Each year web design trends promise to beam us into the sci-fi future of our dreams, given that they are based on technology. But this year trends are nowhere near that. They appear to share a common theme: rather than aspiring to hi-tech fantasy, web designers seek new heights of realism. Designers are blending the digital and the aspects of everyday life like never before. In this way, the following web design trends for 2021 are breathing life into the digital world.
From micro-interactions to particle backgrounds, we have witnessed the rising popularity of web-based animation trends year after year. 2021’s web animations are getting even more forward by separating page elements into the foreground and background extremes. And this creates a parallax effect.
Parallax is the optical illusion that occurs when objects near to the viewer appear to move faster than things farther away. Although we see this in everyday life, for instance, when viewing passing scenery while driving, web pages’ effect comes across as equal parts authentic and surreal.
The depth created through foreground and background also has the added benefit of immersion, transforming the computer screen into something closer to a theatre stage. As users navigate the website, they are drawn into its convincing performance as if by magic. And at the end of the day, isn’t magic what the internet is supposed to feel like?
We have seen many old things become cool again and then, in turn, become even more uncool. Think handlebar moustaches and mom jeans. Irony has a short shelf life.
Retro fonts have encountered this same decline and flow in their popularity, and many designs featuring vintage typography have not aged well.
Still, throwback typography has gone through a bit of a resurgence. We do not see the same tired fonts. Instead, stylisation and a bit of artistry are reimagining what retro fonts can be.
Instead of feeling old and cliche, they breathe new life into traditional bold fonts with a bit of experimentation. That is an excellent example of taking traditional fonts and giving them a bit of a cool and modern spin while maintaining legibility.
Horizontal scroll is having a comeback, even though it was previously regarded as a web design faux-pas. Nowadays, more web designers are experimenting with horizontal scroll. And those who do it best break the pattern not for the sake of being distinctive but as a way to disclose secondary information progressively, like in an image gallery.
Cue up AC DC’s “Back in Black” because the dark mode is hitting more screens this year. More designers embrace the dark mode aesthetic, with black providing the perfect dark backdrop to make design elements pop from the screen.
Prominent brands like Apple, Hublot, and even individual portfolios like Clock Strikes Twelve use it. The dark mode is a great way to add a modern, elegant touch to any website and allowing designers to play with more creative elements, such as pastels and neon. There seems to be a shift towards more products that offer a dark mode setting or are only dark driven, based on studies that reveal the impacts of glare and blue light exposure on our precious battery life.
Ready for the biggest web design trends this year?
It’s always exciting to see how web design continues to change and the no-code movement’s continuing momentum. I also can’t wait to hear what you want your website to look like this year.