As a modern business, you cannot afford to ignore your website design if you wish to grow your profitability, audience reach, engagement, and reputation. Modern website design remains the cornerstone of any business, ensuring you convert visitors to full-on customers through retention, connection, and user experience.
Your conversion rates ultimately determine your sales and profitability. Know that 75% of web visitors form their first impression of a business within 0.05 seconds of looking at its website. Therefore, website design is crucial in developing your business’s first impression and the critical element that keeps visitors on your page and not running straight to the competition.
In this article, we will explore modern web design trends in 2021. We’ll look at five outstanding examples of modern website design and break down valuable tips and tricks to apply to ensure your site stands above the rest. Part of our examination includes how these brands have used core design elements in their websites, why it works for them, and how you can apply them when building your own website.
4 Great examples of modern website design
Let’s focus first on what we consider five excellent examples of modern website design. These brands have used the core design elements discussed in detail above to great effect, showcasing their brand and products or services in the best possible light.
Did you know that Slack redesigns its website every year, sometimes twice a year? Talk about dedication to modern website design!
Slack continues as one of the best-known SaaS companies globally, with over 12 million customers in 2020. Their website design reflects this fact showcasing their brand colors of white, green, yellow, pink, and blue on a bold purple background, much like their software interface.
Some core design elements that Slack has used to perfection in this website design include:
- Combining benefits and features to explain its product
- Showing off integrations with other well-known brands like dropbox, drive, and zendesk
- Using animation to give users a preview of its software service
- Including testimonials from Slack converts to convince visitors to buy their product
A noticeable flaw lies with Slack not using web content to explain how their product solves real-life remote working and team management problems. Slack addressed this in their older websites, so perhaps they have opted not to do so because they have become so well-known. However, we always advise that you explain what your product or service does to all visitors. Not all visitors may be familiar with your product or service, or they may be visiting your site for the first time.
If you want to understand how an effective dark mode design makes a website look sophisticated, minimalistic, and expensive, you only need to look at Fuoripista.it. This unique website showcases Fuoripista, an Italian stationary bike manufacturer.
From the onset, the stark all-black background cut in half by a simple white line and minimalistic but easily visible white font draws the visitor in. Users find it hard to decipher where the full-page header ends and the page begins as the designer seamlessly incorporates both design elements. The brand logo/name sits prominently to the left of the header, with the Menu tab to the right. The center of the page highlights an image of a man’s hand on a stationary bike handle to highlight the product overlaid with bold white sans serif font and decorative gold font.
Animated cursors and dynamic scrolling all play a part in this website’s boldness and interactive design. Images and fonts pop up at varying speeds as you scroll down, mesmerizing and capturing the visitor’s attention. In keeping with their minimalist theme, Fuoripista has dispensed with the About Us sections and Product Information pages, opting for a downloadable FAQ brochure and News/Press sections.
Another impressive feature stems from how seamlessly the website translates from Italian to English to make it easy for non-Italian speakers to understand their content.
Consider Lancaster Brewery UK. They take movement and color to the next level with an anti-design theme. This unique craft beer brand has a website to match—full of heady and exciting colors and dynamic scrolling design elements that impress and exhilarate.
The full-page header easily distinguishes itself from the rest of the homepage with the brand’s logo and distinctive and cleverly used “red rose of Lancaster” to the left, search functionalities in the middle, and call-to-action buttons to the right. In an instant, visitors understand that this craft beer brewery produces top-quality ales and beers and leverages its historical connection to the Wars of the Roses and the city of Lancaster in England.
We find this website striking because, even though they’ve used so much detail and color in the background, they have not created an unpleasant and overwhelming user experience. Instead, visitors are drawn to the site with bold white font, and bright pink and lime green call-to-action buttons peppered all over the home page in a surprisingly pleasant way.
Perhaps the black footer at the bottom of the web page containing the company’s contacts, more search functionalities, and social media buttons in the white font has contributed to the exhilarating yet balanced feel this website achieves.
The Good Kind Creative Design Agency’s website highlights the importance of font choice, size, and themes in making a website stand out. Immediately, visitors are hit with the stark black font and white background full page header and page with no immediate images in view. The minimalist header contains an abbreviated version of the company logo, search functionalities, and call-to-action buttons arranged from left to right—a standard in web design.
As you scroll down the page, pops of color in the images come through, bringing the website to life. Each text paragraph showcases the agency’s creative efforts for their clients, culminating in a minimalist footer with more information on the company, its services, and a link to sign up for their newsletter.
The whole experience of this website feels clean and seamless. Dynamic scrolling makes a prominent appearance keeping the visitor engaged. Overall, The Good Kind has evoked the main design elements of a good modern website design.
What makes an excellent modern website design?
Ready to learn what makes a modern website design in 2021? Below we look at 10 valuable tips and tricks graphic design experts apply when building modern web designs. We’ve covered everything from white space and dynamic scrolling to color trends and grid designs!
1. White Space
Less is more regarding web design, and no trend achieves this better than plenty of white space.
White space, a minimalistic design trend, has been popular for the last decade. It creates a harmonic and modern website design and is an excellent technique to use when leading a user from one web design element to another. This design element also highlights the simplicity of the website and makes the written word pop, making it easy for readers to understand the content.
Don’t think of this as wasted space on a webpage; it balances out the text and images, creating an uncluttered aesthetic and delivering a clear message to the user.
2. Custom Illustrations and Images
A picture is worth a thousand words!
If you want an easy way to stand out from the competition, use custom illustrations, infographics, and images on your website. These visual design aids provide unique graphics that no other website has, and if they are well done, they will attract scores of visitors to your site.
You may need to hire a graphic design expert and photographer to create these images and illustrations for you. Depending on the context of your content, pictures, drawings, and photographs can underscore your content and bring forth the true personality and strength of your brand, product, or service.
3. Dynamic Scrolling
Experts rate dynamic scrolling as another important web design trend to use in 2021. With dynamic scrolling, you put your site user in charge as they get immersed in the design and actively engage with your site.
Enhanced interaction reduces the chances of visitors leaving your site for more exciting possibilities elsewhere. This design element also creates a connection between the visitors and your content, making them more curious and open to your message.
However, be mindful not to use this trend too heavily as it increases your site loading time. Pages with rich content paired with dynamic scrolling often suffer from long load times, and for users with slower internet speeds, your website will be perceived as crawling.
4. The Right Color Trends
Color has a significant psychological component, affecting how we perceive and respond to brands, products, and services online. For example, the color green, which wholesome and harmonious brands such as Wholefoods, Starbucks, Green Giant, and Spotify utilize to underscore their brand identity. Financial and data companies such as banks, financial institutions, and social media platforms that want to engender trust among their users tend to use the color blue to promote the idea of trust. Excellent examples include Facebook, PayPal, Morgan Stanley, and Twitter.
While you may want to incorporate your brand colors in your website, exploring current trending color palettes is also advisable to create a modern website design. In 2019 and 2020, respectively, blue and mint green were the most favored colors to use when building your website. In 2021, we see a complete departure from these subdued color schemes, with bolder, playful pastel colors gaining prominence.
5. Full-Page Headers
Website headers act as an invitation to explore the website. They tell the user where to find critical information, how to get to it, and highlight the brand logo and call-to-action buttons for greater conversion.
Headers are one of the first things people see on a website. So, they should provide basic information about a business for users to understand the brand and its offering within seconds of landing on the page. Some designers separate the header from the rest of the page, while others favor integrating the two elements for a seamless design. Whichever way you choose to do it, make sure that the web page has a noticeable header to guide visitors in their information search, increasing navigability and user experience.
6. Card-Based Design
Card-based design in modern website design uses graphic or content card interfaces to outline the main idea of a brand, product, service, or business. Each card typically has an image, graphics, text, and page link with more detailed information on the main topic.
This visual design element promotes your website’s UI or user experience index, increasing the amount of information a visitor takes in while perusing your site. They are ideal for targeting users who browse rather than search for information. Many top websites use this highly eclectic and flexible design trend, including the social media platforms Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
7. Grid Design
Another design trend that’s making a comeback in modern web designs is the use of the grid. Grids in web design refer to constraints that tie common elements together while allowing those elements to dictate the grid.
A typical example includes the CSS Grid. This grid layout helps web designers to create highly responsive layouts. This design is an excellent tool for organizing space, images, and text, adding structure to the overall site design, and making information and navigation easier to find on a website.
The French word collage means “glued together.” This trend represents the “gluing together” of images, concepts, and text to create a unique and put-together look characteristic of modern website design. Collage provides an incredibly freeing form of design; each added element fleshes out an existing concept creating layers of meaning that are both exhilarating and mesmerizing.
The 2020 collage trend resulted in a more abstract and expressive feel, and all indicators point to this trend continuing into 2021. Anything goes with this modern design element, with photography clippings, playful mark-making, and abstract photography being the most used techniques.
When we looked at white spaces earlier, the concept of less was more dominant. However, less is certainly not the way to go when it comes to anti-design. Many may perceive anti-design as overwhelming, honest, brutal, and even hideous, going against every design rule written for modern website design.
Anti-design principles incorporate harsh colors, movement, and cluttered web pages that can be intentionally ugly, complex, and disorienting. The user will encounter a complete lack of visual hierarchy, weird cursors and patterns, and distracting animations. Done well, this design choice can leave a memorable impression on web visitors, which could convert them to buy your product or service.
10. High-Quality Videos
Last but not least is using high-quality video and other moving illustrations in your web design. Websites with videos grow revenues 49% faster than those without videos.
Videos can communicate your core message faster and more conveniently than the written word. They increase engagement by likely keeping visitors on your site as they devour your content. People generally prefer videos and tend to like and trust brands that use them.
4 Top tips to keep in mind when building a modern website design
1. Keep It Minimalistic
Avoid falling prey to one of the worst things you can do for your website—overload it with words, images, and videos. This strategy makes your website look ugly and disorganized, translating to how people you’re your brand or business.
Furthermore, busy websites strain the eyes; not many visitors will stay longer on your site as a result. To keep to a minimalistic modern website design:
- Adopt easy-to-read text themes and hierarchies for a more organized look
- Choose your content wisely, using strategically placed images and videos
- Keep your word count to a minimum
- Opt for a full-screen design, using hamburger menus if required
- Use plenty of white space
2. Maintain Fast Site Loading Speeds
Site loading speeds are the core component of good SEO and web design. Nobody has the time to wait for a site to load, and with a slow site loading speed, you will likely lose more visitors to the competition.
To ensure optimum site loading speeds, ensure that you do not have large high-resolution images and complex scripts that consume bandwidth while loading. To avoid this happening on your website, you should do one or more of the following:
- Combine images into CSS sprites
- Compress your content and scale down your images
- Configure expired headers
- Evaluate your plugins
3. Use Ghost Buttons
Ghost buttons include web design elements with colored borders and no color fills. These transparent buttons are popular in modern website design, as they support a minimalistic design and enhance call-to-action aspects.
However, they can be challenging to spot and must be strategically placed to ensure visitors do not miss out on seeing and using them. To use ghost buttons properly in your site design:
- Choose the ghost button background wisely to make it easy to see
- Ensure they are easy to find by placing them next to visible elements such as a call-to-action button
- Use deep colors for the border and text to make the ghost button more noticeable
- Test your ghost buttons for visibility and, more importantly, that they work on both desktop and mobile devices
4. Ensure Mobile Friendliness
Mobile devices account for about half of internet traffic worldwide. In the first three months of 2021, smartphones generated 54.8% of global web traffic alone! Therefore, when you build your website, you should make both a desktop and mobile version to ensure you reach your audience where they browse.
To create a mobile-friendly site, first simplify your overall web design by getting rid of complicated scripts and rendering the content to match a smaller screen. Some businesses also create two separate websites—one for desktop users and the other for mobile users.
Other key design elements you can implement on the mobile version of your website to make it mobile-friendly include:
- Customizing your button sizes and images for the mobile screen
- Ditching the use of flash
- Implementing mobile-specific SEO practices
- Implementing a responsive design
- Including the Viewport Meta Tag
- Making website loading speed a priority
- Removing text-blocking pop-ups and ads
- Turning off autocorrect for forms
- Using large font sizes
To help ensure that you have a mobile-friendly website, Google offers a service that tests your site to see if it is mobile-friendly. Paste your website URL into the Google Search Console https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly and click the “Analyze” button. Google should tell you within a few seconds if you have a mobile-friendly website, and if you don’t, it will give you the reasons why.
Need a new website design for your business? Check out our web design services and browse our outstanding portfolio to get a feel of the websites we’ve designed for businesses just like yours. While you’re at it, get some exciting ideas to discuss with us for your upcoming project!
Feel free to contact us or call (888) 831-6095 to speak to one of our design teams. We are available to consult with you to answer any pressing questions you may have and explore how we can help your business.