The web design of our time is full of possibilities. But not every fad is viable in a particular period. There is a time and a place for every approach. “Overhauling” a website for no reason can do more harm than good.
But in 2021, there will be more than enough such reasons. Analysis of users’ desires shows that they want to see something new in web design. Therefore, today is a good time to track down new trends and use them in your website.
Which trends will be purely aesthetic in nature? What needs to change to improve the user experience? Which trends will be a thing of the past, and what will replace them? We’ve compiled a list of innovative web design trends for 2021, so you’re ready for the change.
Flexible vector graphics.
A main source of aesthetics on any website is multimedia. A web page that features interesting illustrations or photos is always rated higher.
Previously, websites with rich content took significantly longer to load, especially on mobile devices. But Google has made it clear that it cares about the user. One of the ranking criteria is the indexing results of websites on mobile devices.
This has made adaptability more in demand than even a year ago. The problem with GIF animations and PNG images is that they lose quality when resized. Doing away with them means killing saturation. The way out and the new trend is vector illustrations.
SVG format allows you to scale the image to the size of the screen, while maintaining the quality of the original graphics. This format will now be a critical trend in both adaptability and web design in general.
Emphasis on data
The user has increasingly begun to trust analytics and its results. Therefore, IT leaders are looking to increase the role of informative design structures. Thus, they are increasingly focusing on design that focuses on project data.
Above all, such design will help you personally compare your company’s data. This way, you can make important decisions more quickly. Similarly, this approach is a great way to keep the reader on the page. Search engines want the user to spend as much time on the site as possible.
After all, this improves their indexing ranking.
To develop such a design, your team should focus on the following areas:
intelligent management and placement of data;
configuration of data sources;
Designing a data-centric design requires taking into account different business factors. This way, you can back up the analytics with specific events.
Data as part of web design is about communicating with your users. Accordingly, this approach can bring your design to life.
For years, websites have been built on a grid. This is a great approach that helps to streamline the structure and focus attention on key elements. On the other hand, it reduces the uniqueness of the site. Therefore, the upcoming trend is asymmetric design.
Asymmetry is an opportunity to change tradition and move towards brutalism, individuality, wobbly energy and just plain fun.
However, even here designers need to find a balance. In order to create a sense of balance, user testing must be done. The goal is to make sure that no one part of the page looks ‘heavier’ than the rest. For example, an image should not be significantly larger than a text block.
You’re probably wondering, “How do you draw attention to key elements if they’re not placed in a grid?” The important thing to remember here is that regardless of the approach, the viewer’s eye is always drawn to the larger elements. So, in an asymmetrical design, simply increase the size of those blocks you want to emphasise.
Soft shadows and floating elements
One of the best ways to capture the user’s attention is to upload a video to the home screen background. But today’s technology still makes it possible to combine such an approach with high page-loading speeds. This is especially true for mobile devices. The question remains: how to use SVG illustrations and still provide three-dimensional images?
The answer lies in the use of soft shadows and floating image elements. They make a web design look layered and more interesting. It also adds depth to the design elements.
Such an effect could be used for the design of:
individual images and illustrations;
In other words, you can add shadows and floating effects to any element of your web design. The important thing is that it looks aesthetically pleasing against the background. With this approach, designers will be able to dilute the sameness of SVG illustrations and make the design more unique.
Mixing Photos and Graphics
Using real photos mixed with illustrations or graphics creates a personalized message for the site. Whether you take a photo of a product or a person, it helps maintain branding. It’s also a great way to make a site stand out from the crowd.
Overlaying or overlaying graphics with a photo creates a special visual effect.
Such collages are versatile:
They can be used to add appeal.
They dilute complex attributes to convey abstract concepts.
It’s a way to customise images and add personality.
How can you make the most of the flexibility of this trend? Match the style of illustrations and graphics to the personality of the brand. This has a big impact on how the user will interpret the photos. For example:
for a playful entertainment photo, you can choose cartoon graphics;
for a classic clothing online shop, complex geometric shapes might be appropriate;
restaurant websites can be perfectly combined with retro style graphics.
Dark design theme
For a very long time, the basis for a blank space was white. Some services started adding a dark design theme a few years ago. But it wasn’t widely accepted then. The trend will change in 2021.
First of all, you should pay attention to the design of the landing pages of major brands. Apple, Mercedes-Benz, Hublot and many others already use a dark theme. A simple colour change gives the web design a completely different look:
makes design elements more visible;
increases the contrast ratio;
is less stressful on the eyes;
makes the site look more elegant.
Apple added a dark design theme to iOS 13 that many users liked. Following this, popular apps like Instagram, Whatsapp have also added darker shades. This trend is spreading and becoming more and more popular in all areas.
Among other things, dark themes are great for OLED screens because they save energy and extend the life of the screen. Dark tones allow creative elements to be created using neon light, which is one of the graphic design trends of 2021.
Artificial Intelligence is increasingly penetrating all areas of our lives, including marketing. When you implement AI on your website, you can use much more data to meet user needs.
In the context of web design, adding artificial intelligence is more about design than the final result. AI is the ability to create targeted and personalised pages that focus on a specific context. Among other things, AI will help:
Collect information about readers;
automate the selection of graphics;
place attention-grabbing elements in the most appropriate places.
Every day, the user expects more and more personalisation on a subconscious level. AI is the best way to give the web visitor exactly what they are looking for.
Accessibility of use
The accessibility of websites to any user is an important part of the web design process. This factor has its origins in global politics, where tolerance for people with disabilities is now developing. Many organisations are struggling to provide facilities for such populations.
While criticism has not touched websites, many designers have decided to simply implement different features themselves. In this way, they have created a trend towards developing the accessibility of any service and its individual elements.
Web design is inextricably linked to content. Therefore, when designing, you need to take care of such things:
enlargement of fonts.
If the designer is posting a video, he or she should think about making sure that any user gets the whole message. If the website will be focused on posting data, care must be taken to ensure that it is read by people with visual problems.
This trend poses a lot of challenges for web designers. Why? All of these elements need to be implemented without harming aesthetics or indexing rankings. Nevertheless, by taking care of all segments of the population, the web designer will be able to expand the target audience.
Web design is a very busy phase of website development. First of all, it can introduce a lot of elements that will attract attention. The main thing is not to add everything at once, so as not to create chaos in the interface. But you also need to keep an eye out for outgoing trends, so that the site doesn’t look old-fashioned.
Clear geometry. For several years now, many designers have resorted to using strict angles and balanced shapes. Today, the user is a little tired of it, because the sites look very monotonous. Therefore, along with the advent of asymmetry loses relevance to any precisely aligned figure. Add smoothness to your graphic design.
Bright, saturated colours. Another element of web design, which is rapidly losing popularity. First, they create more eye strain. Secondly, they do not coincide with general colour trends in other areas. Therefore, to replace the bright colours come muted pastel colors.
Videos and animations as part of the design. Many websites have added animations to liven up their site. A particularly popular trend was to add a video instead of an image to the home screen background. This significantly reduced the loading speed of the site. Until this problem is solved, the video trend remains a thing of the past.
Many expected 2020 to mark a change. But in fact, it has become the year to analyse new user requirements. It is in 2021 that we will see the results. Web designers will change most trends, making websites look completely different.