5 Web design trends to look out for going into 2021

We recently had a website make over. We realized earlier this year that we needed an upgrade and sure enough, our design team got to work. We had multiple ideas of how we want to appear towards our audience. So, we did some research.

We wanted to identify common characteristics in all the websites we believe are effective and that we felt sold by. We looked at their structure, pages, content layouts, fonts and colors.

After a few websites, most of them looked current and modern. We started noticing a trend that we have not been seeing in most South African website designs. We ended up not adopting them all because we wanted a specific look and feel for our home. But, we will list them for you, with examples.

Whether you’re designing your website from scratch, or are upgrading an existing one. Looking at these few web design trends might give you inspiration and help you design an amazing traffic and conversion worthy website.

Let’s get to it. Here are our top 5 2021 web design trends that will give your website a sense of relevancy and stylish look in the coming 2021 year.


1. AI and Chat bots

A lot of companies have added chat bots to their websites. That’s because good customer service is key to getting new clients and retaining existing ones. As consumers, we are getting less and less patient.

This is why we love Googling. When we have a query, we want an answer seconds ago, and Google gives us that. This we tend to expect even when we inquire a business about a product or service we’re interested in buying. We expect to get an immediate response or else we move on and look elsewhere.

This alone is the reason for the rise of chat bots. They’re always available to attend to your prospects enquiries.

An article published by Modofi states that 90% of customers rate an “immediate” response as important or very important when they have a customer service question. And, 60% of customers define “immediate” as 10 minutes or less.

As you may not be always available to assist your customers when they have a customer service question, adding a chat bot to your website might prove very useful.

Not only do chat bots help with customer service questions. They also save time and operating costs. HubSpot offers a chatbot builder that requires no coding skills. And. of course they have their very own bot called HubBot. 

2. Bright and bold colors

Typically, visitors only spend a few seconds on a website. To increase this time, web designers are now using more vibrant and flashy colors to create outstanding websites that look fresh, attractive, trendy and fun.

Bold and bright colors are often used together with minimalism website design. A great example of a site that does colorful minimalism well is Shopify. Their pages feature a bold background color with clean text along with minimal design elements.

They’re proof that minimalism doesn’t have to be about a white background and negative space. You can visit their website for a colorful web design inspirations.

An example of a truly bold website is MailChimp.com. Their home page background is a very bright and bold yellow with an illustration on the right.

3. Bold typography

We live in a society where everyone is too busy and rushes from one thing to the other. There’s habit applies to how we browse the internet. We seem to have less and less time to spend on a website.

Web designers are aware of this and to counter it have adopted the use of large and bold titles and shortened messaging to capture audience attention fast and induce interest.

Similar to minimalism approach, a web design trend we’ve been seeing consists of large bold headings (H1), often paired with smaller sub-text (H2) for more clarity. One website with a real bright eye-catching font is Fridaysgames.com.

For 2020 going into 2021, you can expect to see more innovative and attention-grabbing fonts and typography as designers attempt to attract and keep visitor’s attention.

4. Illustrations and organic shapes

Illustrations are everywhere, social media posts and Ads, blogs and even website pages. We’re seeing them everywhere. There are lots of upsides to using illustrations in your website design.

They save time and money.

Instead of hiring an expensive photographer because you want to have amazing content for your website, you can just jump in front of your computer, pop-up illustrator and design simple illustrations. Or you can hire a designer who’ll cheaply create illustrations for your website.

An amazing example of a website that did a great job using illustrations is Chrono.tech. The website combines illustrations and organic shapes perfectly to give it an attractive and modern look.

We’d be making a mistake if we don’t include shapes under this topic. 2019 was all about geometric shapes (Shapes with straight lines for sides), but 2020 going into 2021 is all about organic/fluid shapes (natural random shapes).

Organic shapes are a great way to break up sections of a website without harsh angles and lines. They’re even better when used in the background, like how nahelmoussi.com used random fluid shapes.

5. Minimalism

Ever heard of the saying “simple is sophisticated?” Maybe not, we’re not even sure it a real saying. What we do know is that it’s true and we’re not the only ones that think so. We’ve been seeing a lot of minimalist website designs lately and they all look modern and stylish.

Minimalist web design is great for user experience. There are often no flashy features that distract visitors from achieving their goal of finding the information they’re looking for or booking an appointment. It pleasing and easy to navigate a minimalist website.

An amazing local website that does minimalism very well is Tshepo.shop. The home page features a full-screen image with a short clean heading and sub-text on the right.  The rest of the page displays their awesome denims while the background is kept white.

A minimalist website design is perfect for showcasing a product. Minimizing web page text forces visitors to focus on the picture content of the page. You should consider minimalism for your website if you’re in the fashion business, restaurant or beauty.

Check out this Squarespace website for inspiration.

But not all businesses should have a minimalist website. If you have a business like ours and you want get organic traffic from Google, you should not have a minimalist website because you won’t rank. To rank on Google you need to publish a lot of content on your website pages.

A list of businesses that should not focus on minimalist web design include Law firms, Health practices, education websites, the list goes on.

We expect to see this trend go on to 2021 and beyond in website design. If your focus is providing an amazing user experience to your visitors and showcasing a certain product, consider minimalism. And, WOW your visitors.

Final two words: Simple, Faster.

We’ve seen many different web designs and trends this year, and we love most of them. Unfortunately for us we couldn’t implement all of them, we picked what we liked and left out some.

Going into 2021, we expect to see a lot of simple, minimal, bright, eye-catching websites that use illustrations and organic shapes to improve user experience.

Judging by most of the South African websites we’ve looked at, we as South African web designers need to up our game and start creating amazing websites and keep our clients and their visitors happy and impressed. We are currently falling behind.

Let us know what you think in the comments. Share your amazing website link with us and tell us what made you choose or accept the design you currently have. Maybe go on and give your website an update by implementing the web design trends we covered and more you can find on the internet. Best of luck.

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