Top 10 Website Trends for 2020-2021

Published: October 27, 2020

Jessica Miracle


In the ever-changing world of technology and website design, some trends have established themselves as standards. Others look to their roots or focus on health and inclusivity.

What makes a site eye catching changes from year to year as cultures grow and evolve. Allow us to shine some light on some of the leading website trends for 2020-2021.

Whether you hire a website design company or attempt to build everything yourself, learning the principles of how to design a website is a great first step. These website trends have paved the way for business success in 2020 and beyond:

#1: Accessibility

Accessibility is hardly a new concept, but the knowledge that websites need to be inclusive is becoming more apparent. Poorly designed and implemented websites create barriers that exclude some people from interacting and experiencing them.

There are other benefits to creating an accessible site, such as an easier-to-navigate  interface, improved SEO, and broader audience.

Here are  some simple things you can do to improve your site’s accessibility:

A screenshot of a website that is accessible. It showcases a color contrast so that the content is easy to read
Image Source: Colorable

#2: Micro-Interactions

Micro-interactions on the Web are things we see even if we don’t recognize them as such. Think: a simple hover color change for links or a progress bar indicating a download, or even a scroll bar that appears as you navigate a site. The new trend is to give those small interactions more visual interest.

Micro-interactions must have a purpose: to encourage people to interact with certain aspects of your site. They should remain simple and unobtrusive to a viewer’s experience.

Image Source: Dribbble

#3: Heavy Fonts

Clear, concise, and in-your-face typography is trending. The first things a viewer sees when landing on a site are the hero and intro message. 

The more this message stands out, the more impact it will have. This technique, combined with ample negative space, is great to emphasize high-quality products or services.

A screenshot showcasing the word "Hello" in a heavy font
Image Source: Huge

#4: Photos With Graphics and Typography

This is a fun way to reinforce your brand and show off your creativity. Breaking through molds is a popular website trend heading toward the end of 2020, and having graphics overlap photos  keeps your viewers engaged. 

A screenshot showing the words of the brand gogoro placed in front of and in-line with the a bike which is the product they sell
Image Source: Gogoro Eeyo

#5: Gradients

Gradients have been popular for over a year now, with no signs of stopping. The combination of textures and gradients have been an up-and-coming trend as well. 

Gradients give a visually dynamic feel to plain backgrounds, and you can take photos to the next level with gradient overlays. There are so many gradient techniques (e.g, duotone, non-regular blending, and radial ramp) that the outcomes are seemingly endless.

Check out these crafty, web-ready gradients:

Multiple gradient examples that are crafty and ideal for the web
Image Source: WebGradients

#6: Mobile First

This one is more than a trend. Much like accessibility, mobile-friendly sites are a must-have. This isn’t going away, and the vast majority of sites have switched to being responsive and smartphone friendly. 

But there’s more to it than just having everything stack and fit within small screen sizes. Just because a website is responsive doesn’t mean it was designed to be “mobile first.” 

There are two ways a developer/designer can concept a website: graceful degradation and progressive advancement. The former means that the desktop or large screen sizes are developed first and the mobile or small screen sizes after. The latter means that the design starts with mobile.

Mobile-first, modern website designs use progressive advancement. Instead of mobile becoming an afterthought, it’s designed with the intention that more people will experience it through their phones. That takes more thought on design and functionality.

Did you know that Google has a tool that ranks your website on how mobile friendly it is? Check it out here.

#7: Microcopy

With so many websites for viewers to engage with, using the same, boring microcopy can lead to less conversions as people gloss over text they’ve read on thousands of sites. Standard phrases are easy to think of, but they don’t engage viewers with your brand or products. 

We recommend making this copy less formal and more familiar, like regular speech. This is a great opportunity to let your brand’s voice shine through. Whether it’s sarcastic or informative, it gives viewers a small peek at the culture behind the brand.

Mailchip website example showing microcopy
Image Source: Mailchimp

#8: Asymmetry

There’s a solid reason why most websites follow the standard block layout. It’s clean and easy to follow. But a trend to break up the monotony has been rising, and it could be just what sets your site apart from competitors. 

The goal is to leave the viewer with a lasting impression so that they become interested in your brand or product. Broken-grid layouts can give the site distinguished confidence and deliver content artistically. 

There’s a fine line between asymmetry and chaos, however. You need balance so that viewers don’t become lost or overwhelmed.

Example of a website that shows asymmetry with text heavy on the left side and image on the right side
Image Source: 15 Finches  

#9: Dark Mode

We’ve all noticed our favorite apps updating with that sleek “dark mode.” Websites have followed suit by taking on a dark color, such as rich black. Not only does this look ultra-modern, but it’s also easier on the eyes (a huge benefit in our screen-filled lives). 

Dark-mode sites can also use pops of saturated color to highlight elements. Contrast is key but within reason. Adding too much contrast can negate the good qualities dark mode has to offer.

Example of what dark mode looks like—all black background with white text
Image Source: Write for Mac 

#10: Load Speed

Web load speeds will always be important, but as technology gets faster, slow loading times will be key to business survival. If an initial load takes longer than three seconds,  viewers will likely bounce. 

Bogging a site down with heavy imagery and video is a sure bet to see traffic plummet. Lazy-loading images is one way to increase load times so that the site isn’t busy trying to load everything at once and instead focuses on the content above the fold. 

Google’s Lighthouse web tool has useful info on page speed.

What Google Lighthouse looks like on the web
Image Source: Lighthouse

Final Thoughts

Inclusivity and personal interactions are key differentiators for companies looking to broaden their viewer base and become a top-10 website in 2020-2021. Don’t be afraid to get creative with bold typography and colors, and break the mold with asymmetrical grids (all top website trends). 

If you’re looking to spice up your site, contact our team today. Talk to a strategist to get started.

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