Design Trends in 2021

Emma Winter

Emma Winter

December 10, 2020

5 mins read

What to expect for design trends in 2021

The year of 2021 is being looked upon with hope and wishful thinking. With the new covid-19 vaccine being rolled out – could it mean resuming back to normality?

One thing in abundance in 2020, with the majority of us being at home, was time, paving the way for designers to find innovative ways to approach UX and UI. The frequent discovery of immersive 3D elements, soft shadows and floating elements that crept into web designs was evident in so many 2020 designs.

So, let’s take a look at what we should include in 2021 to create compelling and engaging campaigns.

Top 5 design trends to watch out for in 2021


1. Mobile-first design is the future

What’s the one device we carry on us most (if not all) of the time? The first thing you look at in the morning, or the last thing you look at before you go to bed? On average millennials check their phones a staggering 150 times per day. With more than half of all searches being performed on a mobile and nearly 95% of those mobile searches happen via Google.

Last year saw the introduction of mobile-first indexing by Google. This means, well according to Google, that they predominantly use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking, with Googlebot primarily crawling and indexing pages via the smartphone agent. So, your next campaign should first be aimed at the mobile market, this may mean smaller dimensions, but the designs and messages needn’t be so.


2. Storytelling approach

People, now more than ever, want to buy from brands they can relate to. Brands that feel approachable, relevant to current trends and not to mention authentic. With the world now having literally everything at their fingertips, the option to shop around and find brands that share their beliefs and ethics is more readily available.

To achieve a genuine connection to your consumers, you should use storytelling. What a great way to captivate your user, giving your brand the opportunity to engage with them immediately, and touching on their emotional side or even creating a personal connection.

Some tips:

  • Tailored content to your audience.
  • Focus on the value your product can give to your consumer.
  • Use more videos in advertising, it’s arguably one of the most engaging content formats in the digital world.


3. Dark mode is here to stay

Whether you’re a fan or not, dark mode has been a popular trend this year, seeing more and more screenshots with black backgrounds. With a large number of social media apps now offering this feature, people are opting to make the change to the dark side. But why?

Here are some reasons people love the dark mode so much, it’s modern, sleek and sophisticated, allowing creatives to explore alternative designs that might not have worked in regular light mode. It’s new and on trend, if Donald Trump’s doing it then isn’t everyone? It can also save battery power, and probably the biggest reason is that it’s easier on the eyes, with so many of us working from home, spending more time looking at screens at all times of the day and night, it’s less bright and some would even go as far to say relaxing. If you don’t believe me then just have a quick chat to our fellow seedling and tech lover Billy!


4. Minimalism is coming back into the user interface (UI)

Minimalism has previously been compared to a boomerang – with it coming and going as a UI design trend throughout the years. Once again it is making a comeback. Retaining its popularity with consumers looking for simplicity and easy to use interfaces. This means less pop-up windows and irrelevant notifications. A good way to start making your creatives more minimal is by removing any excess information, just get to the point, show your user what they want and do it directly.

5. Hand-drawn adding that human touch

With 2020 seeing a rise in remote working, isolation and loneliness, aren’t we all now looking for some human interaction? Why not try bringing a little warmth into someone’s day, by adding some human touches to your designs.

Handwriting has almost been forgotten, long gone are the days spent writing and rewriting the same sentence over and over again, joining up each letter and making sure each character sits perfectly onto the line of your notebook. Today we text, email and use social media to communicate, it’s very rare to receive a handwritten note. But when/ if we do, doesn’t it feel that extra bit personal.

With this in mind, why not try adding some handwritten elements to your designs, giving that extra personal touch, there are heaps of handwritten typefaces (fonts) to choose from, just don’t get carried away and start using too many and all over the place. Remember point 4, minimalism, let’s get straight to the point.


A round-up of design trends in 2021.

So let’s recap:

  • Tell a story and try to connect with your consumer
  • Get straight to the point and cut out any unnecessary information
  • Target the mobile market
  • Try adding some human touches
  • Be creative with dark mode

Who knows what 2021 will bring, it surely can’t be any worse than this year!

If you’re looking for some design or other digital marketing help, please feel free to contact us at Seed! To find out more about us, take a browse on our site here:

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