This year’s web design trends promise to beam the world into a Sci-Fi future, given that they trigger inspiration from technology. But it’s a little too early to predict what 2021 will bring, considering the turbulent events that disturbed 2020 and impacted every life. The biggest shift it brought was a rapid but forced push towards a virtual world that caused digital developments as people adapted to using online services, video conferencing, and switched to remote working. 

Therefore, together with the trends that aspire to hi-tech fantasy, website designers are looking into realism’s heights. They explore the connection between the ordinary and the digital like never before because they understood that websites are part of everyday life. Here are some design trends that will breathe life into the web design world in 2021. 

Life on-screen – digital experiences replace real-life ones

2021 hasn’t brought anything new in the coronavirus scenario until now. The virus put normality on hold in 2020, and we’re not likely to see changes in the following months. Everyone expects to see more of their lives played out on screen. The digital community has quickly adapted to this new reality and created stimulating and immersive experiences that can replace the real thing. Editor X reported that robust platforms would soften the boundaries between real and virtual mediums by providing users with practical experiences. For example, they will attend virtual concerts in a virtual space rich in virtual effects that make the experience feel real and fantastic at the same time. Tomorrowland has nailed it with the Tomorrowland Around the World concept, a two-day digital festival, with 8 stages and over 60 artists. 

Another example is Prada’s Spring Summer 2021 catwalk show that moved online with no live audience for the first time in history. It was developed as a video material accompanied by complementary content like 3D VR. 

For 2021 website designers predict more personalized and quirky website designs that enhance the immersive experience. Developers will play with organic shapes, custom cursors, big and funky fonts, and ordered chaos, including innovative colour combinations, animated transitions, and flat colour fields. 

Parallax animation

Every year, a new web-based animation trend arises, and 2021 makes no exception. This year we expect animations to be more complex by separating page elements into background and foreground extremes to achieve a parallax effect. Parallax is the optical illusion that happens when objects near you seem to move faster than objects farther away. Even if you’re accustomed to this effect in your everyday life, it may seem surreal when you come across it on a website. But website designers have determined that the depth created through background and foreground offers the benefit of immersion and makes the device screen look like a theatre stage. As you navigate the website, the elements’ performance convinces you of its magic. 

Fully personalized interfaces that reflect the users’ preferences

It’s a trend that has been creeping in lately, but in 2021 we see customized UI become a regular feature. In the following months, we will see this trend experience a boom when website designers will create modifiable and modular interfaces and elements that consider the large pool of users and how different UI solutions could benefit them. This trend delivers a personalized web experience. 

Website interfaces are created uniquely for each user to reflect their identity, style, and taste. Users can modify the interfaces to match their preferences and needs. 2021 is the year when the apprehension for digital accessibility grows, and organizations take accessibility more seriously. We expect to see dark mode designs on the rise again because they are elegant and sleek and reduce the blue light exposure that affects the users’ vision. Apple is one of the websites that have already incorporated this trend in their website design. 

Comfortable colours

The job market has a digital nature lately, and people spend most of their time online using their computers, smartphones, or tablets. Because of the increased amount of time they spend looking at a screen, they experience eye strain, and web designers need to find a way to reduce the stress digital devices put on people’s health. In 2021, website design focuses on colour schemes that are easier on the eyes. 

The world you’re living in is noisy, and Zoom fatigue is a new condition that affects people worldwide. In the following months, web design needs to avoid distractions and make interactions comfortable for users. This explains the popularity of the dark mode that dominates the screen-based media. 

Website designers need to think outside the extremes of light and dark and find an alternative in soft hues like light pink, warm brown, pastel blue, and wholesome green. These colours make websites look more harmonious and induce a state of natural calm and relaxation. 

Three-dimensional colours

As stated before, colour schemes in website design trend towards gradients and soft hues, and in 2021 we will witness a transition in colour use. Taking inspiration from Apple’s Big Sur OS, website design colours will probably be three-dimensional and saturated and look like a fruit you can pluck from your smartphone’s screen. 

Web designers can accomplish it by replacing flat icons with rounded ones and applying fine shading to elements. App icons will probably be the first to integrate this trend, followed by web designs that include neat transitions of gradients in the background and blend hues to make the pages look more natural. Instead of merely putting two colours side-by-side and ignoring the border between them, web designers smear them together, so they resemble painted elements’ depth and shadow. 

This trend shows that web design trends aspire to the reals of realism. 

Final words

Web design in 2021 improves user experience. Everyone expects this year to signalize changes in all areas, but it’s more likely to analyze the new user needs and requirements. Web designers need to adapt to the market’s needs as they browse the new year. 

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