The world of web design is constantly evolving to keep up with advancing technology and changing client and customer demands. Over the last 15 months, this process has been accelerated dramatically, as the world switched to online shopping, working, and socialising almost overnight.
So what have been the best developments so far in 2021? There’s certainly a lot of change and innovation going on at the moment. Despite all the buzzy new trends, the core elements that make a good website don’t really change much: a great user experience, combined with design that stands out, but doesn’t smack you in the eyes.
Having said that, bold bright colours have made a comeback this year, moving away from the past trend for subtle understatement. When used well, there is nothing wrong with a splash of colour to draw the eye. Strong colours have been matched with more use of abstract shapes and patterns, and less reliance on stock photography.
There has been a move away from the super sleek Helvetica inspired fonts of the last decade, towards retro fonts of the ‘70s and ‘80s, sometimes with a modern twist and fresh colours. The result is fun and playful, and also brings about a sense of nostalgia for a world that seems long gone.
3D animations are also a more common feature on websites now, bringing an extra dimension of realism and tactility to the user experience. When done well, they can make a site seem a more welcoming and friendly place to be.
As for web design fails of 2021, these tend to incorporate the classic mistake of making the user work too hard. No one visits a website to take an ingenuity test; we just want to find something out or get something done.
Common culprits are extreme minimalist sites which offer little information about what they are for. On the other hand, sites which are so loaded with files and imagery that they move at a glacial pace will soon be clicked away from!
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