To a certain extent, web design is somewhat similar to fashion and music in the sense that they all follow style trends, and they all pay close attention to technology in order to deliver substantive experiences.
Through their creative work, fashion designers, music composers, and web designers can either follow trends or create new ones; nonetheless, they all have starting points that involve inspiration.
With this in mind, here are five examples of web design that you can be inspired by in 2021:
Parallax Scrolling With 3D Animations
Contrary to what you may have heard from some web designers, parallax scrolling is not dead in 2021. The problem with parallax effects is that they do not always translate well to smartphone touchscreens, but there are ways to detect the media and viewport so that you can either minimize or altogether eliminate this kind of scrolling for mobile visitors. This award-winning website design shows off some pretty elegant scrolling that goes well with 3D animations made with scalable vector graphics.
Retro Operating Systems
In recent years, the nostalgic look and feel of the old Macintosh OS, Windows XP, or even Ubuntu desktop environments have been trending in web design circles. Take a look at Poolside.FM, an online radio station that oozes with 1990s style. The layout and iconography of Poolside.FM replicates the MacOS experience in great detail, and it even features web apps such as a media player, notepad, and internet chat client.
From 2010 to 2015, web designers focused on delivering projects that told stories; this was lost with the explosion of social networks and vertical video, but it is starting to make a resurgence. One good example of a highly effective storytelling website is World of SWISS, which is an elaborate landing page for Switzerland’s national air carrier. The BBC still has quite a few pages featuring this style, and they are creating new ones to tell stories that unfolded during the coronavirus pandemic. By the way, you might want to take a look at the difference between nice and poor web design — read here.
Designing a single-page website that features nothing but text is going beyond minimalism, but it is a trend that has been getting traction in recent years. When CNN and National Public Radio launched text-only versions of their sites, journalists praised their initiatives, and a few other web properties followed suit. Web developers who support text-only layouts argue that they were the original method of responsive design; plus, they spare battery life on mobile devices, and they can be styled with the right typography.
1990s Web Design
“Space Jam 2,” the long-awaited sequel to the 1996 animated fantasy film featuring NBA legend Michael Jordan, promises to be one of the biggest film events of 2021. The website created to promote the first movie was preserved for more than two decades as an internet artifact, and many web designers were disappointed to learn that it was archived in order to promote the sequel with NBA star Lebron James. For all its garish style choices, the original Space Jam website provided great functionality, and this is what modern designers miss from the early years of what was then known as the World Wide Web. Vintage web design is more than just stylish pixelated icons; it is about favoring simplicity in page navigation and giving visitors exactly what they are looking for.