In just a few years, web design trends have risen to unbridled creativity, with grids and traditional stock photos superseded by vibrant illustrations, bold color schemes and asymmetrical layouts. Visitors see countless websites, which means that companies keep trying to attract attention with new web design trends that also ensure conversion.

In the web design trends of 2021, these two sides of the coin – aesthetics and technology – will come together like never before.

1. Mixing photos and images

The use of real photos mixed with illustrations or images creates an individual message of the site. Whether you’re taking a photo of a product or a person, it helps preserve the branding and is also a great way to stand out from the crowd. Overlapping or overlapping images with a photo create a special visual effect.

Such collages are universal:

  • They can be used to add attraction.
  • They dilute complex attributes, allowing abstract concepts to be conveyed.
  • This is a way to customize images and add personality.

How to maximize the flexibility of this trend? Match the style of the illustrations and images to your brand identity. This has a major impact on how the user interprets the photos. For example:

  • for playful entertainment photos, you can choose caricature images;
  • Complex geometric shapes are suitable for an online store with classic clothes; restaurant sites can be perfectly combined with retro-style images.

2. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly permeating all areas of our lives, including marketing. When you implement AI on your site, you can use significantly more data to meet user needs.

In the context of web design, the addition of artificial intelligence relates more to development than to the final result. AI is the ability to create targeted and personalized pages that target a specific context. AI helps include:

  • gather information about readers;
  • automate the selection of images;
  • run tests;
  • place attention elements in the most appropriate places.

The user expects more and more personalization on a subconscious level every day. AI is the best way to give a web page visitor exactly what they are looking for.

3. Faded trends

Web design is a very intensive phase of website development. First of all, you can add many elements to it that will attract attention. The main thing is not to add everything at once, so as not to create chaos in the interface. But as a designer you also have to follow ‘old’ trends, to ensure that the site does not look old.

Clear geometry. For years, many designers have resorted to using right angles and balanced shapes. Nowadays the user is a bit tired of that, because the sites look very uniform. Therefore any clearly verified illustration loses its relevance with the advent of asymmetry.

Bright, saturated colors. Another element of web design that is rapidly losing popularity. Firstly, they cause more eye fatigue. Second, they do not coincide with the general color trends in other areas. Therefore, replace these bright colors for pastel shades.

Video and animation as part of the design. Many sites have added animations to liven up their site. One particularly popular trend has been the addition of video instead of images in the background of the main screen. This significantly reduced the site loading speed. Until this issue is resolved, the video’s trend will get stuck somewhere.

4. Dark mode

Dark mode web designs not only look ultra-modern, but they are also easy on the eyes and make colors and design elements stand out.

Sometimes the most visually stunning web design trends have practical beginnings. Dark themes are better for OLED screens – they save power and extend screen life – but that utility doesn’t stop them from looking good. Dark backgrounds enhance the visibility of other accent colors for a truly dynamic design.

Coincidentally, the dark mode design aesthetic also fits in perfectly with other prevailing 2021 design trends, including dark and moody color schemes paired with glowing neons and futuristic yet dark cyberpunk and dystopian styles.

5. Scalable vector graphics

Multimedia content such as GIF, PNG and video formats has been driving engagement and retaining visitors on the web pages for years. But multimedia content was somewhat anti-mobile. Multimedia content leads to latency, especially on mobile devices. Brands need solutions for this, as internet users have mainly become mobile users.

This is where SVG came in – scalable vector graphics. SVG is not a pixel but a vector based image in an XML language. The advantage of developing a web design with the SVG approach is that when designers create icons, logos, and other artwork, these design elements look highly optimized regardless of screen resolutions. Plus, designers can save them as super small file sizes and easily edit and tweak them when needed. SVG can make an important contribution to the scalability aspects of sites and apps.

6. Thumb-friendly design

It should no longer be news that the number of mobile users is increasing every year. The design must also be taken into account. Do you place the menu at the top, or do you want to be distinctive by placing it at the bottom. The advantage of this is that your visitor expects him at the top, where you can then cleverly place a Call To Action (CTA) that gets extra attention.

A lot of research is still being done on how the mobile is used and which fingers we use to navigate. Most people hold their mobile with one hand and use their phone with only one finger. It is not difficult to guess that the thumb is by far the most used. A few years ago this was already almost 50%, but more and more people are turning to the thumb to navigate.

When the question arises whether the mobile menu can be placed at the bottom, people often think conservatively.’ You expect it at the top, right?’ or ‘I’ll wait until more people have it’. However, there is also an alternative:

The logo including the hamburger menu (as three lines are often called because they have the appearance of the hamburger) can simply remain at the top. Other items that you often see there are the telephone icon and often an envelope icon to email. These items can also be fixed at the bottom of the screen.

Combine this with, for example, the shopping cart and the search function and the user has all the easy functions for your website literally under his thumb. You also create tranquility in the menu bar, which benefits the design and user-friendliness.

I expect that in the coming year more and more mobile designs will be provided with useful links at the bottom of the screen. Incidentally, I already mentioned and posted this in an earlier web trend from 1 to 2 years ago.

7. Floating elements and soft shadows

Another way to add depth to your website design is to use floating elements. In addition, you let a photo or illustration come to the foreground more and your web design automatically receives more attention. Of course, a video in the background of your website generates the most attention, but unfortunately this still ensures a huge loading time. This is also a major conversion killer.

Personally, I always think it’s very neat to use a thick border around a photo of at least ten pixels, which gives this photo even more attention. Use a subtle bend of ten degrees on the corners and place a very light shadow behind this. On a white background, such a block with a white border (which is normally not visible) has a floating effect due to the soft shadow.

Of course the above is also possible when using titles that just need a little attention. However, use the shadow very softly – and don’t make sure that a thick black border is visible – as this will reduce readability.


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