If you want to be ahead of the curve for the coming year, you’re in luck. We’ve checked out the field and rounded up some of the most prominent and impactful directions the design and development world is moving in.
In this article, we’ll explore six of the most exciting trends in web design and development that we expect to see take off in 2021. Let’s dig in!
1.Progressive Web Apps
The first trend we’ll look at is Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). These are web-based applications that aim to combine the best of both web apps and mobile apps using the latest technologies.
Typically, the strength of web apps that they’re available on any platform. On the other hand, native mobile apps generally offer better performance and a more natural feel, as well as advanced features such as push notifications.
PWAs are websites built using web technologies that enable them to behave and feel like native apps. This also makes them available in any browser.
The big advantage here for developers is that PWAs are much easier to deploy and maintain. You only need to work with the one web app, rather than dealing with a separate one for each mobile platform (Android, iOS, maybe a tablet-optimized app, etc.).
PWAs have actually been around for a couple of years now. However, their usage has been growing, and we think it will continue to be one of the top design and development trends in 2021.
Neumorphism is a fairly new style that combines modern, ‘flat’ design with some elements of old-school skeuomorphism (think the old iOS design language from around 2010). It caused quite a stir when it first appeared on the scene.
Neumorphism provides a clean, modern, and attractive style that’s a little more functional and much easier to navigate than the standard flat design that’s been so prevalent in the last few years. This is definitely a trend to watch in the coming year.
3.Thumb-Friendly Mobile Design
These days, big smartphones are the norm. Even the compact, ‘mini’ versions of devices dwarf their counterparts from just a few years ago.
These large screens are fantastic for media consumption and fitting a lot of content in a single view in general, but they come at the cost of ergonomics. It’s tough to use a modern smartphone with one hand.
To compensate, some developers have taken to moving key UI elements lower on the page. For example, many apps have menus along the bottom of the screen rather than the top. Others make use of large headers and copious white space to push elements down so they’re within reach of users’ thumbs.
Color gradients made a big comeback this year around the web. Expect this to be among the design and development trends to continue into 2021.
Gradients are fantastic. They’re pleasing to look at, they can be eye-catching, and they help your web content stand out.
In particular, bold text against a gradient background can be highly effective at drawing the eye without being overwhelming:
A Single-Page Application (SPA) is exactly what it sounds like – a web app that consists of only one page. New data loads as users click on different elements, but the page never has to refresh because it doesn’t need to navigate to a new URL.
With SPAs, dynamic elements on the page give a sense of flow and continuity between different areas of the app. The advantages of this approach are a simpler deployment process and a smooth and pleasing User Experience (UX).
Animations on web pages, from subtle icon movements to full-screen parallax effects, have really started to take off. We think this will likely be one of the strongest web design and development trends in 2021.
This is due in large part to new technologies and libraries that enable smoother motion effects with lower resource usage. In other words, users on older or lower-powered devices won’t have their browsing experience slowed to a crawl, so the effects can be implemented more widely. Additionally, libraries such as Motion UI make it easier than ever to build and implement these effects.
Whether you’re looking to build your first site this year, or take your existing business in a new direction, there’s a lot to consider in the world of WordPress and web development. Sifting through the constantly changing landscape to find the trends with staying power can be tough.
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