10 Latest Website Design Trends for 2021
Photo by Alessio Zaccaria
Originally Posted On: 10 Latest Website Design Trends for 2021 — Blog — Rob Garay
There’s no doubt that 2020 has been a rough year for everything – from exhausting Zoom meetings to social isolation, these unprecedented times have been difficult to cope with. While this may remain constant for some time, something that is always changing designs.
Every year comes with more innovation than the last, with creativity in technology becoming ever more awe-inspiring. This is especially true for web design, where web developers continue to amaze us with incredible new features and designs.
However, with consumers preferring more minimalistic designs, web developers have shifted to simpler and clearer website designs. These new websites are coded so that they have the minimalist look that customers prefer and the advanced technology that is required to keep up with the market. This effectively combines innovation and simplicity, making websites the perfect blend of both.
The following examples encapsulate this spirit and are definitely trends that will be seen in 2021. Whether you’re building a website from scratch or giving your website a much-needed makeover, I hope this list provides you with motivation and ideas.
1. Interactive Multimedia
Web developers are combining text, video, and audio to create a richer, more integrated user experience. While this requires a fast internet connection to work, it’s not much of a problem, since most users favor faster internet anyway.
However, to ensure success, it is essential to keep user experience in mind. Prevent alienating users by addressing the following.
Accessibility is an important aspect to take into consideration so that all kinds of users can visit your website – excluding blind or otherwise impaired customers will not only reduce traffic but may also have a negative impact on the perception of your brand.
To ensure accessibility, different media designs and formats should be used. Closed captions and transcripts are also important, as are image descriptions for complex pictures. Using HTML for all text can be helpful.
Simple and minimalistic designs are now the norm. Overcrowded websites or those that are too hi-tech can not only increase bounce rates but may also alienate users with cognitive disorders.
Videos that auto-play can be troublesome and may even cause some users to leave. Including a ‘play’ option gives users control, so they can pause or play at their own pace. Using multimedia effectively is an important part of retaining visitors.
2. Social Sharing
Make sure that the content on your website is unique, engaging, and enjoyable so that users want to share it on different social networks. The “share” option should be prominently displayed so that this can be done easily.
This icon can be placed on the side of the page, at the beginning of the post, or at the end of the post. This gives users options to share the content at any step if they wish to do so. Providing different platforms to share on such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Blogger, etc. gives users more options to choose from.
Social sharing gives off the impression that your content is unique, and forms a strong brand image, which, in turn, drives the audience to your website.
3. Grainy Textures
Color contrast and the visual aspect of a website is extremely important. Trends for 2021 are seeing a shift from rigid lines and solid colors to grainy textures. This takes a dull website and turns it into one that feels more natural. Textures and grainy designs can give life to your website – rougher designs add to the natural look and are more aesthetically pleasing than rigid, structured designs.
4. Responsive Design
With the advancement of smartphones, comes more convenience. This allows users to browse on their phones instead of using their desktops. Because the number of mobile phone users is high, responsive design is an important design aspect to consider.
Responsive design allows the website’s layout to adjust to the device it is viewed from. This is done automatically and greatly improves user experience. It includes the size, font, and the cursor automatically adjusting to suit the device used.
Desktop users experience full-width menus and a horizontal layout while mobile phone users see a version that is adapted to correspond to finger taps. Since a non-responsive website delivers a poor user experience, this is a key feature to keep in mind.
Scrollytelling is a new web trend that enhances storytelling through website experience. It essentially turns storytelling into an interactive experience and uses visual and audio content to add to the story and improve user experience. This type of content is said to be more engaging and adds another layer to the experience.
To optimize scrollytelling, you should:
Restrict videos to a small section instead of expanding them to the entire page
Remove the auto-play feature and provide play/pause options
Use graphics and animations to support the story and add visual interest
Keep the scrollytelling brief but descriptive
6. Hidden Functions
Hidden functions are not visible to users but are crucial to maintaining the website. An analysis of these functions provides opportunities for improvement which then results in a more functional website.
Hidden functions should ensure the following:
The use of Google Analytics to follow user activity, origin, and engagement
Regular backups of your website design and content
Scans for viruses and malware, i.e., security features
7. Load Speed
The website should be updated regularly to ensure no lagging or unnecessary delays. Slow loading speeds result in high bounce rates since customers are impatient and simply leave. Images should be regularly examined, removed, and uploaded to boost speed, while unnecessary content should be regulated. Keeping an eye on these issues is sure to optimize the user experience.
8. Updated Layout and Content
Constant innovation is necessary to maintain a functional website. Regular updates are essential, as are fresh layouts and content since this helps maintain a competitive advantage. The introduction of new product lines, features, discounts, and special offers should be reflected in the website design.
A website is not something you can set up and forget. It needs constant improvement so that it adds value to users. If not, it is essentially a bunch of useless code. Updating your website and the content on it will show users that it remains current and will increase trust in the information provided. Ultimately, it will reduce bounce rates by enhancing the user experience.
9. Dark Mode
2021 is the year of embracing the color black. The black mode is set to take over the light, vibrant colors of 2020. With darker themes becoming more appealing, those looking to build a web presence should aim for a dark aesthetic instead of a light one.
Since providing value to your users should be the main objective of your website, every feature should highlight something productive. Micro-interactions can be described as a value in exchange for joining a website’s mailing list, or a coupon in exchange for inviting a friend to check out your website.
Micro-interactions are easy to install and operate and offer huge benefits regarding user experience. For instance, when the customer fills in the email address box and then receives an email with their coupon, they instantly think “This brand did exactly what they claimed to do.” As such, it has proven to be an initiative toward a long-term and loyal relationship with your users.
It has always been amazing to see how trends change so rapidly, and web developers always leave us curious about “what’s next.” If you’re looking to develop a website or update an existing one, a website design service is the best way to go. Contact me to discuss the endless possibilities!
As Buckminster Fuller said:
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Here is to hoping for a happier and healthier new year!
If you’re interested in discussing this more or any other topics on digital marketing, feel free to contact me to keep the conversation going!