Each year’s web design trends promise to beam us into the scifi future of our dreams, given that they are based in technology. But the 2021 predictions we received from our community of web designers from around the world suggest the opposite.
2021’s web design trends appear to share a common theme: rather than aspiring to hi-tech fantasy, web designers are seeking new heights of realism. They are blending the digital and the ordinary like never before, and it reflects just how much a part of everyday life websites have become. In this way, the following 9 web design trends for 2021 are literally breathing life into the digital world.
by Permadi Satria Dewanto via Dribbble
From micro interactions to particle backgrounds, we’ve witnessed the rising popularity of web-based animation trends year after year. 2021’s web animations are getting even more complex through the separation of page elements into foreground and background extremes, creating a parallax effect.
Source by Minh Pham via Dribbble
Source by Wesley van ‘t Hart via Dribbble
Parallax is the optical illusion that happens when objects near to the viewer appear to move faster than objects farther away. Although we see this in everyday life—when viewing passing scenery while driving, for instance—the effect on web pages comes across as equal parts real and surreal.
Source by Slava Kornilov via Dribbble
Source by UI8 via Dribbble
Neumorphism has been gaining incredible traction this past year, and in 2021 it promises to usher us into the paradoxical age of minimalist realism. The style is a successor to skeuomophism—a design approach that incorporates renderings of familiar, outdated materials into current designs, and it had its heyday on app icons everywhere in the early 2010s. This trend was largely supplanted by flat design, which simplified icons and colors in a way that was less realistic but more uniform and easily identifiable.
Source by Alina Shchebetun via Dribbble
Source by Emy Lascan via Dribbble
Neomorphism represents a merging of both trends, with design that mimic physically through selective drop shadows while being overlaid with semi-flat colors. Most commonly, the effect resembles digital embossing or debossing. It allows designers to reclaim the tactile experience that was lost in the flat design era, and this in turn heightens the user’s connection to the design he is interacting with. Expect to see this stylized realism on the buttons, search bars and text boxes all across the digital designs of 2021.
Source by Samson Vowles via Dribbble
Source by Samson Vowles via Dribbble
Abstract art compositions
Abstract shapes, especially those consisting of geometric primitives like squares and circles, can come across as simple, minimalist and restrictive. However in 2021, web designers are incorporating them into complex, sprawling compositions that exude freedom.
Source by andrei2709 via Dribbble
Source by Karolina Marques via Dribbble
Source by indicius.com via Dribbble
Given the increasingly digital nature of the job market these day, most people spend the majority of their time on computers. Because of this, it is not uncommon for users to experience eye strain after staring at screens for long periods of time. web designers have been taking this info account with color schemes that are focused on being easier on the eyes.
Source by Davina Spriggs via Dribbble
Source by Davina Spriggs via Dribbble
Source by Viola via Dribbble
Web Design for causes
With the covid-19 pandemic and the various shelter-in place order that followed, the internet has become a refuge. Not only have virtual conference become the norm for social gatherings and entertainment, many brick-and- brands have turned to websites to keep their business afloat. and web designers were up to the task, creating meaningful and impactful designs.
Source by Design Excellent via Dribbble
Source by Arthur mineev via Dribbble
Source by Lance Barrera via Dribbble
When users scroll, they are doing more the navigating the page: they’re interacting. The physical actions they perform in real life—flicking their fingers over the mouse—cause a response on the screen. Interaction is a form of participation, and when users are involved in things that are happening, they are more likely to be interested and engaged.
Source by Hiroshy via Dribbble
Source by JP Dribbble
Source by Slava Kornilov Dribbble
Source by Vilius Vaicius Dribbble
Scrolling is the one of the most subtle from of interaction, and as such, 2021’s web designers are ramping up the visual feedback users get when they scroll. This can range from full color scheme changes to complex animated transition to wholesale shifts in the layout. All in all, web designers are taking the time making each scroll feel like a new page- sometimes even a new website.
Source by outer Dribbble
Source by Manon Jouet Dribbble
Digital interpretation of physical products
product are often at the heart of website, and 2021’s pages have their hearts on their sleeve. Specially, products are inspiring literal design elements through creative, digital interpretations of physical media.
Source by JPSDesign
This might come in the form of color smeared across the page like nail polish or images are cropped in rounded rectangles like smart phones.
Source by Abay (bay)
The onboarding process- the window of time in which a user visit a landing page- is perhaps the most critical moment of a user’s journey. They stand on a knife’s edge between intrigue and apathy, and the quality of his experience here will send them topping firmly to one side.
Source by Christian Werther via Dribbble
Rather than having the user read product descriptions make decisions on their own, more and more brands are using questionnaires to foster an interactive experience. These quizzes ask personable multiple-choice questions that are focused on the visitor’s likes and dislikes in order to subtly cater products to them.
Source by Florian Pollet via Dribbble
Source by Alena Sokolova via Dribbble
From a design standpoint, this means landing pages that are more like a series of cards with animated transitions in between them than standard web pages. This also makes them much more interactive than the survey fields commonly included in the headers of landing pages.
Given how effectively these get-to-know-you quizzes make the prospective buyer feel like they are already a part of the service before they’ve even signed up, we expect to see onboarding questionnaires become a standard feature of web design in 2021.
Three Dimensional Colors
Colors schemes in web design have been trending towards gradients for a while now, and this year’s trend feels like the next evolution, with color transitions becoming more lifelike than ever. Taking their cue from Apple’s Big Sur OS.
Source by Sur OS via Apple
Source by Mert Arslan via Dribbble
This trend is accomplish through fine shading that gives a rounded feel to the flat icons of yesteryear. While we do anticipate it to appearmost commonly on app icons, web designers are also abandoning the neat transitions of gradients for background blended colors that come across as more imperfect and natural. Two colors side by side might abruptly smear together or they may retain the shadows and depth of painted objects. All in all, this trend suggests that the web design colors of 2021 are aspiring to higher realms of realism.
Ready for the biggest 2021 web design trends?
At the end of the day, the top 2021 web design trends look less like design out of a sci-fi movie and more like actual design we would encounter in everyday life. It goes to show how increasingly common websites are as a part of our life, and the designers of 2021 are bringing them down to earth. How do you imagine the future of web design trends? Let us know your predictions in the comments below.