As many have done so the last year, web designers have enough time to ponder about the impact of the Internet on the average Joe’s life. The pandemic has brought isolation and disconnection. As we have noticed, web design trends are all about reconnection, be it with nature, the past, or fellow humans.
Without further ado, we present this article as your primer for what’s to come this year. We think these 8 trends are going to be big this year. Want to know more? Read on!
Table of Contents
What Are the Upcoming Web DesignTrends?
Ever wonder what are the trends in website design will be like? Similar to technology, web design trends change fast. What might have been innovative and forward-thinking can become outdated the next time you check them out.
What Is Dark Mode?
The dark mode isn’t new. But it took off in 2020 and is expected to continue its reign in 2021. In the past years, web designers have only settled for the white background. But with Facebook, WhatsApp, and Google allowing its users to have the dark mode alternative, it’s just a matter of time that everyone catches up.
The dark mode uses the grey or black shade as the background color, a contrast to the default white color often used as UI. The dark theme offers a lot of advantages to improve the user experience.
- Helps with the weary eyes
- Better for those who work in at night
- Reduces Computer Vision Syndrome
- Improves visibility in low lights
- Reduces gadget energy usage
- Improves attention span
Are you ready for a dark mode design?
- Are your design colors compatible with the dark mode?
- Is your design already minimalist?
- Do you want to create an emotional response?
- Do you want to promote luxury?
If Yes, to at least two of the questions, sure, go dark mode. If not, add a dark mode toggle to allow your users to experience it. These are what you’ve got to remember, though.
Don’t adjust to the dark mode to take up the trend. If the dark mode doesn’t match with your branding, better follow the original. Also, the dark mode works best with the minimalist design. If your website has a lot of text or other visual add-ons, stick to the former.
Best Dark Mode Design Practices
- Avoid choosing the darkest black as this can cause too much squinting and possibly headaches when paired with high contrast screens. Better stick to grey shades.
- Use the 15.8:1 ratio for dark surface and white text.
- Colors that you combine with your black background should be within the pastel or those with grey color combinations. Saturated colors do not blend well with the black background.
- Know that when you shift from your original background to a dark theme, some elements might be affected, so some value is lost.
- Test both light and dark versions so you’d know which version attracts more customers.
Websites That Have Dark Modes
If you’ve pondered over the question, “How can I make my website more attractive and gets the message across?” Larger and bolder fonts make your visitors vividly aware of the message. Take note, though, when you use bold fonts, use as few images as possible. You can also add gray-stenciled letters with a contrasting background.
You want to highlight the message behind the fonts- you wouldn’t want to take their eyes away from those. Use neutral colors for your fonts to emphasize your headlines. Make sure that you’re using the typeface that’s reflective of your brand and audience.
It should still be easy to read. That being said, the font should be responsive for all gadgets. After all, you want your visitors to read your content, not get distracted by imagery. This way, you’re not compromising the user experience.
There is also an upsurge in the use of retro fonts. It’s like the old becoming the new. What makes the retro font of now differs from that of the past is in the stylization. Why not try combining these retro fonts with futuristic fonts for a modern spin? Adjust the spacing but make sure that these fonts can still be readable.
Here Are Some Websites That Use Bold Fonts to Inspire You
The appeal of less is more is universal. Perhaps that’s the reason why this trend stayed long- and won’t leave anytime soon. It’s functional, simple, and stick to the unconscious. The new minimalist is different because designers aren’t stuck with the black background and white fonts or vice versa. They have now explored the various color schemes to make the pages funkier and less boring.
Tips to Create the New Minimalist Web Design
- Stick the bare essentials.
- Use bold background colors.
- Minimalist typefaces are still the way to go.
- Use interactive media
Also, there is a marriage of minimalist design with 3D elements. Unlike the 3D representations of the past, the trend is to keep the 3D elements to the bare minimum.
A growing fascination with Brutalist art has seeped through web design. Thanks to the ever increasing number of youth and their new outlook- fresh, disruptive, and penchant for lack of order and comfort. Maximalism is the unrestricted vigor that favors expression over harmony.
How to Apply the New Maximalist Approach
- No restrictions on design elements
- Use flashy colors
- Overlap images
- Fill up space with elements
- Mix different font sizes
Here Are Some Maximalist Websites
Here Are Some Minimalist Websites
Perhaps 2020 is the most stressful year in the recent past. People spend more time hooked in front of their computers, with the majority working from home. It’s no wonder many complain about eye strain. With the pandemic still looming, web designers are relegated to liven up what people see on their screens. No wonder the dark mode is getting traction this year.
Aside from deviating from the whiteness and resting everything on the dark mode, web designers have been exploring other colors to help users from the glare of the white background. Web designers are experimenting with colors in softer hues, preferably in muted pastel greens, browns, and pinks.
Natural colors are being infused into the majority of the pages. Perhaps this is to bring nature nearer to people now that travel is being restricted in one way or another.
Here Are Inspiring Websites That Use Soft Colors Effectively
Grid no more. For years, web design anchored on grid usage to highlight essential website elements. Yet, such reliance makes the website more generic. One of the web design trends for 2021 is creating asymmetric web pages without endearing user experience.
There is a move towards Brutalist aesthetics, that is, designing without concerns for being comfortable. Call it imperfect, if you will. It’s the complete opposite of what most web designers are used to. Perhaps it’s the intentional out-of-place texts, imperfect lines, or topsy-turvy layouts that make such design aesthetic jarring yet free. Often, you’d find yourself designing in hand-coded HTML, reminiscent of the 90s web graphics.
The Brutalist design makes page loading much faster. It allows visitors to find what they’re looking for much easier since essential elements are highlighted and with fewer distractions.
The key to this trend is to find balance through user testing. Make sure that each element complements another and does not carry down the entire page. How will you know which should be asymmetrical? Eyes fixate on larger objects. Hence, enlarge the ones you want your visitors to focus on.
How to Make This Work on Your Website
- Make sure that your audience likes your design.
- Use big color blocks in complementing hues.
- Avoid using trimmings and other unwanted elements.
- Play around with shapes and sizes.
- Avoid shadows and gradients.
- Use only one kind of font throughout
- Use a contrasting color palette.
- There should be less imagery.
- This is most suitable for single-page websites.
- Overlap your images
Check These Websites for Inspiration
Online visitors want to have a personal experience with your brand. What better way to do this than create an immersive website where people don’t just read what’s posted on the pages. They want to click, scroll, and discover information like kids finding their Christmas presents. An eye candy, the trend is all about creating a website that blurs virtual from reality.
You can play with people’s inherent nosiness by creating a virtual tour of your showroom. Make sure that you showcase it and not hide it in your navigation bar. You can include a 3D VR feature.
No longer would scrolls be mundane and boring. This year, scrolling could come to life. With just one click, the element transforms, gearing participation from your visitors. By getting them involved, your visitors are most likely going to be engrossed and engaged. Changes would range from shifting colors to animations just like this one from Pet Stop Boys.
3D objects can also add to the immersive experience. The 3D effect brings a whole new dimension to your design, especially when the object is floating. This creates a lifelike effect on the objects. These elements are very effective when you have a plain or block color background as the latter highlights the 3D element.
Parallax animation is another way to have an immersive experience. It’s a near-to-reality illusion where the closest object on the screen moves faster than the ones farther. The combination of a moving foreground and a stationary background creates a semblance of a stage, reeling your visitors to check out some more.
Overdoing your parallax could be harmful to those with balance disorders, causing them to be dizzy and disoriented. Nonetheless, here are some tips to correctly use the parallax effect:
- Your parallax effect should not distract the user from performing tasks.
- Don’t overkill your pages with parallax.
- Parallax movements should also be minimized
- There should be an off toggle button to turn off the effects.
Here Are Some Websites That Uses Parallax Effectively
Photos + Graphic Art
One of the biggest trends in social media the past year was the use of mixed mediums. That being said, it’s only a matter of time that web design catches on to this trend. Mixed medium for web design is about combining graphics and photos. With web design being more accessible and easier to create through mobile apps, digital art is redefining the face of web design to mimic traditional art.
Similar to a collage, combining photos and graphics provide a broad scope of flexibility. It can have a childlike character for product images or invoke an air of seriousness if applied to a tech website. It depends on the shape, the colors, and the other elements added to a website.
Photos and graphics are best paired with minimalist or Brutalist designs. Your website would sure be catchy with those combined. You can also use the collage technique for your news feed content and Stories. The one great way to apply collage on a web page is to cover the entire page with a cut-out photograph with mixed-in graphic art and patterned illustrations,
Here Are Some Inspiring Website That Combine Graphics and Photos
Art imitates life- and the web design world is the new platform. While getting inspiration from nature is not new, but you’d hardly see this in web design. Well, at least until recently. Organic design started in 2020, and it’s not about to end this year.
Activism is rampant in web design. One can say that organic design was rooted in this movement. People are now mindful and cognizant of the importance of sustaining the environment. That being said, organic design often uses earthy colors and natural shapes. To be more modern, combine it with brighter colors. Make sure the latter is added in small quantities.
What Colors to Use
- Soft browns
- Faded pinks
- Muted blues
- Muted greens
- Neutral colors
These trends can help you get the conversions you want. Why don’t you give it a try? What did we miss out on some other trends? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!