Given all the drama, panic and fear that dominated 2020, we see brands using less color in 2021. Businesses, their customers, and the population at large have had to adapt to this, and may have to do so even more as we prepare for what will be the new normal – whatever that new normal looks like. The same is true for web designers.
While design trends tend to change over time, some are more or less evergreen. If they change at all, they change slowly, while newer ones can come at us suddenly.
None of the following 5 new design trends for 2021 should give a web designer grief. They’re not radical, mind-blowing concepts. They make sense, aren’t hard to implement, and even suggest that the new normal could be an improvement over the old.
We’ll show you examples of sites that already incorporate some of these new trends, along with a selection of BeTheme pre-built sites that are also on board.
- Use calming color palettes
Strong, bold color palettes along with a variety of color gradients have been highlighted in recent design trends to grab the attention of visitors.
Fed up with the stress, tension and clamor associated with the “normal” of 2020, we are more than ready for a shift to calmer times as well as softer and toned down color palettes.
Bellroy’s website is a great example of a toned-down look. You can literally smell the leather of the practical everyday products.
Notice the effect of the softened background on the colorful object. The object still stands out, as it should, but without vying for your attention.
The color scheme of the BeSpa website is another example of a calm, inspiring message that doesn’t scream for attention.
These calm and comfortable images evoke pleasant, in-the-moment feelings; feelings of well-being and safety, and feelings that invite the visitor to explore further.
2. Combine physical and digital image
Many, including many new remote workers, were stuck at home in 2020 with not much to do except look at their screens. This led to a greater blending of their physical lives with the digital world.
Some web designers took note of this change and began mixing graphics and special effects with real images, such as fashion designer Constance Burke’s website:
Note the mixing of real models with hand-drawn sketches of real products.
The pre-built BeSki site also mixes the real with the digital, but takes a very different approach:
Notice how the snow in the hero area with its real image on the homepage transitions to the next area with its digital image, which in turn transitions to a real image area, and so on.
3. Create friendlier and more efficient online shopping experiences
In 2020, we saw a boom in online shopping, a trend that is likely to continue and accelerate. With more people shopping online than ever before, e-commerce sites need to present visitors with paths to conversion that are efficient and easy to follow.
When they’re in a brick-and-mortar store and know what they want, customers want to get in and out as quickly as possible. If they don’t know exactly what they want or are just browsing, they still want assistance or suggestions to help them compare or make a choice.
Walgreens’ product design is a good example of what customers want to see on an eCommerce site in 2021:
Everything a potential buyer needs to know is on the first page, and other useful information like special offers, discounts and customer reviews are above the fold. If a purchase is to be made, the next steps are clearly presented.
BePestControl’s pre-built page uses a similar method:
In this example, a shopper can either add a selection directly to the cart or read the additional information below the button beforehand. BePestControl emphasizes the importance of using straightforward navigation aids to make shopping in 2021 a satisfying experience.
4. Emphasize user-driven video content
Once upon a time, videos on websites were the greatest thing since warm bread, and they’re still an important means of delivering informative content. But are today’s users excited about it? Not so much.
Most users only want to watch a video when they feel the need to watch it. In other words, user-driven videos are in, and embedded autoplay videos are becoming less popular. If viewers have the choice to watch it or not, you can expect video to make a big comeback this year.
Here’s how Payoneer handled the issue:
Notice how the Watch Video button stands out against the background. Although it invites and even entices the visitor to watch the video, it doesn’t force him or her to do so. Either way, the visitor will appreciate having the option to do so.
BeOptics’ pre-made page uses an analogous, if somewhat more subtle, approach:
Here, the See More button acts as a gateway to more information, making visitors aware that they have the opportunity to learn more, rather than forcing them to do so, as would be the case with a car video.
5. Spend more time showing trust builders
Although trust builders are indispensable elements in web design, finding the right ones can be a challenge. Rather than spending several minutes evaluating a brick-and-mortar store, an online shopper will often do so in a minute or less.
Fortunately, the following confidence-building approaches are familiar to web designers, and they can use any one or more of them:
- Data visualization (e.g., charts, graphs, counters, statistical enumerations)
- Logos, whether that of a client, partner, or media
- Client or customer reviews and/or testimonials
- Case studies/portfolios
- Security seals (e.g., Better Business Bureau (BBB), TRUSTe, PayPal Checkout)
- Evidence of social commitment, environmental commitment, etc.
It’s simply a matter of which of these would fit well on a company’s website and convince a visitor to become a valued customer.
Omaze’s approach is to emphasize social engagement, encourage its visitors to donate, and offer prizes for doing so.
It also brings additional legitimacy to the table by reserving a space for highlighting reputable publications that have covered the organization.
Testimonials and data visualization are two other trust-building elements that Omaze takes advantage of.
No matter how big or small the organization or business you’re designing a website for, there’s always room for one or more impressive trust builders.
BePortfolio shows how you can incorporate trust builders into a portfolio site:
BePortfolio’s homepage devotes a lot of space to the following trust builders:
- Portfolio example
- Satisfied customers count
- Testimonials and case studies
- Customer logos
Giving people a reason to trust your brand is good, but it’s even better if you can give them more than enough reasons to do so.
Have you started using these new web design trends yet?
As we mentioned earlier, some trends stay with us for a long time. The lifespan of others can be dictated by external events, as well as the emergence of new ones, like the ones discussed in this article. 2020 changed the way we look at certain things, and 2021 is changing the way we look at things again as we begin to define and understand the new normal.
Whether you want to bring existing websites up to speed with 2021 or implement these new trends in your new designs, BeTheme’s 600+ pre-built websites are guaranteed to get you going in the right direction.