Each year’s web design trends promise to beam us into the sci-fi future of our dreams, given that they are based on technology. But the 2021 predictions we received from our community of web designers from around the world suggest the opposite.
2021’s web design trends appear to share a common theme: rather than aspiring to hi-tech fantasy, web designers are seeking new heights of realism. They are blending the digital and the ordinary like never before, and it reflects just how much a part of everyday life websites have become. In this way, the following 9 web design trends for 2021 are literally breathing life into the digital world.
1. Parallax animation
Parallax is the optical illusion that happens when objects near to the viewer appear to move faster than objects farther away. Although we see this in everyday life—when viewing passing scenery while driving, for instance—the effect on web pages comes across as equal parts real and surreal.
Neumorphism has been gaining incredible traction this past year, and in 2021 it promises to usher us into the paradoxical age of minimalist realism. The style is a successor to skeuomorphism—a design approach that incorporates renderings of familiar, outdated materials into current designs, and it had its heyday on app icons everywhere in the early 2010s. This trend was largely supplanted by flat design, which simplified icons and colors in a way that was less realistic but more uniform and easily identifiable.
3. Abstract art compositions
Abstract shapes, especially those consisting of geometric primitives like squares and circles, can come across as simple, minimalist, and restrictive. However in 2021, web designers are incorporating them into complex, sprawling compositions that exude freedom.
4. Comfortable colors
Given the increasingly digital nature of the job market these days, most people spend the majority of their time on computers. Because of this, it is not uncommon for users to experience eye strain after staring at screens for long periods of time. Web designers have been taking this into account with color schemes that are focused on being easier on the eyes.
In 2021, web designers will be thinking outside the two extremes of dark and light. They are finding middle ground in soft color palettes, like wholesome greens, pastel blues, warm browns, or light pinks. These not only make website colors less jarring than pure black or pure white, they naturally induce calm and relaxation.
5. Web design for causes
With the COVID-19 pandemic and the various shelter-in-place orders that followed, the internet has become a refuge. Not only have virtual conferences become the norm for social gatherings and entertainment, but many brick-and-mortar brands have also turned to websites to keep their businesses afloat. And web designers were up to the task, creating meaningful and impactful designs.
6. Scrolling transformations
When users scroll, they are doing more than navigating the page: they’re interacting. The physical actions they perform in real life—flicking their fingers over the mouse—cause a response on the screen. Interaction is a form of participation, and when users are involved in things that are happening, they are more likely to be interested and engaged.
7. Digital interpretations of physical products
Products are often at the heart of websites, and 2021’s web pages have their hearts on their sleeves. Specifically, products are inspiring literal design elements through creative, digital interpretations of physical media.
8. Captivating questionnaires
The onboarding process—the window of time in which a user visits a landing page—is perhaps the most critical moment of a user’s journey. They stand on a knife’s edge between intrigue and apathy, and the quality of his experience here will send them toppling firmly to one side.
9. Three-dimensional colors
Color schemes in web design have been trending towards gradients for a while now, and this year’s trend feels like the next evolution, with color transitions becoming more lifelike than ever. Taking their cue from Apple’s Big Sur OS, we expect colors that are saturated and three-dimensional, almost like fruit you can pluck right out of the screen.
This trend is accomplished through fine shading that gives a rounded feel to the flat icons of yesteryear. While we do anticipate it to appear most commonly on app icons, web designers are also abandoning the neat transitions of gradients for background blended colors that come across as more imperfect and natural. Two colors side by side might abruptly smear together or they may retain the shadows and depth of painted objects. All in all, this trend suggests that the web design colors of 2021 are aspiring to higher realms of realism.
Source: 99 Designs