None of us could have predicted the rough events of 2020 and how it would impact every aspect of our lives. One of the huge shifts in 2020 was the rapid and forced push towards a more virtual world

Despite the circumstances, all of us did our very best to move forward through it all. Many of us either took the time to learn new skills whether it’s design-based, while simply just baked… We all have our coping skills.

While there’s always will be some aspects of web design that are here to stay such as user-friendly navigation, and fast load times and then there will always be fads that continue to come and go.

So, from dark mode to Augmented reality, which popular web design trends will take the web by storm in 2021?

1. Dark mode

Dark Mode wasn’t afraid, so don’t be afraid to go dark in 2021.

Dark mode will be hitting more screen in 2021, more designers are adopting the dark mode aesthetic with black presenting the perfect dark backdrop which makes design elements leap from the screen. So don’t be afraid to just go right into the dark in 2021 with your web design work.

2. Scrollytelling

Scrollytelling Janusz Korczak Life

Theres the memory of the brave Janusz Korsczak, so check for scrollytelling

Last year there was a growing trend many of us found with designers that were telling stories through web experiences. This is where scrollytelling comes in its visual storytelling that emphasizes story and locks you into its narrative.

3. Augmented reality (AR)

Augmented Reality Lamborghini

Lamborghini offers Augmented Reality of their vehicles

People will be utilising AR (Augmented reality) more now that just hunting for Pokemon. With new technologies such as the WebXR API or software made by Wayfair Technologies have opened this domain up for everybody.

More retail and eCommerce site are entering into the power of AR to help sell their products, and empower potential customers into the buying process to make it as breezy and pressure-free experience.

4. Fonts.. Retro fonts

Retro making a comeback, Retro fonts have experienced this same regrowth in their popularity, and various designs highlighting vintage typography haven’t aged well.

Retro Font Goliath Entertainment

Nevertheless, throwback typography has transpired through a resurgence. We are not seeing the same tired fonts. Rather, stylisation and a touch of artistry are re-imagining what retro fonts can be.

5. Animations but Parallax scroll effects

Parallax scroll effects have been a trend in website design for years, and hopefully, in 2021 we all will see more but in subtle and creative journeys of what can be cultivated with parallax.

Green Meadow is using this effect in minimal effect

Green Meadow is using this effect in minimal effect,  –

But remember having too much movement in parallax effects can be harmful to people with vestibular disorders because the illusion of depth and movement which can cause disorientation and dizziness.

So to help you here a few simple guidelines to ensure they include parallax minimal and without causing harm:

  • Having an option where users can turn off the parallax effects
  • Don’t let parallax effects distract from the important information
  • Don’t make it more difficult for the user to complete an important task
  • Limit the number of parallax effects to a minimum

6. Gaussian blur

Gaussian Blur Good Books

Good Books has a nice subtle Gaussian blur –

Gaussian blur works remarkably well in presenting a swirl of soft focus to images and gradients. The Gaussian blur effect has been around for a while, but designers have been using this effect more outstanding spaces in site designs.

7. Cartoon illustrations

Not that long time ago when sites were simply some text and a few images/graphics. Web design has evolved with designers now producing work that unites with people more on a personal level.

Cartoon illustrations have gained popularity as a way of transforming sites with a bit of humanity.

There are various sources out on the web, and artists are creating some fabulous cartoon illustrations. In terms of creativity and making a brand more personable, Cartoon illustrations offer so much.

Cartoon Illustrations Sites Like Storytale Io

8. Grids

Grids are simple, but they have a lot of flexibility in how they can be introduced in a design. Geometric grids continue to gain traction in a way to structure a layout while having a clean and bold look.

Grid Generation Z

Geometric grids don’t have to be in a uniform arrangement, and the thicker weighted lines emphasize the square shapes through-out.

9. Cursors

Custom cursor on

Cursors are reasonably one of the most disregarded aspects of any web design, with most of us just using the default arrow. But when a designer can take this insignificant part of a website and turn it into something custom, I hope to see the old default arrow into a custom cursor that matches the design of the site.

10. 3D visuals

With the arrival of higher resolution screens, 3D design has evolved a long way away from the blocky and bevelled edges of the original Google logo.

3d Visuals Yaya

3D Visuals –

Lately, many of us have been seeing high-quality 3D visuals meshed seamlessly into present time web designs. Rather of being gaudy distractions, they are attaching to the overall user experience.

11. Design systems

Design Systems Uber

Uber Design System

Design systems are just powerful. Such as using a CMS to create repeatable layouts and related collections, it is easy to make updates or edits but as well as to create duplicate websites quickly.

Whether they are being used on a small scale, or on a bigger scale, they are beneficial for any type of organisation in designing and managing their designs.

12. Designs based personalised experiences

Web development has moved in great paces by offering more personalised experiences. These types of experiences can be anything from introducing a toggle between dark/light mode, having additional other ways of how we can personally change a site’s appearance and it’s navigation by offering content that is custom to one’s taste such as like the playlists that been generated by Spotify and your listening patterns.

Furthermore, new design practices and algorithms are making the internet less of a passive user experience and move into more of user-centred.


Web Design Trends for 2021