenly in the centre. Even the menu will be replaced with interactive elements rather than the dividing line (or light and dark mode switches).
With the responsive format, split screens are also naturally useable. They may seem divided on a desktop, but on a mobile device, they appear stacked or even piled on top of each other. Whatever the case may be, a split-screen layout will be precisely what users want in 2020, when customisation of online content will be the standard.
19. Full-screen forms
In 2021 and beyond, minimalism will be fashionable once again. Because of this, your website visitors will have a better experience when they engage with it. A single-field form or a full-screen form may be used to boost interaction while maintaining a minimalist style. For that matter, either or both.
Even if a full-screen form just has one field, it will take up a lot of space on your screen, even if it’s only a single field. If you’re looking to obtain more information from a visitor, a full-screen form is a great way to do it without clogging your site up.
Full-screen forms will be the standard in 2021 and beyond, according to industry experts. Once upon a time, you had to answer several questions in a lengthy questionnaire; today, you connect with the brand in a single, focused form that alters dynamically as you respond.
20. Privacy and Data Collection
Companies and websites often acquire user data. This is for the purpose of business intelligence, which is used to better understand how businesses operate. Customers are worried, however, that businesses may be utilising Big Data to push undesired items or services or even violate personal information.
As a result of the advent of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and data collecting, privacy has taken centre stage. This sets restrictions on the collection and use of data by websites.
In 2021, websites will be required to be more open about the data they collect and the purposes for which they use it. Despite the fact that this isn’t truly a trend since it’s a regulation, this implies that consumers will grow more wary of websites that don’t have their best interests at heart. Customers are more likely to trust a company if they know how their data is being used to enhance their experience.
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