If 2020 has taught us one thing, it’s how important websites can be. The design and usability of the website can make or break a website. And not that it wasn’t known before, but it has become painfully obvious in this year. These observations have shaped 2021 web design trends. And to be quite clear, in the wake of a very trying year, ‘trends’ is not exactly the right word. Many of these are evolutions from what websites were to what they need to be. With that in mind, let’s look at some of 2021 web design trends and evolutions.
When I mentioned about the evolution of websites in regard to what they need to be, page speed is one of those very things I was talking about. If your website loads slower than 3 seconds, you’re losing visitors, leads, customers, and sales. And yes, I can already hear someone mentioning that 5G is here to bring lightning speed to the web. Yet, 5G is fairly new and it is quite possible your visitors do not have 5G. Also, let’s not forget that while 60% of all visitors of the web are using a mobile phone, that means 40% are still desktop, with slower internet speeds. So, while the internet is getting faster, you still need to optimize your site for page speed.
Accessibility is another website trend that is more like an evolution and an important one at that. If you have been living under a rock and not sure what accessibility for websites means, “Web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them. More specifically, people can: perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web.” ( https://www.w3.org/WAI/fundamentals/accessibility-intro/#:~:text=Web%20accessibility%20means%20that%20websites,and%20interact%20with%20the%20Web)
Elements that improve accessibility include:
- Creating strong color contrast between text and backgrounds
- Adding focus indicators, such as the rectangular outline that shows up around links when using keyboard navigation
- Using labels and instructions with form fields rather than low-context placeholder text
- Using functional alt tags for images
Micro-interactions are small animations that offer subtle feedback to users.
Micro animations are small but not insignificant animations. E-commerce sites are using micro animations to enhance user experience and give shoppers a new way to experience their products.
Subtle Drop Shadows
Subtle drop shadows in web design and UX design can give a feel of depth without being too harsh or distracting.
Open images have been around for a while, but I think they will get bigger and bolder in 2021. Open images are images that seem to have no border or background (see above)
Gradients can be used to add depth, serve as a striking background, or subtly to add texture to an illustration. We have used it in combination with a background image in order to give the background a bit of flavor in the past. This trend does not seem to be going anywhere in 2021.
2017-2019 saw the emergence and use of geometric shapes in web design and UX design. This last year and continuing in 2021 will see the use of organic shapes. Organic or fluid shapes are anything that doesn’t involve straight lines.
By now, just about every designer has probably heard of using minimalism in web design. It’s the ability to keep the design simple, clean, and with a lot of white space. The gold standard, or what is pointed to in most cases as the pinnacle of minimalist design is apple’s website. Yet, in 2021, white space does not have to mean “white” space.
In many cases, paired with colorful minimalism is bold, bright, saturated colors. Bold colors help your brand stand out from the soft neutrals that many companies have chosen over the past few years.
If you are a small business owner, no matter what type of small business you have, 2020 has proven it is crucial to have a website and have it stand out from your competition. In this aspect, 2021 is going to be the same. These 2021 web design trends along with others will help shape the landscape of who is successful in the digital landscape. Just to start, your business needs to be online in order to be successful. And at the center of that online strategy needs to be a kickass website that says we are open, and we are here to stay.
Hughbanks Design is a Houston WordPress and digital marketing Company. Chris Hughbanks is the owner of Hughbanks Design and is fascinated with all this web design, UX design, SEO and more! It’s this fascination and love that drives him and Hughbanks Design to help small to medium size businesses succeed in the digital space.