Photo: <a href="">Gaelle</a> on<a href=""> Unsplash</a>

7 leading modern web design trends in 2021

6 min read
Digvijay Singh

Did you know most users form their first impression of a website based on design alone? In this post, we’ll explore the top modern web design trends of the year that you can use to create a new stunning site — or freshen up an existing website.

Good web design not only makes a positive impression on visitors but also boosts the number who click.

That is why the web design of your website is so important.

But technology changes fast, and so does the taste of the people. What was trending a few months back might be completely outdated now. To keep up with the latest web design trends and standards, it’s imperative to incorporate modern web design elements into your digital strategy.

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1. Parallax animation

Parallax is one of the top web design trends in the design community right now. You can take your website experience to the next level with this interactive design element.

Parallax is the optical illusion that happens when objects near to the viewer appear to move faster than the ones that are far.

Follow these guidelines of parallax web design to gain the maximum out of it:

  • Don’t overdo — use it subtly only to enhance user experience
  • Don’t let parallax effects distract the user from important information
  • Don’t make it harder for the user to complete an important task
  • Minimize the amount of parallax movement within each instance
  • Don’t constrain parallax effects within a small area of the screen
  • Include an option for users to turn off parallax effects

Related: 5 technologies to improve customer experience

2. Soothing colors

A second web design trend has to do with color. These days, it is common for people to experience eye strain due to increased screen times.

Web designers have understood this problem, and they are using more soothing and lighter colors in their palette — like wholesome greens, pastel blues, warm browns, or light pinks.

The soothing effect of light colors often encourages users to stay on the website longer.

These soft colors not only make websites less jarring to the eye, but also induce calmness and relaxation.

3. Virtual reality

VR Lens website with the words “Let’s dive into virtual reality”
Photo: Chirag.UI on Dribble

Virtual Reality (VR) is also among the year’s most popular web design trends. VR refers to a computer-generated simulation in which a person can interact within an artificial three-dimensional environment using their smartphone.

VR experience has gained more popularity in the time of the global pandemic.

Due to Covid-related lockdowns, businesses could not showcase their products in a physical setting to their customers. Web designers took this challenge and used VR to provide almost-real experiences to the users.

Few businesses that have gained by adopting VR on their websites include:

  • Real estate companies
  • Car dealerships
  • Interior design consultants
  • Engineering companies
  • Retailers
  • Construction companies
  • Tour operators and many more

4. Questionnaires

Businesses are continuously fighting with the ever-decreasing attention span of website visitors. They have a short window of time to explain the benefits of their products and guide them to choose the best option.

Rather than asking people to read all the product descriptions, many designers are using questionnaires to help them make a choice.

Here are a few reasons why this web design trend works so well:

  • People want to learn something they didn’t know about themselves
  • People like to categorize themselves to strengthen their bonds with like-minded people
  • These types of quizzes are entertaining

More than just recommending the products to users, these questionnaires work very well for sending personalized email campaigns.

Here’s an example of a coffee brand using this web design trend to make product recommendations, collect emails and provide discount offers to increase sales.

5. Illustrations

Screenshot of the Trello website

Now gone are the days of stock images. Illustrations are on trend this year, as they infuse life into website designs. They can help you to communicate stories and present the information adequately.

B2B companies are increasingly adopting illustrations as their brand style of communication. They are creating their own expressive languages with illustrations.

Illustrations are powerful when it comes to attracting the attention of users and turning them into paid customers.

6. Storytelling web design

We have been listening to and telling stories since we were kids. Stories are an essential part of our day-to-day communications. When done well, storytelling can do wonders for a small business.

With a visual representation of storytelling, users spend more time on the website. They engage with the responsive and interactive web design features.

Bagigia website displaying a bright orange bag
Photo: Bagigia
By dragging the slider at the bottom, the user can get a 360 degree view of this purse.

Below are some of the key elements that you can use to have an impressive storytelling design on your website:

  • Illustrations and unique art images
  • Large compositional elements
  • AR/VR effect
  • Animations
  • Video stories
  • 3D models

You can learn how to create an animated video here.

7. Detailed footers

Earlier, footers of the website were overlooked and were used just as a placeholder for navigation links. But now, the web designers have realized the potential of this section and use it to gain more conversions.

The beauty of the footer is that if visitors reach here, they have consumed most of the information/content on your web page. Therefore, they are already in a product-aware stage and are ready to take the action.

Companies have started adopting detailed footers, as it allows the visitors to consume the message of the brand.

Below are some of the main components of the detailed footers. It is not required to implement all these elements. You can add or delete them based on your brand and strategy.

Video - Video about ‘Why buy from us’ or ‘Hello from the founder.’

Testimonials - These are the comments of your customers or pictures of customers using your product.

Tag line - A short sentence that states the benefits of owning your product.

Email opt-in - Ecommerce stores with solid email marketing in place can pull in more than 30% of their revenue from email. Make use of this opportunity and start building your email list.

Security symbols, credit card symbols, shipping symbols - These infuse trust and confidence in the customer.

Link to social media accounts - Grow your social media accounts, as they allow you to engage your audience where they are.

Navigation and search - Provides great user experience and opportunity for visitors to find the pages they want to browse.

Contact info - Contact information including phone, email, address, etc.

I hope this list has given you some inspiration on the latest web design trends. A well-designed website not only gets you praises but can also help you in clocking more sales. But more than that, it provides a seamless user experience of consuming content and navigating through your website.


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