Web Design Trends for 2021.

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We’re halfway through 2021, which is the ideal time to reflect on what the year has brought us so far in terms of web design

It’s not that our favourite website designs are super-futuristic or accomplishing anything groundbreaking – it’s that they’re practical yet playful, eye-catching yet easy on the eye, and most importantly, user-friendly. When it comes to the website design trends we don’t like, it’s usually because we see designers go beyond with them

There’s a lot to like here, from abstract shapes and old typography to 3D modelling and creative sounds. So far, these are the best (and worst) website design trends for 2021

Bold Colours

The stark white came first, followed by the inky black of dark mode. Designers are now embracing bold colours, ranging from the intoxicatingly warm to impossible-to-ignore color-clash palettes

Two-thirds of individuals would prefer read something attractively designed than something plain if they had 15 minutes to digest content. One approach to meet that requirement is to use bold colours in your website’s design

In addition to bright colours, we’re witnessing a growth in abstract shapes (also brilliantly coloured) as a substitute for photos or artwork. When splashed across a page, nature-inspired structures, lava-lamp blobs, and Pollock-esque splotches express freedom and energy

Auto-play Audio

Auto-play audio has undoubtedly been one of the most irritating web phenomena of the last decade (with special mention to those commercials that appear out of nowhere), but we’re not ready to dismiss it completely

Audio may be both welcome and enhance the user’s experience when used selectively, within context, and within the control of the user (i.e. when it activates)

Another advantage of having audio on your website is that it increases dwell time when done properly. The typical session duration is roughly three minutes, according on recent conversion rate figures. You may simply increase this with audio while your fascinated audience stops to listen


Web-based animation is becoming more popular, and parallax scrolling and transitions are hot in 2021. It’s accomplished by splitting page elements into foreground and background elements, providing the viewer a sense of immersion

Retro Fonts

We’ve seen a major comeback of once-cool fonts that had fallen out of favour and have now resurfaced. Designers are reimagining traditional typefaces for 2021, rather than simply reusing the typography of the past: vintage fonts from the 1970s and 1980s have been spruced up with bright new colours to give them a fresh new look

3D Animations

With drop-shadows and semi-flat colours, three-dimensional graphics add a tactile element to web design, creating an immersive experience for the user. To make your own, look through our list of the top 3D modelling software and animation tools

Dark mode

Technically, this was a trend that started on social media a few years ago, but now we’re seeing it truly take off as designers embrace the dark as a dramatic backdrop to make photographs pop. In 2021, the White House added a dark mode option to its website

And now for the worst design trends for 2021

What we believe looks nice is subjective, as is everything else in life, but when it comes to web design, there is one guiding factor that determines whether something is successful or not, and that is user experience. It’s a thumbs down if the design makes things more difficult for the user. Here are some of the upcoming web design trends for 2021 that we hope will soon disappear

Scroll Hijacking

Scroll hijacking is a disaster in terms of usability. It not only violates UX design guidelines, but it’s also quite irritating

When a designer alters the behaviour of the scroll bar on their website, this is known as scroll hijacking. A revamped bar, fixed scroll points, or scrolling that speeds up or slows down at a certain position on the site are examples of this

They’re divisive because scroll bars are supposed to act consistently no matter where you use them. When they don’t, it’s jarring, which is one of the reasons they’re so loathed

Irrelevant Illustrations

Is it just us, or are there a lot of these oversized-limb-people illustrations? Illustrations like these win out over stocking images that aren’t as interesting. They bring personality and charm to a blog post or website without a doubt. But – and this is a major one – this particular illustration trend has reached saturation

If you want something custom-made for your site instead of a stock image, we recommend working with an illustrator or 3D designer. If money is scarce, utilise a free stock illustration (Unsplash is a fantastic free place to start) — but only when necessary

Extreme Minimalism

When done correctly, minimalist website design is achingly cool, but it’s all too frequently overdone to the point where the user has no idea what to do, where to go, or even what the website is about

We’ve also noticed it being misused in inappropriate areas. How about this as an example? Zara.com. While the webpage is attractive, it is difficult to tell what it actually sells. To access to the threads, you must first click on that tiny hamburger menu up there in the corner. It’s manageable, but it takes a moment longer than it should to figure out what you need to accomplish

It doesn’t get any better on the product pages. While these lifestyle shots are useful for conveying a mood, there are too many of them, which slows down the user’s browsing experience: instead of diving into the grid-view layout we’ve come to expect from low- to mid-price clothing sites, you have to scroll through one lifestyle shot after another.

Horizontal Scrolling

We’re not arguing horizontal scrolling is a fad without merit; nonetheless, you must understand why you’re changing the default scroll behaviour and how it benefits the user experience. You’re purposely going against what your visitor expects when you create a website scroll horizontally, so make sure it has a valid function beyond appearing nice

This site has a lot of things to like: beautiful font, parallax scrolling, strong colours, and crisp images. The site’s sideways scrolling serves a purpose: the goal is to make it feel like you’re flicking through a high-end coffee table book, which it accomplishes. In a nutshell, this is how horizontal scrolling should be done

If you are looking for someone to take your website and bring it in to 2021, get in touch with Paradox Digital today and talk to us about our website design services

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