5 Website Trends for 2021 You’ll Want to Try
Looking to improve your website for 2021? Here are 5 website trends to help engage customers and keep up to date with best practices.
Your business’s website is an essential part of your marketing efforts. However, it isn’t enough to just have a website up, it needs to be fully functional, easy to use, and designed in a way that makes your business stand out from the competition. To do that, you’ll need to apply website design best practices as well as incorporate up-to-date—and even cutting edge—design trends. Some of the most impactful and innovative website site trends for 2021 include:
- Floating Elements
- Lazy Loading
- Interactive Elements
- Data-Driven Graphics & Claims
- Dark Themes with Neon Accents
An engaging web design and user interface can raise your conversion rate by up to 200%, according to a study by Forrester Research. Don’t dismiss these trends just because you might lack the know-how as a business owner, there are plenty of resources that can help you learn web design or even find someone to help you improve your website. From leading web design companies to freelance web developers, there are plenty of options—no matter your budget.
Trying some, or all, of these website trends can help you build a website that holds users’ interest, helps you capture more leads and close more sales, and portrays your business as forward-thinking. Now that’s something worth investing in.
1. Floating Elements
As more and more businesses have jumped on the trend of minimal, symmetrical web design that has been popular in recent years, many sites have begun to look very similar. One way to create a visually interesting website that plays off that foundation is to add floating elements. Using floating elements can help you highlight important information, CTAs (calls to action), and key graphics, as well as make your site more visually interesting.
When adding floating elements, use shadows to make these features stand out and create a layered effect. The important thing to keep in mind when using a design feature like this is that it works best when used in small quantities, otherwise it doesn’t have the intended effect.
Example of floating elements in action:
Source: Vapor Empire Homepage
2. Lazy Loading
One of the most frustrating website experiences a user can have is when the page takes too long to load. Not only that, but a slow-loading site can also hurt your Google ranking. So, how do you prevent that from happening, while still adding all the information and elements you want to your webpage? Utilize lazy loading.
Lazy loading prevents everything from loading at once when the user opens the page, which is usually the culprit of slow load times. Instead, with Lazy Load, search engines are signaled to only load the content that the user will immediately see on their screen. As they scroll, more content will load. This creates a much better user experience and can help with high bounce rates and slow website performance.
3. Interactive Elements
One of the most prominent website trends of 2020 and going into 2021 is the use of interactive elements in web design. This can include:
- Looping animations or GIFs
- CTA buttons
Interactive elements are important for grabbing the attention of and engaging website users. Each of these elements can also play a key role in adding value to a page. For example, videos can be used to provide an overview of the product and how it works, looping animations can help provide visual tutorials, forms allow you to collect essential data on leads, and CTA buttons inspire users to take action.
When adding interactive elements, don’t just do it for the sake of having them on your page—ensure that they provide some kind of asset to you or the user.
Example of how interactive elements can be implemented:
Source: Vapor Empire Homepage
In the example above, you can see CTA buttons, social media links, and a scrolling carousel are being used.
4. Data-Driven Graphics & Claims
More and more so, consumers have become skeptical of businesses and their claims and have become increasingly accustomed to seeking out more information before making a purchase decision. This can be seen in the growth of review sites and widgets. But, how do you provide that same reassurance to potential customers? A good start is using data-driven claims and statistics instead of simply pushing that your company is the best just because you say so.
In order to harness the power of this growing trend, you need to gather your own data from customer surveys and feedback, third-party studies, and your own findings based on trials. For example, being able to say “four out of five customers saw results in just a week” is much more persuasive than saying “our product works”. Once you’ve conducted this research and gathered useful data, find meaningful statistics that you can pull from that data and turn it into powerful graphics that are featured prominently on your site. Don’t forget to include sources.
In addition to data-driven graphics and claims from the business’s perspective, it can also benefit you to include real customer testimonials on your site—specifically your home page and product pages. This can be in the form of videos, pull-quotes, etc.
5. Dark Themes with Neon Accents
If you want your brand to come off as modern, trendy, or youthful, one of the easiest but impactful changes you can make to your website is switching to a dark theme. This is a major change from the white-space oriented design of websites in recent years. To make your website design pop even more, consider using neon colors for headings, accents, navigation, or graphics.
Not only is this color scheme completely different and more aesthetically exciting than what we’re used to seeing for most businesses, but it also has an undeniably modern and cutting-edge feel that is sure to make you stand out from competitor websites that are still using white site themes. When you stick out in potential customers’ minds while they’re shopping, they are more likely to remember your business’s name and come back when they’re ready to take the next step in their customer journey—this can directly affect your business’s performance.
Not only is it a visually interesting color scheme, but it’s also easier on users’ eyes and phone battery—two of the reasons dark mode has become so popular over the past year.
Invest in Your Web Design
First impressions of your website are 94% design-related, according to InfinityHR. Don’t let your website flop on the first impression, turning away potential customers from your business before they even get a chance to learn about what you have to offer. Instead, make your website and your business’s success priority by investing the time or resources to update your web design. Keep these website trends and leading UX design principles in mind and you will be off to a good start.