Web design is continually evolving.

It’s our job to sort through the latest trends and predict which ones are grounded in sound web design – and which trends will likely fade and become dated.

Here are five important web design trends for 2021.

>> For an in-depth look at other web design trends for 2021, read 10 biggest web design trends for 2021.

1. Minimalism

We expect minimalism to be a dominant trend across all design mediums in 2021. For example, we identified several minimalism trends in our look at 2021 logo design trends, product design trends, and packaging design trends.

Web design is following the same minimalist trend.

In web design, minimalism involves using only essential elements – simple text and typefaces, plenty of space, monochrome or duo-chrome color palettes, and simple graphics.

You can see these essential elements in the web design below.

Winning design made by awesomecreatives on crowdspring

Here, Dune Lab’s new website design focuses on simplicity.

There is plenty of negative space, and the design features straightforward and eye-catching graphics.

Not only does minimalistic design draw the viewer’s attention, but it also leaves them wanting more. So, naturally, they start wandering deeper into your website.

Now, there’s a fine line between too little and too much information. Your website must still address the most critical issues that people who visit your website need to be answered, and it must do so in a unique and friendly way.

As we mentioned above, because people are increasingly accessing websites via mobile devices, minimalism allows you to create clean, influential sites that look good on small screens and large monitors.

2. Interactive landing pages

The onboarding process plays a crucial role in determining if a website visitor will become a customer or passerby.

A landing page is the star of your onboarding process. Your landing pages help you turn visitors into customers.

But to be effective, landing pages must be captivating and unique. After all, a boring landing page is forgettable.

You can create a strong landing page by adding interactive elements. Few techniques are better at engagement than an attractive, creative, and interactive questionnaire.

Take a look at Adobe’s mycreativetype.com site. It offers a fun quiz to help you discover your core “creative” personality.  Answer 15 simple questions about yourself, and discover which of 8 creative types you are (Artist, Thinker, Adventurer, Maker, Producer, Dreamer, Innovator, or Visionary).

Expect custom-tailored questionnaires and unique landing pages to rule web design in 2021.

3. Dark mode

Dark mode continues to be popular in 2021.

In our look at 2020 web design trends, we explained how dark mode works:

Dark mode inverts the usual light/dark scheme seen on a monitor. Rather than dark text and images on a light background, dark mode features light text and images on a dark background.

But, it’s not as simple as just inverting the colors.

Instead, dark mode turns text lighter, the background darker, and keeps accent colors relatively the same (just darker). Think dark color schemes all around.

With dark mode, individual designs and elements really stand out.

More importantly, dark mode offers less eye-strain in low-light conditions and improved battery usage than its light-themed counterpart.

Popular websites and apps, such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Chrome, have incorporated dark mode into their design options. Even Apple and Android operating systems have gotten in on the action!

If you’re prone to screen-related headaches or want to reduce eye strain at night, dark mode is a pretty big deal. And, when an industry-leader like Apple steps up to champion your cause, that’s a victory.

There’s no question that people are passionate about their dark mode, with debates raging about whether the various available dark modes are dark enough.

2021 is sure to deliver many more websites, browsers, mobile apps, and web platforms embracing dark mode. Could this be a new web design best practice? Only time will tell.

4. Custom illustrated graphics

Custom illustrated graphics are welcoming, enticing, and elevate your viewers’ experience.

Custom illustrations provide a more personable experience and a more welcoming feeling.

Illustrations are not as harsh as abstract elements and can reflect more creativity and a higher level of authenticity.

But, you don’t have to use illustrated graphics in your web design exclusively. A happy medium is excellent, too!

Take Mailchimp’s website, for example.

On its homepage, Mailchimp displays both illustrated and realistic graphics.

The realistic graphics showcase what Mailchimp can do. The illustrated graphics showcase Mailchimp’s originality and creativity. This combination serves to be both unique and informative.

5. A focus on functionality, usability, and accessibility

An important part of maximizing your audience is ensuring overall accessibility.

Businesses are becoming increasingly conscious of making their products more accessible and usable – especially to those with disabilities and impairments.

This focus doesn’t happen by chance.

For example, when we commissioned a custom illustration for crowdspring’s homepage, we asked the illustrator to illustrate a diverse group of people, reflecting different races, sexes, and also to show a person with a disability.

There’s a difference between inclusion, such as showing a person with a disability and improving accessibility. But, neither happens by chance – you have to deliberately think about both.

This is especially important if a meaningful segment of your target audience needs help with accessibility to your website.

You also benefit in your conversion rate and SEO when you create a strong, accessible website.

With this awareness comes the responsibility to add important features when possible, including:

  • Audio Recordings
  • Transcripts
  • Subtitles
  • Larger fonts

There are plenty more features you can add, but these are the most common.

Just remember, make sure the added features are easy to use and don’t overshadow your content.

Web design trends are only as important as their ability to represent your brand authentically.

People can see past meaningless trends. So, make sure you’re making web design choices that support a good user experience and your brand.

Focus on good design.

Good design is good business.