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Design Trends 2021

In this article, we’ve put together a selection of the key graphic design trends of 2021 for you. From this material, you will learn what will be (or, spoiler: remains) at the peak of popularity, and what will become a thing of the past.

People spend so much time on the web that sometimes they don’t even notice how it goes by. Communication, preparation for events or studies, leisure — all of this is related to the world of the Internet. It is an undeniable fact that the web has become a part of human culture and is firmly rooted in the minds and lives of people.

Over time, the web sphere has created its own rules, languages, ​​and techniques in its work and design. And web design has grown into a separate sphere of culture. Today, it is a symbiosis of classic design, print design, interface design, computer graphics, and Internet programming.

But this area is also influenced by trends. A trend is a perception of what is relevant. Companies and businesses want to be trendy in order to be competitive and interesting for an audience, especially a young one. With equal levels of service quality, there remains an intuitive perception that something is newer and better. In this case, the web design of the company is affected.

However, this does not work for all industries. For example, with banking, this may not work. But in FMCG, if the product remains the same, then updating the design (including the site`s design) is an opportunity to give the consumer a feeling of novelty and the fact that the company is not standing still and the product has become better.

And now let’s talk about the trends of 2021. All the references are taken from Awwwards.

web, design, trends, 2021

Mesh gradients

The gradient doesn’t lose its popularity and shouldn’t be discounted in 2021. The main feature and advantage of its use are that this tool allows you to transform a website to the new requirements simply by changing the background or image. It is easy and doesn’t require big resources.

They even begin to completely replace the flat design that seemed so immutable over the years. So, gradients won’t go anywhere in 2021.

What the mesh gradients are used for:

  • Creation of a certain atmosphere and mood. Read about how different colors affect the mood of users here. For example, someone needs the clients to take the organization seriously and perceive the company as a solid structure. For such purposes, black and white, blue or purple colors are used.
  • Drawing attention to important elements. Gradients emphasize the individual elements on a page. For example, using light and dark tones gives buttons and contact forms a volume that makes them even more visible. Mesh gradients can go from rich colors to pastel palettes, they are used in illustrations, they give depth to the webpage.
  • Website visitors follow an F-like path through content (according to research by Jacob Nielsen). Through the use of a gradient, you can control the client’s gaze and guide him to the desired items (important paragraphs or order forms, etc.). Thus, you should use lighter shades for the starting point, and the darker ones for the goal point.

 

The reference is mutek.org

web, design, trends, 2021

3D + Skeuomorphism

3D and skeuomorphism are the opposite of flat design, which has been so popular for several years now. What are their features?

3D Effects
The days of fanatically flat web design are over, volume is returning to this area of ​​the web, but in a new guise. Today, the volume is used delicately to create a subtle visual effect of depth. No convex buttons, everything is smart and calculated.

What are 3D elements used for:

  • Focus the user’s attention on the main detail. The use of 3D shapes and floating objects in geometric design blends surreal motion with realistic objects, creating a mesmerizing, futuristic effect — a style popularized by the suspended, rotating movement often used in tech commercials to show off new products.
  • 3D effects impart the illusion of depth to an interface that can help users interpret the visual hierarchy and understand which elements are interactive.
  • Animation effect. Having a 3D element is a great way to add flavor to the look of a page or website. It can bring infographics to life, showcase a portfolio in a one-page site, bring infographics to life, tell a story, or showcase a portfolio.

Skeuomorphism is a design trend based on a realistic depiction of objects. Skeuomorphic graphics show the volume of objects: light, shadows, highlights, and textures. This design approach is intended to aid in the use of a new interface by allowing users to apply some of their existing knowledge of interacting with things in the real world.

What skeuomorphism is used for:

  • Set the user up to their usual train of thought. It’s about intuition. If you make the UI look like an object from reality, a person can easily use it. If the sticky note icon looks like a real notebook, it will help the user to adapt with ease.
  • Realism. UI or its elements are not only visually similar to real objects but also work the same way as they do. Take, for example, the Apple Watch app icon, all the arrows move and the real-time is displayed.

 

The reference is https://showcase.withgoogle.com/healthcare-security/

web, design, trends, 2021

Blur

 

The fashion for the blur, in particular for blurry backgrounds of web pages, appeared a couple of years ago. Blurred images are one of the most useful tools in a designer’s arsenal today. Sometimes the blur effect can hide some imperfections in the image, but more and more often you can see sites in which the background is blurred deliberately and this is no accident.

 

What is blur used for:

  • Focus the user on the essentials. The blur effect can be used to emphasize any detail in an image. For example, the focus is on the product and it remains unblurred, and everything else gets blurred. Anything out of focus can also work, it can present additional information about a product.
  • Strengthening the effect of text content. Background image illustrates the text content, enhancing its effect. So, for a page with an order form for a product, it is appropriate to use a blurry image related to the industry for the background.
  • For working with typography. In designs where typography plays a major role, blur can help presenting a logo or slogan in the most advantageous color. If typography does not give the viewer a clear understanding, for example, a brand logo does not allow it to be uniquely identified, then a blurred background can provide additional information.

 

The reference is takeboost.com

web, design, trends, 2021

Dark mode

Today it is one of the most popular options among modern smartphone users. This applies to both operating systems and applications. The dark mode is integrated into the user interface almost everywhere.

What are the benefits of using a dark theme?

  • Comfortable perception of information in low light. Dark mode and background are less harsh on the eyes than white and can help manage eye fatigue, especially in low light conditions or at night. Another additional plus is the battery saving using the dark mode.
  • Adds accents. A dark mode user interface can increase focus by directing focus to the content areas of your interface, allowing the content to stand out and the background to fade.
  • Status. If you want to create a sense of status, a dark interface can be an effective tool. Darker colors evoke emotions associated with luxury and wealth. If you want to draw attention to fine workmanship, consider a dark interface.

 

The perception of content is strongly influenced by the principle of contrast. The depth of the dark background becomes a good platform for media content: videos, photos, and illustrations. BUT. A dark background takes some of the light between the blocks, and more air needs to be added to keep them from merging. The important thing to remember here is the negative space at work. Every element must remain readable. To do this, it is better to add more free space to select individual elements, and so as not to overload the design.

 

The reference is glenncatteeuw.com

web, design, trends, 2021

Motion animation (cursor)

 

The animation is a great way to get involved in content. Motion animation is not just animation, it is an image that comes to life and adds meaning. Most users choose video over reading. Animated graphics are so popular because they are attractive to the viewer. But among the trends of 2021, we’re talking about an animated cursor.

 

What are the advantages of using it?

  • Keeping the user’s attention on the site. The animated cursor easily catches and retains attention, because the attention is focused on an unusual object. And it entices the user to explore the site deeper and spend more time on it. The stylized cursor can be the icing on the cake of your design.
  • Interactivity. When the users are unsure about the purpose of the control, they try to hover over it. Animating the cursor when hovering over an interactive element will, at an intuitive level, inform the user that the object can be interacted with.
  • Informing the user. Cursor animation helps to inform the user effectively by providing additional information, guide him along the sitemap, and even lead the user to the desired action.

 

The reference is grovelust.be

web, design, trends, 2021

AR

Augmented reality is a technology that visually combines two initially independent spaces: the world of real objects and the virtual world recreated on a computer. In AR virtual objects are projected onto the real environment. AR does not replace the surrounding picture, but rather “complements” the real world. That determines the large-scale applicability of AR technologies for business, especially in retail.

What are the benefits of using AR?

  • Getting to know the product better. Augmented reality allows you to consider the product from all sides or to see how it fits into the user’s life. For example, you can “try on” a new sofa in your room, or you can look at the product from different sides better.
  • Immersion in a completely new environment. AR makes it possible to be where a person can never be for various reasons, for example, the underwater world, a mountain top, or a zoo with non-existent animals.
  • Learning new things. Augmented reality provides an opportunity to get acquainted with educational tools, or attend educational events.

 

The reference is belowthesurface. Open the QR code and you will see. 

Conclusions 

One of the main features in web design trends 2021 is trend compatibility. Don’t be afraid to mix, as it will create something unique. Now is the best time for creativity and imagination. 2021 in the design world is a year of opportunity. Opportunities to combine various, sometimes even diametrically opposed trends: elements from the past and the future, artificial and real ones.

Our main rule considering trends, in general, is that the design should make the product stronger. Our values are user-friendliness, technical support, and common sense. So, don’t be afraid of experiments with design, but don’t forget about the functionality.

Katerina Belokon

Nextpage Agency
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