2020/11/17

10 Stunning Web Design Trends in 2021

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Stunning Web Design Trends

2021 is the year of the user-centered approach where simplicity is transformed into something special and compelling. To build visually appealing products, businesses need to strive to keep a watchful eye over modern trends and stand out from competitors. For your inspiration, we’ve compiled 10 bright examples ranging from bold fonts and dark modes to 3D animations and unrealistic characters that will blow your head away.

10 Stunning Web design Trends in 2021 to Get Inspired

Dark Mode: Take Care of Users’ Eyes

apple dark mode

Being a big trend in 2020, dark themes continue to be even more popular in 2021. Providing a completely different look, dark UI options bring additional advantages to users since it is more comfortable to look at dark-mode designs in low-light conditions. Often people do not think over it when looking at their smartphones in bed. According to a report by BuiltWith, 1354 websites use dark user interfaces to attract customers.

Let’s take world-known tech giants who have already adopted the dark mode feature. Apple even offers setting scheduled time for users to shift to dark mode automatically. Google, Instagram, Facebook, Gmail, Slack, Itunes, Amazon, Wikipedia, etc., and this list can be continued. Here are some of the reasons why companies utilize dark mode:

  • It is friendly to the users’ eyes.
  • It looks modern and elegant.
  • Low battery consumption.
  • It increases the contrast ratio.
  • Elements on the dark background look more visible.

The dark theme has gained incredible popularity on smartphones. And since almost half of the search queries today come from mobile devices, websites should follow the dark mode trend.

First of all, it helps to create a single space for the user. After the minimized color palette of the dark mode of the phone and applications, a person who opens a bright and contrasting site may experience some discomfort.

 And people use their smartphones to search in cafes to dine or order movie tickets, browse tourist marketplaces to book a vacation trip, etc. So the dark theme is becoming more necessary than optional. And we think this modern trend will lead to more black and white themes in 2021.

3D Designs Make Outlines

3D elements in designs are not new but today they are getting more and more popular by attracting users and decreasing bounce rates on the websites. Moreover, with VR/AR technologies gaining momentum, hyper-visual 3D elements are impactful adding extra beauty and effect. Influenced by a combination of photography and illustrative images, plus animations, 3D designs have huge chances to conquer competitors on the saturated marketplace. 

3d animations
An amazing example of 3D motion by Mark Dearman for Wear&Tear.

3D elements have always been used as a way to grab attention. They stand out very well against the general background of the site, give the necessary volume. In addition, it creates a unique style of the site that the visitors clearly remember. This applies to both fonts with 3D effects and simple site design elements. 

In addition, this effect can be applied to the color scheme of the site. This is achieved through subtle shading, which gives roundness to such flat icons that are familiar to us. It looks very fresh and immediately attracts. The secret is very simple. The two nearby colors make each other stand out through the shadows and depths of the objects.

Moreover, a good solution would be to implement a 3D effect of actions of buttons or pop notifications or windows. However, when implementing 3D graphics, it is worth remembering that the site must be optimized for such a solution.

To implement 3D graphics, your website has to be fast-loading, high-performed, and optimized. Otherwise, you can risk losing your visitors due to unresponsiveness and slow loading which will affect your website traffic.

3d motion
Julien Renvoje for Viola

Wow Effect with Unordinary and Futuristic Colour Combinations

Whereas minimalistic plain web designs of previous years seem casual and boring to users, colorful and innovative web designs saturated with bright combinations are likely to hook their attention and win the game. 

If you want to stay up-to-date and stand out of the crowd you need to be ready for experimental activities on your website design, e.g., neon glowing shades, intense colours in combination with mysterious accents. All these out-of-the-box approaches will create a modern and dynamic feel for your user. 

A great example is gradient fashion. This new web design trend has just burst into the world lately. And it develops further and further. Color transitions are more realistic than ever. It seems that the colors can be touched. The gradient is used all over the place. It can be used to add depth, as a bright background, or to add texture to an illustration easily.

The macOS Big Sur desktop wallpaper is a great example of a “live” gradient background. This approach to color on websites can really refresh the design.

futuristic web design 2021

futuristic web design 2021
Toyfight shows how vibrant colors perfectly harmonize with 3D elements creating dynamic and engaging effects.
web design trends 2021
Sarah Drasner is a brilliant example of how futuristic and experimental palettes can showcase creative flair.

Keep It Fun: UX Writing and Microcopy 

Microcopy cannot be underestimated since it plays a great role in user experience. So what is that? Microcopy is brief sentences aiming to inform the user of what to do, address his/her concerns through which you communicate with your visitor in a clear and moving manner. The Adobe team outlines four cornerstones of writing UX microcopy: brevity, context, action, and authenticity. 

And in this case, it is the task of the UX writer to work through all the pain points for your users and remove what may cause them to abandon the user path.

In general, modern design development using microscopy can be characterized as follows:

  • Make the user journey simple and straightforward;
  • Anticipate user needs;
  • Conduct a dialogue with the user;
  • Create a relationship of understanding between the user and the product.

Change your communication style by providing your text on the websites or apps in a more informal way avoiding standard phrases and cliches. Regular dialogues that are less formalized will take your consumers a step closer, and sometimes a pinch of humor is a good recommendation to unwind your audience’s boredom.

UX writing trend 2021

Haus website came up with simple and funny UX writing ideas to hook users’ attention on their contact page.

Surreal Product Photos Blow Users’ Mind

This unconventional design technique will help you move a step forward and make your visitors on the website stay longer. Subsequently, the average session time will be improved which can have impacts on conversion rate improvements.

Surrealism can be approached through abstract forms. Even simple and understandable geometric images in the right combination can create a demanding background. However, you can also use more complex images. The main thing is to create the right combination of shapes and colors so that the website is expressive and lively, even in the absence of familiar images.

However, if you do not support the idea of geometric shapes, there is another rather interesting solution – irrelevant illustrations. Now, this is ubiquitous through images of people with large limbs or in unusual colors.

This is what will immediately set your website apart from others. Irrelevant illustrations are a good alternative to standard photographs. They add the author’s style both to the site as a whole and to each page separately.

If you are working on an e-commerce platform or online store this UX/UI trend will definitely attract users’ attention. Forget about classic and trivial product images – it is left in the past.

web design trends 2021
MadeByStudioJQ
Nike 3D animation
MadeByStudioJQ for Nike

Graphics + Photography = Your Brand Uniqueness

Overlap graphics onto the images/photos if you want to create the individual flavor of your website. Mixing photos and graphics is a good way to maintain your branding. This collage-like approach can:

  • Customize images and add extra personality to your brand.
  • Customize your images, whether make them more informal, or in contrast, more technical or serious. 
  • Make your web design more deep and engaging.

For example, you can add retro-style graphics (which by the way is also considered to be trendy) or geometric shapes to your product photos to make it more live and creative. Select graphic elements that perfectly emphasize your goal and showcase your idea.

And since it has already been said about fonts, then it is worth dwelling on this in more detail. In 2021, there is a trend towards a return to vintage typefaces from the 70s and 80s, It is not just a return to vintage, but complementing these fonts with vibrant colors and more pronounced lines. Designers have rethought their approach to typefaces.

Now, along with a recognizable vintage style, they use vibrant colors – from infectious, warm palettes to conflicting colors that cannot be ignored.

graphic photos design trends
Louise Mertens
mixed media collages
Rocio Montoya

Voice User Interface Optimizes Experiences

The way we are looking for information has changed, and 2020 was the year of the hot trend utilizing virtual assistants and voice chatbots in UI/UX design processes. It hasn’t taken entirely off yet, however, this trend is gaining momentum. 2021 is anticipated to be the year when more and more websites will be incorporating voice searches in their design strategies to be ahead of competitors and adjust to users’ demands. Yeah, business leaders such as Apple and Google have already implemented this trend.

Now, instead of typing traditional text queries into the search line, consumers will get faster and more effective solutions. 

In addition to voice search, the voice user interface (VUI) is also rapidly developing.

But remember that this is mostly an internal interface. VUI is more about context and data synthesis. The familiar Shazam and Google Translator are outstanding examples of this type of design.

In these applications, voice or music is recognized, allowing search or translation. This greatly simplifies the interaction with the product for the end-user. And that’s why designers are trying to keep up with the latest trends in user experience and increasingly provide users with a voice interface.

Amaze Your Users with Animations and Motion Graphics

Motions in web design will definitely immerse your users’ emotions. Motion graphics and animations are great solutions to captivate visitors of your website. As a result, static UI becomes dynamic with live flair. Below we provide several bright examples to charm you. But first, let’s consider the main reasons why this trend is so impactful and powerful:

  • It is a creative way to make your website distinguishable and memorable.
  • It adds aesthetics to your brand.
  • Thanks to motion graphics, users become more connected with you.
  • User experience gains “new feelings”, it is extra intuitive and convenient.
  • It eliminates negative UX and accelerates customer loyalty.
Motion graphics trend 2021
Liquid Effect by Asha Rajput
animation trend 2021
Animation by MUTI

Also, animation can be in full 3D. Implementing such a solution will give the user the effect of presence and a sense of limitlessness.

In addition, in this vein, users may be interested in interactive content. 3D elements with which the site user will be able to interact will help to stand out perfectly. There are many ways to implement this approach. But it all comes down to the fact that an interactive element should entice the user and increase the time spent on the page.

Bold Fonts Make Emphasis

Although it is not a new trend, it still is captivating users and is a good technique to emphasize the product or particular feature by implementing bold fonts for headings. Bold fonts help improve usability and visual sense. The thing is that users tend to pay attention to the first lines on the website, that’s why it is a good idea to bold titles. 

bold font design trend 2021
17Issues website is an outstanding example of implementing the bold fonts trend.

And a great use case for bold type is large headlines and abbreviated messages. This approach aims to reach an audience quickly. These larger headings are usually combined with a much smaller copy of the subtext, similar to a minimalist approach, but both are bold.

And it is imperative to use neutral fonts, which further emphasize the headlines, quickly turning into a great substitute for images.

And here are some tips from the Northell team for using large bold typography:

  • Use one of the popular fonts that will definitely grab attention. But remember that the text should be as readable as possible.
  • Choose a simple and unassuming background. The user’s attention should be focused specifically on the text.
  • It is important to make all text responsive and make sure that how large the text looks equally good on both large and small screens.
  • Keep your message short to avoid overwhelming users.

Interactive Storytelling Enhances Meanings

We have mentioned a lot of different user-triggered trends already, however, there are still totally new trends that will dominate in 2021. Among them is interactive storytelling suitable for B2B brands who want to utilize the strength of digital innovation to tell stories.

If you want to put emphasis and highlight important points on your website, while keeping the user’s interest, narrative and animated stories shift perspective and make your potential customer closer to your product. What should you do? Make your story engaging and immersive by using experiments, movements, zooming in and out, etc. Mind that this technique is time-consuming so that if you are looking for web designers tailored to your needs, we at Northell are at your disposal.

interactive storytelling
Nick Herasimenka for Ramotion

And the first thing to start the storytelling process on the site is to set goals:

  • Goal 1. Make the user a full-fledged participant in the story. Interactive elements of the site will help you with this, for example, 3D effects that we have already described above. But not only them, but you can also use all kinds of graphics, text, and even photos.
  • Goal 2. To lead the user to a logical conclusion or “morality” that will force him to take some action. The Call to Action method is perfect for this.

By all the rules of storytelling, a story should consist of three parts: the plot, the conflict, and the resolution. And you can also start your story with this simple model.

How to create a modern web design?

What secrets and tips can help you create a professional and modern site? Such questions would require pages and pages of in-depth analysis because the factors that contribute to the success of a web project are many. However, if we had to define a basis from which to start, I would talk about 5 essential points, 5 actions through which a website takes shape.

Define and investigate the goal

Before launching into the creation of a website, it is necessary to define the objectives that this tool will help you achieve. The web is huge and wandering without aim can involve a considerable waste of resources, money, and patience.

Analyzing the surrounding environment allows you to understand the scope of a web project. The online market offers great opportunities, but the competition is fierce. For this reason, it is necessary to know the competitors, study them and learn from them. Browse competitor websites and take note of what you think works and what could be improved. Get in touch with the target audience you want to reach to create a website designed specifically for your typical customer.

Сhoose your style but listen to the trend

Now, graphic solutions are developing very fast and within a year, the site could already require a graphic restyling. To avoid a crazy run-up to the latest trend, You should choose your unique style to avoid a crazy pursuit of the latest trend. However, pursuing fashion can be useful, especially in terms of usability, by offering graphic elements with which users are familiar, think for example, of the hamburger icon in the menus of mobile devices.

Once the distinctive features of a page are defined, it is important that the style of the menu, buttons, and links remain the same. The user navigates by sight, and leaving these elements unchanged promotes safety by limiting a possible sense of loss. What may seem linear and obvious to us may not be so for those on the other side of the screen!

Color gamut and text

An infinite palette of shades can lead to decision paralysis or, on the contrary, push us to a big binge of colors. The website design does not have to appear chaotic, and for this reason, it is necessary to dose the visual stimuli. Choose two or three main colors and play with them.

Moreover, web pages must be designed in a way that is easy to read. Black text on a white background is a choice that makes life easier for the reader and the designer. Also, the formatting of the text plays a very important role because it helps to facilitate reading. Then break it down into short paragraphs and use titles that help the user to identify the topic that interests him.

Navigation menu

The navigation menu of a site is a very delicate element of design on which the success or failure of a web project can depend.  In principle, it is not possible to draw up dogmatic laws for the navigation menu, so a little common sense is needed. Use simple words that uniquely and unambiguously identify the landing page and play the navigation between primary and secondary menus.

Testing

Let your work be touched and analyze any critical issues. Usability tests can improve the fortunes of a site, eliminating critical issues that affect the efficiency and, therefore, the value of the entire project.

Tips for working with design trends

Keeping up with trends in the creative world is absolutely essential for design and marketing professionals.

Always stay up to date, regardless of your projects

As a professional designer or marketer, it is important that you, find ways to keep up to date with current trends, whether you are working on a project or not. These are excellent ways to grasp trends as other designers are creating them passively. That way, you’ll be ready to use them when needed.

Seize the essentials, do not use the whole trend

When you use a design trend in your work, it is essential not to reproduce it exactly. Instead, you can use some minor aspects that make up the trend to build your creation.

Evaluate trends critically

If something is in fashion, it doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. When something reaches the tipping point, the trend becomes oversaturated, and the market responds by reversing it. So let’s go back to the first piece of advice we gave – try to follow brands and designers that fit your specific interests, don’t follow all the fashions you see around.

Ready for the hottest graphic design trends in 2021?

So as you can see now 2021 will bring us an abundance of surrealistic and futuristic designs supplemented by media and animation to enhance user experience.

Without doubts, these trends require high page speed and solid UX. If you are looking for web designers to help you build a modern and up-to-date website/app please feel free to contact us. We will give you the biggest breast of fresh air into your new products. 

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