Top 10 Web Design Trends for 2021

Web design is more important than ever, as the online marketplace becomes ever more crowded. That makes it harder and harder to compete for attention, ideas, and business. Consequently, the whole thing has become something like an “arms race,” with everyone trying to outdo the other in terms of flashy websites and cool features. As this race continues unabated, we want to give our predictions for the coming year. We think these will be the top 10 web design trends for 2021.

1. Darker Backgrounds

Sometimes referred to as “dark mode,” there are some distinct advantages that come from the use of a dark-colored background. Traditionally, most websites have used white as a default color. Contrary to what some will tell you, the reason for this is simple: White backgrounds give maximum visibility, which is why paper has always been white. However, there is a problem when you try and translate that idea to lighted screens. Mainly, the fact that the bright white light is harder on the eyes. Websites with darker backgrounds have a classy look, bring out certain colors with greater effectiveness, and expose your eyes to less harmful blue light.

2. Simpler Site Layouts

Have you ever seen one of those websites that just didn’t work well on a mobile browser? That probably happened because of complexity issues. Mobile browsers just can’t handle as much of a workload, and that causes some websites to break. In general, the sites which have the most cross-platform potential are the ones with simple layouts. This doesn’t mean that a page has to be plain or unadorned…merely organized in a simple and straightforward way.

3. Split Content

This is a design technique that involves splitting the page in two. The area on the screen will then be divided into two boxes, each with a distinctive purpose. For instance, they might direct people to different sections of the same site. When you do things in this way, you can play around with contrasting colors and themes, providing a lot of room for creative expression.

4. Less Formality

The written content of business websites tends to be very stiff and professional. While this is appropriate for the setting, some people find it off-putting. A lot of people seem to like it when companies and websites address them in more common terms. This also creates more opportunities for humor and customer engagement. We see a lot of websites moving away from the formal tone of voice and that trend is likely to continue.

5. Greater Levels Of User Interactivity

There was a time (not really that long ago) when most websites were simply viewed. There was not a lot of interactivity for the user, even when there was a lot of content to be viewed. Today, there are many more ways in which web designers can create interactivity. For instance, most modern businesses will have a social media presence, and that account can function as an extension of the business website. The use of live-chat apps can make things even more interactive when desired.

6. Better 3-D Imaging

The creation of 3-D rendered objects is easier than ever, and that’s why you see them showing up on more and more websites. Moving 3-dimensional objects have an alluring and realistic (yet futuristic) design. Far from the polygonal abominations that we saw on many early-90s websites, these images look very close to the real thing. Because images with depth and dimension are very attractive, you can expect that their use will continue to expand.

7. Irregular Shapes And Colors

As we said, it has become harder than ever to set a website apart from the crowd. Of course, that won’t stop people from trying their best! We have seen a definite uptick in sites that use strange, irregular shapes and uncommon colors. If this strategy actually works, we will certainly see more of it in the coming year.

8. Built-In Monitoring Tools

Website security is also more important than ever before, as cyber-criminals steal millions of dollars every year. Although website design doesn’t have a whole lot to do with network security, we expect that situation to change. Web designers are already incorporating new monitoring tools that will make it easier to see when something is wrong, and we think many new security tools will probably follow.

9. Less Bloat, More Speed

From a marketing perspective, website speed is much more important than visual appeal. Most people don’t have patience for a slow-loading page, and many of them will simply hit the “back” button after 3-10 seconds. Numerous studies have confirmed that the average consumer has a low attention span. Thus, delivering content quickly will continue to become more important than flashy, colorful content.

10. Expanded Use Of Chatbots

AI isn’t exactly ruling the world yet, but it has come a long way. At the very least, AI can now carry on a coherent conversation with a human being. This has led to the rise of “chatbots,” AI programs whose main purpose is social interaction. Web designers can basically use chatbots as guides, helpers, or workers. We already see a lot of virtual help desks using this technology, but we think the coming year will see more innovation here.


There is no way to know what the future will hold. The future of the internet is no more sure than any other, so these predictions could be wrong. However, we have based them on the trends that we see at present, and trends do tend to be good predictors. At Hyland Graphic Design & Advertising, we try to stay on top of these trends at all times. When you are looking for a Philadelphia branding and design agency, you need one that can help you make a great first impression on your customers. We always say that you only get one first impression..we’re here to make sure it’s the right one! If you need creative companies in Philadelphia, call us at (484) 879-6145.

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