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5 Web Design Trends for 2021

Web design trends are usually influenced by and reflect the changes that are happening in both the digital and actual, real world. With that being said, most of us have been working remotely this past year and have been faced with the challenge of how we can recreate real-life experiences and make them available virtually to the user. 

Over this past year in web design, web designers and content creators have explored and used various avenues of visual communication to leverage engagement, as well as constructing an intimate space for their audience through immersive digital experiences, animative and interactive web elements. 

Through these 5 web design trends, you will be able find and apply individual trends that fit your industry. It is important to remember that these design trends are not just an aesthetic choice, but rather a healthy balance between both quality and quantity, too. You should not

1. Immersive Digital Experiences replacing IRL 

As the pandemic continues to change the world as we know it, we continue to see this play out in the digital world. During this time, we as creators will be tasked with the challenge of creating stimulating, immersive digital experiences that are as close to real life as possible so we can keep our audience engaged. 

The concerts and lectures we used to attend in person have since become spatial and rich with the elaborate visual effects we are seeing via websites or virtual events. In this year of our digital world, we will see more websites (and maybe even you reading this) stepping up to the plate to play with various web design features, such as custom cursors, typography and animations to construct an immersive and unique experience for you, the user. 


2. UI tailored to a personalized fit of the User 

This year, our interfaces will become more unique to each of us, in reflecting our tastes, styles and identities. UI/UX designers will be creating more modifiable and modular site interfaces that fit the various users and create a personalized experience for the user. Not only will these customizable interfaces allow a site design to be more cohesive and inclusive of their audience, but they will be able to match their users’ varying needs. 

Furthermore, designing websites to fit users will also help with accessibility among users, such as using typefaces for better legibility/readability. Keep in mind that accessibility does not come at the price of visual design, but rather adapting a design to better include a diverse audience. 

For example, Spotify’s 2020 Wrapped, gave listeners a personal overview of their listening habits over the past year. This personalization of users has not only encompassed platforms but interfaces on our mobile devices and social media platforms where we can choose through light and dark mode, as well as an array of color themes. 


3. Animative and Interactive Web Elements (Parallax Animations / Scrolling Transformations )  

Since many of us have been limited to interacting with one another virtually as a result of the pandemic. Content creators and web designers have had to lean on making web elements more animated and interactive. 

One of these animative, interactive web elements is parallax, which is an optical illusion that occurs when objects near the viewer seem to move quicker than an object farther away. While we experience this illusion/sensation in our everyday lives, such as when looking at scenery as we drive. 

The parallax effect on a webpage comes across to you, the user, as both a real and surreal reality. Furthermore, the depth of parallax is constructed through the use of both foreground and background, as well as the immersion and transformation of the computer screen creates something similar to a theater stage. Navigating a parallax site page can make the user feel like they are in an immersive, virtual world. 

There are some things though you should keep in mind when adding parallax to your site. First, you will not want parallax effects to distract from important information or make it difficult for a user to complete an important task on your site. 

You should also be intentional when using parallax on your site because too much parallax can slow down on your site. By minimizing the amount of parallax movement within each instance, constraining parallax effects to a small area of a site page, and offering the option for users to turn off parallax effects can help keep your site between this healthy balance of looking aesthetically pleasing and usable. 

Ultimately, you should use parallax sparingly and intentionally to emphasize important bits of content and information. 


When users scroll, they are doing more than just navigating the page-- they are interacting with the various elements on your site. 

Interaction is a form of participation, so when users are a part of what is happening on the site, they are more inclined to be captivated and engaged. Simply put, scrolling is the most subtle form of interaction, so elevating the visual feedback users get when they are scrolling makes for an engaging visual experience. 

This visual feedback can be anything from full on color scheme changes to intricate animated transitions within the site’s design. Scrolling, while simple, is simultaneously making both the designer and user take their time as they interact with a site, and its design elements. All in all, animation takes the user experience into much more than just scrolling for information, but to make a striking impression and catch the attention of the user. 

4. Color to Evoke Certain Moods 

While many of us know that colors evoke emotions in us, whether that be a feeling or memory, colors will continue to be a crucial component in web design this year. In using a specific color, you should mindfully choose which color(s) you use so you incite the intended emotion (and action to be taken) in your audience. 

Color psychology, the study of a color’s influence on our behavior, has been around for centuries, and many marketers have used this to help sell their products and services. Though our interpretation of color plays a pivotal part in our perception, there are some overarching general feelings associated with colors. 

For instance, the color red usually incites the feeling of being bold, while the color green offers the feeling of being peaceful. So in choosing the colors you will use in your brand and on your site, you should think of the feelings and actions you want your audience to have and take. 

This trend of color evoking certain moods will play a major part in web design in this year and beyond, so create and design with color mindfully. 

5. Design for Speed 

With 5G technology on the edge of becoming mainstream, your website needs UX that allows for fast page load times. 

But an increase in design elements means a reduction in your site speed, meaning it is pertinent to how you design your site-- use design elements that give value to the end-user and won’t put a damper on site speed. 

Free tools such as GTmetric can be used to help you find which factors and page elements are slowing down site speed and page load times. You should also optimize images, enable compression and minification of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code on your site

Designing for speed comes down to having that healthy balance between aesthetically pleasing elements and what will lighten page load times. 

The 2021 Web Design Trendsetters

Embrace the design trends that can elevate your brand, as well as attract visitors to your site. 

Be careful and thoughtful, though, when integrating and applying these design trends we have gone over, since you will want to stay relevant and speak to your intended audience. 

Keep in mind that these five web design trends are out of a handful you may have come across, so feel free to mention and share a web design trend that speaks to or has helped you rise above your competitors. As with anything in life, some trends will stay and some will go, just as the landscape of web design will continue to change and evolve as we do. 

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