Web design trends for 2021: My predictions

2020 is gone, and 2021 has to be (it better be) an exceptional year. But speaking of web design and websites, what trends will become popular among web designers?

With the newly released Google Page Experience serving as a ranking factor in 2021, web designers will start focusing on providing the end-user with faster-loading sites, easy to use and simple to navigate. These are some technologies we will use to optimize our client’s websites:

SVG files

SVG is an image/illustration vector file I feel is under-used in web design. It has many advantages like its lightness and compression which allows having small file sizes, along with the versatility to use CSS, Javascript, and HTML to transform and create interactive animations makes SVG files a great option to add beauty and maximize visual impact to the user.

In my own tests, I confirmed that svg files can save up to 80% of file size.

SVG images are made of code, using mathematical formulas to form simple and complex shapes. The more complex the shape, the more code needed, but since code is only text, this is the reason SVG files save a lot of space.

Google is focusing more and more on the user, this means that light, fast-loading websites that attract and keep the user on-site more time will be the ones to get top positions in search results.

At some point, I believe SVG illustrations will be preferred over traditional jpg or png image files unless WEBP formats are optimized even more and also be more compatible with content management systems like WordPress, which until now, has issues with the upload and display of webp images.

WebP images

The webp image format is also under-used in the web design community. Even though there are more and more resources for images with this format, WordPress, which is the most used content management system on the internet to create websites, has issues when uploading this type of files into the media manager. Currently, it is necessary to add plugins to extend the functionality and prevent errors when using WebP files in WordPress.

I’m hoping the WP team fixes this and releases a patch in the upcoming versions this year. (Update June 2021, WordPress announced their next release will now support WebP files)

Motion animation

Interactivity comes a long way when creating a good user experience. Most websites nowadays follow the same structure: Logo, carrousels, some

images, and content. But in the last year, motion animation or scrolling animations are taking a step forward.

Big brands such as Apple and Nike have been using scroll animations for a while now. But there hasn’t been a broad adoption from the web design community. Frameworks like Green Sock are allowing developers to integrate these types of animations into websites flawlessly, and again, with almost no effect on the global loading time. This is the reason I expect to see more and more the integration of scrolling animations into websites this year.

Cleaner design

Keeping up with the focus on the end-user, web designers should keep concentrating their efforts on providing the user with a flawless experience, simple to use, easy-to-understand websites, with minimalism as a trend.

White or clear backgrounds with high contrast, big fonts in titles, copy, and navigation.

In conclusion, these are some emerging technologies that help improve the user experience providing fast-loading and simple to use websites I believe we will start seeing more and more in use. If you have questions or inquiries, contact me.