2021 Website Design Trends
Despite all the challenging moments, awkward Zoom calls, and dry skin from the endless stream of hand sanitizer, we got through 2020 and kept up with the latest in tech and design. Time spent online increased dramatically last year. This year, that’s not likely to change.
However, user behaviors have been molded over the last 12 months into something else, something requiring businesses to adapt and adjust. While users spend more time online, they don’t necessarily want to. And they won’t stick around a site that doesn’t give them what they want immediately.
If you’re looking to make 2021 the year to refresh, redesign, and relaunch your website, appealing to today’s complex consumer, then read on for some web design trends that are taking off this year.
- Minimalist, Simplified, To-the-Point
- Calm Colors & Vibes
- Big, Bold Text
- Motion, Animation, & Interactive Experiences
- Mobile-First Design – A yearly trend
- Accessibility, inclusivity
1. Minimalist, Simplified, To-the-Point
What do you want to see when you land on a website? The thing you searched for of course! There’s nothing worse than having to scroll through multiple pages to find what you need. And after a year of being online non-stop, users want to minimize unnecessary Internet activity (like searching for something on your website that should be front and center).
So, this year, it’s all about giving the people what they want – giving them the goods, the meat, the entrée of your business. Minimalist design is taking off this year. We’ve seen it more and more and we’re big fans. No fluff, no frills, and after staring at a screen for so long, no headaches. We appreciate the simplicity that focuses on a company’s product or service, allowing users to stay focused on the website goal.
This is a favorite. Asymmetry was pretty popular last year, and it will continue this year. Veering off from traditional website design where every element falls evenly into a grid, asymmetry brings a fresh and edgy take on what appears in our rectangular screen.
Asymmetric shapes break up a blocky design and invigorate individuality and unpredictable patterns into the website. Of course, user experience should be considered throughout as you want to find a balance between cool website design and practical use.
3. Calm Colors & Vibes
This trend compliments minimalism. You’ve probably noticed your colleagues or friends purchasing blue-light glasses. You may even have a pair yourself. We’re all tired of staring at our screen all day. So, give users some relief by using calming colors and tones. Add color blocks and bright colors throughout the site but use a calm color as your base.
Now, you may have seen websites in “dark mode.” While this is an interesting twist on web design, it’s not for everyone and it’s not a very long-lasting or practical trend for the average business. Alternatively, you can offer a “dark mode” option to give users the chance to customize their experience.
4. Big & Bold Text
Gone are the days of squinting to read website text or zooming in to make the words bigger. Large fonts have been growing in popularity. Part of this is due to the fact that people have less patience for wordy nonsense. Of course, reading isn’t nonsense but scrolling through endless, irrelevant text is.
With big and bold text, you can give users the key points and most important information, followed by regular size text if they choose to read on. Large font makes a clean and simple header and can be a great compliment to a minimalist design.
5. Motion, Animation, & Interactive Experiences
Grab the attention of your audience with animation and interactive experiences. Videos, animated content, hover effects, parallax and scroll effects, and interactive elements – all these catch the user’s eye and create a higher level of interest.
You don’t have to pay thousands of dollars to create custom animation. Start simple and subtle with scroll or hover effects to give users a chance to interact with your website. Consider incorporating video too in your web content or as a background. Interactive elements included quizzes which help users find the right product or service. If you want to go above and beyond, augmented reality and virtual reality can help. Show customers what your product looks like in their home or give a virtual tour of a space, like a real estate property or a gallery.
6. Mobile-First Design – More Than a Trend
We can’t talk website design without mobile-first. Mobile-First means what it sounds like – putting mobile design first. Google released an update a while back stating that websites were to rank on search engine result pages based on their mobile performance, not their desktop. So, if your website loads fast and works beautifully on a laptop, but loads slow and performs poorly on mobile, your website will not rank – anywhere.
So, no matter what you do, think of mobile first. Think of people scrolling through your website on their phone. Put important content on the top, optimize your images, video, and code to load quickly. If you have an online store or online booking system, ensure it’s easy to navigate on the small phone screen. Mobile-First design is here to stay.
7. Accessibility & Inclusivity
If you only remember one thing from this blog, let it be this: accessibility and inclusivity is here, and businesses need to catch on. Less of a trend, and, like mobile-first, more of a way of life, accessible websites allow all users to interact with your brand, regardless of disability. Additionally, you can take a breath knowing your website isn’t breaking any ADA laws – there are hefty fines for those that do.
A few tips to improve accessibility and inclusivity include:
- Contrasting colors between text and background to improve visibility
- Use alt tags to provide alternative text to images
- Add an Accessibility tool on your website to allow users to customize the website based on their unique needs
- Read our accessibility blog to learn more
Using Analytics to Optimize Your Website
If you’re considering redesigning your website but are not sure where to start, use your analytics. Did website users drop-off at some point? Why? Use a heatmapping tool to find out where they’re clicking and not clicking. See how far users scroll on a page and if they’re missing important content. Use page speed tools to find out your website’s load time (Pss… we offer a free website analysis report. Check it out.)
Ready to Make Your Website Shine in 2021?
Good. Because the new year is going to require every business to step up and get out of their comfort zone. Appealing to today’s complex consumer is hard. We get it. So, if you’re looking to make 2021 a better and stronger year, contact us today. Our web developers can help make your website a lead-generation tool for your business.