Websites are important. We know that. When your prospective customers are looking for a solution, they’re doing it online, and a great website makes a great first impression.
In 2020, the world paid more attention to websites than ever before. As soon as all business went remote, your website became an essential part of your business. They became our storefronts and sales representatives. They were how people bought our products, qualified our services, and connected with us.
Luckily, we made it to 2021. But now that so many people are accustomed to doing business remotely, your website can never slink back into the shadows. If you haven’t optimized it already, you should. Not sure where to start? Let’s look at some of the trends you should expect for the upcoming year.
Apple launched dark mode for their products in 2019, and since then, the trend has taken over. Apps like Facebook and Twitter followed suit, allowing users to activate dark mode. Dark mode is a color scheme that uses a dark background with lighter text and graphic elements. It causes less strain for your eyes, and the dramatic juxtaposition between the dark background and your design or text draws the user to what’s important. As dark mode designs mature, we could even start to see more colorless designs.
Black and white design is sleek and allows small pops of color to draw people to what you want them to see. Dark mode is like the LBD of websites – it’s sleek, chic, and never goes out of style. Check out these dark designs from Melanie Daveid and The Ordinary.
Much like fashion, the website designs coming out of 2020 are all about comfort. Expect to see more comfortable or muted colors across the web in 2021.
After spending hours on Zoom, people’s eyes are tired. A more muted color scheme is easier on the eyes and more comfortable to look at after being on the computer for so long. Check out this example from “Every Last Drop” – an interactive UK site about the importance of saving water.
As kitchen tables became desks and living rooms became gyms, bars, and everything in between, we all needed a little more organization in our lives. The same goes for your website design. Simple shapes like circles or squares help structure your site and point people to what is most important. This works especially well in contrast with 3D graphics. The law firm Hudson Gavin Martin uses a geometric grid to structure its layout and clearly show its different capabilities. No muss, no fuss.
Retro Fonts and Bold Text
When it comes to web design, what’s old is new again, and retro fonts are so in. As we spend more time online, designs are becoming more stylized. The goal of 2021 websites should be to make a user’s time on the computer less boring. Text is going to be bigger, and there will be less of it. Choose a few essential words to highlight, like HugeInc, a marketing agency in New York.
Illustrations are a great way to add humanity, and a pop of color, to your site. In a time when seeing someone face to face is rare, and we’re all sick of staring at headshots, many designers are looking to illustrations to inject some personality. Check out this example for some familiar faces.
We’re all craving a little more interaction these days, and your website is no exception. In 2021, designers will be creating more and better ways for users to interact with your site.
Multimedia content is one way users can interact. Consider using audio instead of a chunk of text. Many people would rather listen than read, even if it’s just in the background, and we now live in a world where videos play automatically. Scrolling websites are also on a slow rise. Instead of navigating through dozens of different pages, you just scroll down. This keeps the user engaged but isn’t anything too fancy or overwhelming. The site for Daesk, a time management app, does a great job with interactivity. Not only do they have a scrolling site that reacts to your mouse, they also use autoplay videos to talk about their brand and show how their app works.
As technology continues to advance, so will website design. People want authenticity. What better way to show that you’re authentic than 3D elements that blur the lines between real life and online. A minimal website with a few 3D graphics goes a long way. It makes your site feel more real, more touchable, more authentic. Check out this example from Obachan, a Japanese online shop.