The question “what makes a good web design?” does not have a conclusive answer. You see, the digital landscape is constantly evolving, which is why we get a new perspective on this question every couple of years.
Generally speaking, a good web design is responsive, immersive, and intuitive. Everything else is optional.
Now, while these “requirements” are clearly defined, they are merely objectives that you can complete using a number of methods. The themes and styles change, as well as the popularity of various design elements. With that in mind and without further ado, here are the top six web design trends for 2021.
There are many reasons why minimalism is a great solution. First of all, it’s not resource-intensive, which already helps your website run more smoothly. Keep in mind that the page’s responsiveness plays a significant role in user experience and ranking factors.
Second, it enhances the page’s readability and allows your audience to focus their attention on the right elements. More is not always better, especially if it leads to the paradox of choice. According to one study from 2000, people presented with six options were ten times more likely to make up their minds than those who were asked to choose between 24 options.
Keep in mind that the concept of minimalism creates one major misconception. Namely, because it has a simple look, it creates a belief that making a good minimalist design is easy to pull off. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whitespace management alone is a difficult task and having the right HTML-to-text ratio is incredibly difficult to achieve. On top of it, you need to make a lasting impression.
Oversized elements can help establish the hierarchy of importance on any page. This is especially important when it comes to presenting an organically inserted CTA (call-to-action) button. As such, proper use of CTA can drastically enhance your pages’ CTR (click-through rate). According to veteran SEO services providers, CTR is one of the principal ranking factors that won’t go obsolete no matter how much the algorithm evolves.
The key to inbound marketing is definitely the concept of spontaneity. This is where oversized elements can take the idea even further. Namely, people are programmed to pay attention to larger objects first. This means that by presenting three objects all in different sizes, you can rest assured that the audience will gaze at them in the order of size. This gives you a lot of creative freedom to create unique designs.
Oversized elements are a simple concept that can fit into any other design trend discussed on this list. It is a simple idea that can be implemented in any theme or style.
The concept of dark mode has been here for a while now, but in 2021, it has almost become mandatory. Primarily, it diminishes the glare effect and makes it easier on the eyes.
Some websites and platforms (like Facebook, Skype, Discord, etc.) allow the users to choose between standard (often white) and dark mode. This customizability has an important psychological effect on the users. Namely, by allowing your audience the privilege of altering the physical properties of the website, you are helping them feel like they participate in the design, as well. This alone is a huge boon to their sense of ownership, as well as their sense of belonging.
Keep in mind that there’s more to dark mode than just switching to a darker hue of the background. The colors of fonts need to be recalibrated as well. All in all, it’s probably for the best to leave this to professionals.
Visual dividers have always been a part of web design, but the concept of split concept has grown in popularity. Knowing how to make a good transition is often quite tricky. Generally speaking, there are several types of visual dividers that you could use. Some of these are lines, color transitions, negative space, shadows, and image frames.
Each of these methods has its advantages and disadvantages, and while some are ideal in one specific scenario, they might not work in some other situation. Generally speaking, split content, especially horizontally split, is excellent for side-by-side comparisons. This is a particularly good idea for landing pages since it provides some instant information. Also, through contrast, you get to exploit psychological constructs like proximity and similarity principles.
One more thing worth mentioning here is that you can use negative space as a divider to make the whole image look minimalist. Like large objects, it’s something that you can integrate regardless of the theme or style.
Nostalgia can be a powerful tool, but what does nostalgia mean when we discuss the concept of web design? For most people, this is the look of the early 2000s, including concepts like brutalism.
Now, this too is a bit more nuanced than you would expect. When looking at things through the lens of nostalgia, people only tend to focus on positive things. For instance, while they remember the visuals and their positive experiences with early internet content, they often forget the broadband speed and responsiveness.
In order to get the best of both worlds, you want to return to retro formats and retro visuals by keeping present-day responsiveness and optimization. Mobile-friendliness, touch-friendliness, and similar quality of life upgrades should not be forgotten. It’s really all about getting the best of both worlds.
Gradient Color Scheme
Figuring out how to use gradients and make the transition of subtle and mesmerizing hues might not be an easy task, especially if one is a web design novice. First, you need to understand the concept of color progression or color ramp. The key thing is that you pick two colors that will fit the opposite sides of the area/screen and fill in the space between all the nuances between these two colors on the spectrum.
One interesting effect of this method is the fact that it gives a three-dimensional appearance to the design. Most importantly, it doesn’t take too much skill or effort. Of course, there are different types of color gradients and a lot of color gradient tutorials out there for those willing to learn more.
In the end, while some of the above-listed ideas can be combined, the rest are quite self-explanatory. Your website probably has its own unique agenda (closely tied to your business objectives), and as long as these are fulfilled, there is no right or wrong answer. Just keep it clean, simple, responsive, and immersive. While this is easier said than done, the above-listed six trends will help you with this task.