Technology

10 Web Design Trends That Unfolded in 2021

Consumers spend around 6 hours and 55 minutes on the internet daily. 

That’s more than ever before! 

Not only that, but 61% of consumers plan to spend more time online compared to before the pandemic. 

In other words, consumer behavior changed drastically. We are starting to see the internet as the go-to way for most of your daily activities. From working to entertainment and even grocery shopping. 

Thus, the world of web design is changing as well. 

So, what are some of the trends that unfolded this year? 

Let’s take a look.

1. Neumorphism 

Neumorphism is the successor of skeuomorphism, a design approach that aimed to bring reality closer to the screen, by using faux-realistic textures, drop shadows, 3D elements, etc. 

Skeuomorphism was all the rage back in the early 2010s, being prominently used for the interface of iOS devices. 

But this trend was soon surpassed by flat design. This design language aimed to improve user experience by making everything simple. It used two-dimensional elements, simple typography and icons, and bright colors. 

Neumorphism, on the other hand, tries to bring the best of both worlds. It borrows the drop shadows and 3D elements of skeuomorphism and combines them with the simplistic feel of flat design. 

This combination got a lot of traction last year, and it seems like it will only grow in popularity in the future. 

2. Toned-Down Colors 

Bold and flashy color palettes were commonly used for grabbing the visitors’ attention. 

But, given the increasing amount of time a user spends on the internet, bright colors are decreasing in popularity, as they are straining on the eyes. 

That said, web designers are shifting to more toned-down colors, like warm browns, pastel blues, light pinks, etc., giving users a more pleasant browsing experience.

3. Abstract Imagery 

Abstract imagery was typically seen as minimalist and restrictive. But now, web designers are incorporating it in more complex compositions. 

This compensates for the toned-down color palettes we’ve mentioned, by giving the web page a splash of liveliness and energy. 

These arrangements typically replace figure illustrations and stock photos. 

4. Captivating Quizzes

Once a user visits your landing page for the first time, you’ve got a rather short amount of time to capture their attention. Experts from Digital Silk, a web design company in NYC, say that you’ve got no longer than 15 seconds to do so.

So, how can you do that? Well, many brands ditched the idea of getting users to read product descriptions and letting them make their decision by themselves in favor of displaying captivating quizzes. 

After all, everybody loves to talk about themselves. So integrating a questionnaire on your landing page will get users engaged in no time. 

These usually involve multiple-choice questions regarding a user’s likes and dislikes. Consequently, besides grabbing his attention, you will also get to gather important information about him, which you could use further down the road. 

In terms of design, landing pages displaying quizzes come in the form of a series of cards, with animated transitions in between, rather than the usual, scrollable page. 

5. Scrolling Transformations

Although when users scroll down your website already means that you’ve got them engaged, there’s still room for improvement. That’s where scrolling transformations come in. 

Scrolling transformations work by providing more visual feedback once a user goes further down the page. It can come in the form of changes in the color palette or layout to complex animations.

The main idea is to give users the impression that they see a new page every time they scroll, encouraging them to explore around even more. 

6. Blending in Digital With Physical Imagery

As previously mentioned, neumorphism combines elements of flat design with skeuomorphism. 

This is most prominently seen when displaying products. Although the web page’s background is flat, products are displayed the way they are in reality. 

This method is getting popular not only because it makes the web pages less boring, but it also draws attention to the products. It also gives the page a more organic feel. 

7. User-Controlled Videos 

Videos are an important part of any website. They are great for transforming complex information into something easier to digest.

What’s more, videos are known to generate more engagement compared to content like images or text, for example. 

But, the days of auto-playing videos are long gone. They are too intrusive and rather annoying, likely getting users to leave the page right away. 

That said, giving users the ability to play the video whenever they feel like it is a must-have feature this year. But, that doesn’t mean you should avoid driving attention towards your video content. 

Web designers manage to catch the users’ eyes and compel them to watch content by creating highly effective call-to-action buttons, which is one of the reasons why you should work with web marketing firms.

8. Emphasis on Building Trust 

Finding ways to build trust with your audience has always been an important part of your website. But, with the surge of new online shoppers and with online stores getting highly competitive, building trust is all the more important. 

There are plenty of ways to do so, like displaying customer reviews, testimonials, or security badges, for example. 

But, there’s also another way. 

Many businesses have started to focus their web design around showcasing their integrity. For example, if you’re visiting a fashion website, chances are that you’ll be able to tell that their products are sustainable within seconds. 

Other brands may choose to show that they’re giving back a part of their revenue to a charity. 

This allows companies to humanize their brand, earning users’ trust as a result. 

9. The Use of 3D Elements 

Another aspect of neumorphism is the use of 3D elements. But, rather than being a distraction, they’re now adding to the browsing experience. 

Web designers implement high-quality 3D elements in flat backgrounds to add a bit of depth and dimensionality to the web page. 

Consequently, combining flat design with 3D elements can make a website more unique, fun and improve user experience overall. 

10. Dark Mode 

And finally, there’s dark mode. This has been widely implemented by social networks, app, operating systems, and it looks like even smaller websites are getting in on the action. 

Just like with muted colors, dark mode looks modern, sleek and it’s much less eye-straining. 

Not only that, but having a dark mode option available is especially handy for mobile users, as it goes easy on the battery as well. 

Besides users, designers seem to also love dark mode. That’s because it lets them experiment with new design options that may not have worked with a white background. 

Takeaways

All in all, it seems like the world of web design is looking to blend in the easy-to-use and minimalist style of flat design with the shininess and realistic feel of skeuomorphism, resulting in a style that looks rather posh. 

Furthermore, because of the increasing amount of time we spend on the internet, web designers also seem to emphasize user experience more than ever before.

Ellie is a long-time marketer, currently working as a freelancer in Miami, Florida.

She is also a passionate writer and loves to explore new, innovative and digital news.

In spare time she is an eco activist.

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