Designers have a love-hate relationship with trends. They neither want to follow the crow, nor can go in the opposite direction of a trend too. We believe that a trend shouldn’t be a blind pathway to walk on either.
You might have seen some web design trends put great emphasis on creativity like replacing grids and stock photos with bold colors, asymmetrical layouts, and vibrant illustrations. You might also have witnessed some trends focusing on technological advancements for a smart website. The trends in 2021 will bring aesthetic and technical aspects together.
Therefore, we are going to discuss some cutting-edge design trends to build better experiences in 2021.
1. Serifs everywhere
There is one thumb-rule while using serifs— sans serifs are for the soft copy (screen), serifs are applicable for hard copy (print). But trends mean shaking things here and there, right? Sans is famous for its readability and is still the preferred one for the website. But these days, more and more companies are combining serifs in their site’s headers as well as callouts. This is primarily for highlighting purposes as serifs are meant to be decorative.
Even though the font style is primitive, it’s more adaptable. Mailchimp, for example, features rounded serifs as a face of its branding. Medium too utilizes serif with bold strokes.
2. Daring black and white colors
A website depends on many elements to attract users, color being one of them. It is the color that signifies a brand, encourages mood and creates a visual landmark. In 2021, brands will be seen taking a daring step by choosing black and white shades for their website.
With no other shades but black and white, textures and shapes appear clearly. The white color itself is clean whereas black gives a strong impression. Combining these gives a striking look. Put minimal amounts of other shades and see how black and white create a dramatic effect. A website with black and white theme and a little accent shade breaks up the monotony and creates many points of interest. It also makes call-to-action obvious.
3. Natural shapes for depth
In website design using systematic grids is very common. However, at present, designers are moving toward natural shapes. Geometric shapes such as rectangles, squares and triangles feature sharp angles that give a sense of consistency. But 2021 is all about a sense of comfort. Natural shapes are imperfect and have unbalanced nature. This provides the web designers with the depth they need to make their design elements stand out.
Here, the goal for web design is to feel natural. We will see natural imperfections used widely in upcoming design trends.
4. Nostalgic, throwback designs
No trend is complete without some forms of throwback designs making a comeback. Design elements seem moving beyond the flat design. Designers are now testing retro styles with modern designs to reflect the era in which websites were not known to the masses. And, that’s what makes it feel nostalgic to many viewers. Certain color schemes and typography transport us back in time.
5. Mobile-specific animations
The end of 2018 brought web design filled with animations guided by scrolling. There were also timed animations that helped lead the customers to a marketing page. It worked well for desktop users. But now, mobile-specific animations will be on top priority. In 2021, we will see developers and designers transforming a desktop-based design into mobile-friendly web design.
6. Bigger and fresh navigations
Every year there comes a navigational trend on a website. It is because; navigation is one of the challenging elements for designers. It’s a pain for them to keep the navigation functional as well as appealing.
In 2021, designers are more likely to do experiments with navigations. Besides changing font size, placement or layout, they seem to push boundaries to make the navigation a focal point of the website. And with such experiments underway in 2021, we expect to encounter bigger navigations; even homepages turned into complete navigation and some with elite animations.
7. More, more and more white spaces
For decades designers have been swearing by white spaces. There have been many companies that have utilized white spaces creatively in their logo design. Now, it’s time for web design to leverage it.
Typically, white space is used to add extra margins to give users’ eyes a bit of rest. But now, adding more white space helps it to be the more visible part of a design. Adding extra white space in areas that do not need it makes it even more noticeable and an integral part of the design.
In 2021, we may see websites using more and more white spaces to stand out. While in earlier design practices, adding white spaces was considered useless, it’s now an emerging trend. And if it’s extra, it’s better.
8. Overlapping elements for visual interest
We have always seen elements of a website sticking to their own space. Even we’ve seen them disconnected from the elements surrounding them. But now, broken grid layouts have items overlapping each other for enhanced visual experience. This is, of course, an unexpected element.
Yes, it needs careful consideration. Web designers are leveraging this trend to improve the overall aesthetics of their website. At times, it might seem difficult to execute the same aesthetics for the mobile-based website, but not impossible. But designers have to be careful as overlapping items if not done well may lead to frustration of visitors. Elements overlapping each other in wrong ways also cause confusions.
With a website being 3D (three dimensional) in 2021, we can expect more and more overlapping designs.
You can include micro-interactions in your web design ideas to surprise your users and create a more inviting event. Every time you perform a small act on a website or even app, you receive a particular response that’s called micro-interaction. For example, when you refresh go through your Facebook account, you see your message count in the red icon, that’s a micro-interaction. Even, when you refresh your Twitter account, you hear a beep, that’s also a micro-interaction.
In 2021 web design trends, websites are going to feature more micro-interactions which is no doubt the best way to engage your audience.
The design world is changing, and it looks like we are going to see more experimental approach in web design in 2021. From transforming navigations into focal points to adding more white spaces, and bringing back the retro elements; designers will encounter many trends and experiments to include in their work.
Alice Jackson is a business consultant, blogger, social media enthusiast, online market analyst, amateur designer and an avid author at Designhill. She has written on several topics including social media marketing, SEO, content marketing, startup strategies and e-commerce. When she’s not writing, she loves spending her time reading romantic novels, Connect with her on Twitter: @jackson_alice1