Website Trends for 2021

Web Design and Development
November 26, 2020

2020 has been somewhat of a traumatic experience for many small businesses globally, so what better way to prepare for a new year than with an update on some of the website trends for 2021! We’ve got 10 of our predictions for the new year, so update your website ASAP to keep up with the times!

Website Load Time and Page Speed

It’s a well-known fact that if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, then your user’s are more likely to leave, and not come back! Your website needs to be constantly optimized for page speed. So make sure you check on the amount of space left on your server and look into hiring a professional to constantly optimize your website. A slow website experience won’t leave your users coming back for more and this could affect your overall website traffic and sales.

Chatbot Integration

Chatbots are a useful integration to your website that allows your business to respond to customer service queries 24/7, 365, ensuring you remain top of mind at all times. Gartner says that Chatbots will power 85% of customer service by the end of 2020, and we see this going into 2021 as well. It’s been found that customers prefer to talk to the chatbot because they might be able to resolve their issue much faster. If it’s a simple issue, the chatbots can handle it, leaving your customer service team to tackle bigger issues.
We prefer to use ManyChat to integrate bot marketing to your website, but there are other bot marketing tools you can use as well.

Accessibility and Availability

This one isn’t really a trend, but rather a necessity. Websites need to start being more inclusive when it comes to catering to their audience. The needs of people with disabilities need to be considered when you’re designing your website. Some ways you can do this are by:

  • Good contrast in colours between your text and backgrounds.
  • Try not to use colour alone to convey information (e.g: use an * to highlight important information)
  • Make sure interactive elements are easy to identify by changing the appearance of links/buttons by a mouse hover, keyboard focus or touch-screen activation.
  • Make sure your website navigation is clear and consistent.
  • All form elements need to have clear and descriptive labels (e.g: First Name, Email etc)
  • Any user feedback for forms needs to be clear and easily identifiable (e.g: “Email entered was invalid”)
  • Any images you use on your website should have alt text descriptions for your visually impaired customers
  • Use Whitespace to space out your content clearly to help improve readability

There are many ways you can improve accessibility and availability, you can check out the W3 resource on this topic.

VR

Virtual Reality is quickly influencing the way people shop. Companies like Marriott International and Airbnb are allowing potential customers to tour a rental or an event space before purchasing it, encouraging customers to “try before they buy”. IKEA allows customers to check whether a furniture item will look good in their home, before purchasing it.

This influences the buyer’s journey in a positive way and helps them make better buying decisions.

Micro Animation

Micro Animations are the little animations you see on a site, maybe they’re telling you to scroll down or drawing your attention to something important or sometimes, it’s just a fun little animation!

They’ve been around for a while, but in 2021, it’s all about using them organically to improve the user experience on your site. Graphic designers are sure to be able to provide you with custom animations, so be sure to ask the next time you want to improve your branding.

Organic Shapes

Also called “natural shapes”, these shapes resemble objects found in nature. They can be irregular, asymmetrical and soft. Examples of organic shapes are:

  • Curves
  • Flowy lines
  • Waves
  • Circles
  • Spirals
  • Loops

They create a sense of approachability, that might make it easier to help the user understand the “vibes’ your business has, to see if it’ll be a good fit. It’s also a great way to separate sections on your website smoothly. How you incorporate shapes into your website design says a lot about your business, so make sure the design really speaks to you and your ideal customer.

At MASK, we’ve used a “mask” design element with curves in it, to not only reinforce our branding but to create a casual, artsy atmosphere on our page (check out our homepage to see how we’ve incorporated our “mask” into our design!).

Colourful Minimalism (Flat Design)

Minimalism is a trend that’s gaining some traction right now. By following the phrase “Less is more”, minimalistic designs allow your content to shine. Every UI and UX decision is intentional and HAS to contribute to the user journey. If you’ve got a complicated user journey, then a minimalistic design approach could make sense for your website!

Colourful minimalism revolves around 3 colours, your background, base and accent colours. How you use colours depends on your user psychology and user journey and how it fits into your branding. Employing the use of a professional designer would be advisable here. You can book an appointment with us to find out how we can help!     

Text-Only Hero Images

Placing the most important content “above the fold” has been practised for a very long time by Newspapers placing their headline in bold text at the top of the page. And it has carried over to websites as well. It’s very common nowadays to find a bold, catchy headline in the website’s “hero-section”. It’s a way to quickly grab the user’s attention and get them interested in what you have to offer.

Bold Fonts

Using a Bold font reinforces our previous point. If you want to make your header section stand out to your user, then use a unique, bold font with a snappy headline. Try to use a typography that is consistent with your branding to be more memorable to your customers.

Blending Photos with Graphical Elements

This trend is a fun and creative way to enhance the imagery on your website. It’s a great way to improve on your website’s branding. You do have to remember that the blend between your design and images needs to be tasteful, creative, unique and in line with your branding guide. So it’s best to talk to a graphic designer if you’re interested in this trend.

Smart Video

It’s a well known fact that videos receive better engagement than other types of content online. So why not use it to your advantage? This doesn’t mean you can embed Youtube videos into your site and expect it to make a difference. If you’re going to use videos on your website, they need to be high quality, original and make an impact on your user. 

Your hero-video needs to be eye-catching and represent your brand and what your business does.

There’s obviously a ton of other website trend predictions we could cover, but we wanted to keep it simple for now. If you want us to do more website trends, let us know on our socials!

If you’d like to find out more about our design services, feel free to schedule a free appointment or get in touch with us on Facebook and Instagram!