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September 22, 2020

7 Web Design Trends and Forecasts for 2021

Web design is always evolving and 2021 is likely to bring new design trends any website owner should be familiar with. It's important to have a website that's up to date and that meets the needs and expectations of visitors. This doesn't mean you need to blindly follow every new trend, of course. You also want to remain true to your brand. However, it's always worth keeping up with the latest developments in web design so you're aware of your options. The following are some of the biggest web design trends that are likely to dominate in 2021.

1. Voice Search

Voice search is one of the fastest-growing technological trends. With the help of devices such as the Echo and Google Voice Assistant, consumers are quickly adapting to the convenience of speaking rather than typing queries. When creating a website, you now have to keep voice search technology in mind. As voice search gets more popular, search engine optimization is moving more in the direction of natural conversation. The days of keyword stuffing are long gone as Google increasingly favors content that flows naturally.

Another consideration related to voice search is to optimize your site for featured snippets. Voice search queries often bring visitors to featured snippets, also known as Position Zero on Google. These results are displayed above the regular listings and are extremely valuable. The best way to optimize for featured snippets is to present a concise summary of a page's information in a format such as questions & answers or a list.

2. Greater Personalization

Personalizing experience for each user is another trend that is sure to grow in 2021. Consider how large sites such as Amazon and Netflix personalize what visitors see. Netflix, for example, uses its algorithm to recommend content based on viewers' past behavior. Amazon similarly recommends products by taking note of customers' shopping habits.  Personalization features may include:

  • Displaying the city or region from where visitors are logging on
  • Buying history
  • Recommendations to add to the shopping cart such as accessories
  • Content suggestions (e.g. blog posts or videos) based on what visitors have read/watched in the past

 

Mobile Friendly Food Delivery Website

 

3. Omnichannel UX

It's important for today's businesses to offer their customers an omnichannel experience that makes it easy to make contact on multiple devices and platforms such as websites, social media, mobile phones, email, and more. Google reports that the customer journey can involve as many as 500 touchpoints. You can no longer assume that one or two visits to your website is all it takes to gain a lead or customer. Incorporating the idea of omnichannel UX into web design means providing users with a seamless experience, so they can easily switch from one channel to another. This includes elements such as:

  • Ensuring the website is accessible from any device. This can include responsive design that works well for mobile or having a separate mobile website.
  • Clearly visible links so users can move from one channel to another such as social media buttons on a website.
  • Providing essential features across channels. This includes information about products, access to customer service, buy buttons, opt-in forms, and contact information.

4. Web Design for Vloggers, Podcasters, and Artists

More and more artists, musicians, and other creative types are selling their work online. While portfolio websites for artists aren't new, there are emerging trends that are changing the way artists display their work. At the same time, vlogs (video blogs) and podcasts are really taking off right now. All of these websites link to creative content, often on third-party sites. Vloggers have YouTube channels. Podcasters use platforms such as iTunes and SoundCloud. Artists sell their work on Etsy. Musicians have their songs on Spotify. Web designers are finding creative ways to display content links for videos, podcasts, works of art, songs, and albums. There are now many themes dedicated to the needs of artists and creators. For example, there are quite a few WordPress podcasting themes. Websites for creative content need to be designed with features such as:

  • Bio or About section to summarize the creator's work, background, and mission.
  • Visuals to highlight the content and make visitors want to click to find out more. In the case of paintings or photographs, the visuals will be representations of the actual work. Thumbnails provide introductions to videos. Album covers entice music lovers to check out musicians' work.
  • List of episodes or videos. If podcasts and videos are hosted elsewhere (videos, in particular, take up lots of space and can slow down sites), it's important to provide concise descriptions of each item.
  • List of recent content. Creators who have a large library of episodes or videos may want to feature the most recent items in a prominent place.

 

Website Chatbot

 

5. More Advanced Chatbots

As AI technology progresses, features such as chatbots are getting more sophisticated.  According to one study, 67% of customers used chatbots at least once in the past year. Although chatbots have been around for a while, we're seeing some significant changes in their functionality and how they're used. For example, many more small and mid-sized businesses are using them.  Oracle found that 80% of businesses plan to use chatbots.

Chatbots are also getting more intelligent. While we're still a few years away from the kind of AI robots featured in science fiction movies, chatbots are getting more helpful and personalized. As Chatbot Magazine points out, conversational chatbots are now being used by hospitals, real estate agents, financial institutions, and others to provide helpful information.

6. Increased Use of 3D

The use of 3D elements is not new but it's a trend that's getting more popular. One reason for this is that it's gotten easier and cheaper to incorporate this technology into a website. In the past, 3D was used mostly for specialized purposes such as gaming, real estate, or building models in fields such as architecture. However, designers as well as the public are discovering that 3D can make any type of website more visually interesting.

Creative Bloq shares some inspiring examples of 9 Brilliant Uses of 3D in Web Design. The featured websites include businesses that wouldn't traditionally be associated with 3D design such as Stripe, a payment processor, and Campo Alle Comete, a wine company. 3D design is no longer confined to specialized and technical fields but is being employed to make any website distinctive and memorable.

7. Dark Mode

More websites are being designed with a dark mode option, giving users more control over their experience. There are several advantages to dark mode.

  • Many users prefer dark mode because it's easier on the eyes than traditional brighter screens, especially in a low-light environment.
  • Dark mode conserves battery life.
  • It has a stylish and mysterious appearance that contributes to a website's unique appearance.

Dark mode is being implemented more and more, in mobile apps as well as website themes and templates. Not all users prefer dark mode and some will want to switch back and forth between dark and light. However, there's no denying that dark mode is an emerging trend.

Web Design is Always Evolving

More websites are created every day. In order to stand apart, you need to incorporate design elements that capture people's attention while providing them easy access to the information they need.  Many of the features highlighted above, such as chatbots and voice search, help visitors benefit from the latest technology. Others, such as 3D and dark mode, let you present information in a more attractive and alluring manner. When planning your web design strategy, you want to balance factors such as convenience, educating your audience, and aesthetics.

About Eniture Technology

Eniture Technology specializes in helping e-Commerce merchants grow by providing useful information, digital marketing services, off-the-shelf apps that solve common problems, and custom programming services. If you're interested in accelerating the growth of your online sales, please contact us. You might also enjoy this free information on the 10 reasons why you should be using HubSpot to grow your e-commerce business.

10 Reasons Why You Should Be Using HubSpot

 

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