A Guide to Modern Web Design

Anyone with any experience in web design will know just how quickly things tend to become obsolete in this industry. As the technology we use advances, so do the tools we use to build it, and web design is no different, as it relies on trends that change with each passing year.  

To help you keep up to date with modern web design in 2021, we’ve put together a list of emerging digital trends for the year ahead so you can stay on top of the latest crazes. Not only that, but it even allows you to develop your website in line with your marketing strategy.

Whether you’re designing a new website for a client or for a personal project of your own, here’s our guide to modern web design which covers everything from what it is, why it’s an important aspect of website creation, and how it can create change for your business. 

What is Web Design?

Web design might sound complicated, but it merely refers to the planning process, the conceptualization, and the creation of content which is released online via a website, website app, or mobile phone app. Okay, so maybe it is as complicated as it sounds.

These days, however, there are plenty of tools that you can use to design a website, such as desktop apps, or website builders like Wix, Squarespace, and PageCloud, to name a few. 

You can choose to create either an adaptive or a responsive website. The former adapts depending on the device or browser you’re using, whilst the latter adapts to suit different elements and the percentage they take up on the site page thanks to a flexible grid layout.

Your choice will influence your website-building experience, so before you get started, it’s important to determine your website’s needs.

Different Elements of Web Design 

The two main elements of website design can be categorized as visual and functional elements, but both are equally as important when it comes to modern website design. 

Visual Elements

Everything on your website should be clearly displayed in a way that invites users to continue scrolling the site, aiming to grab their attention with eye-catching visual elements. 

When planning your website’s design, you should think carefully about the following aspects: 

  • Written copy layout
  • Font design 
  • Color scheme 
  • Shapes 
  • Spacing 
  • Images and videos

When these elements of your website look good, they make the business look good too. 

Functional Elements

The functional elements of your website require just as much consideration. It’s essential that these all work well on your site or users may run into difficulties when they’re using it.

To avoid customer’s clicking back because of dodgy cross-device compatibility or functions that are… not functional, think carefully about the following factors: 

  • Site navigation 
  • User interactions
  • Animations or transitions 
  • Speed
  • Site structure 
  • Cross-browser and cross-device accessibility

Business Benefits of Web Design

Your website is potentially one of the first things that users, customers, or clients will come into contact with regarding your business, so it’s important to make a good impression. 

If you can successfully manage that, there are plenty of benefits that modern web design can have for you and your business, including: 

  • Higher Google search engine rankings.
  • More user interaction and engagement.
  • Boosted brand awareness and a more established online presence.
  • Can lead to an increase in sales.
  • Helps to build trust with customers.

These are just a few of the ways in which your business can benefit from modern web design by the best web design agency, but the fact that your website’s design will be one of the largest influences on how consumers perceive your business is enough that it’s hugely important to get this right.

This next section covers some of the main trend predictions for 2021 to help you with this.

Top Predicted Trends of Modern Web Design for 2021

It’s no secret that 2020 was a challenging year, but while people turned to banana bread and sourdough during lockdown one, the latest lockdown has seen people starting to look towards the future again – and in web design, that means trying to identify future trends. 

Luckily, that’s exactly what we’ve been doing, so we’ve put together a list of trends for you to incorporate into your next web development project plans. 


Over the next year or two, the expectations for user experience are only going to become higher as there is nothing more attractive to users than a seamless online experience. 

User experience (UX) doesn’t always necessarily mean how easy something is to use (although this obviously plays a big part) but also how visually appealing it is to users. 

Web design also affects user experience in the following ways: 

  • Guides users to an area on the page where you would like their focus drawn to
  • Captures their attention 
  • Improves functionality 
  • It helps to build trust with users and promotes a more professional look

Not only this, but a clear, easy-to-use interface and site navigation will help your website rank higher on Google search results, so you’ll have more traffic driven to your site.


Modern web design is once again leaning toward minimalistic designs where less is more. 

Currently favored are sites that feature plenty of white space, a clear and uncramped layout, and simplicity in general, over bold, cluttered imagery with writing scattered around the page. 

Users can clearly see what’s important with this style of layout, as the white space behind it doesn’t pull any focus away from the content that’s intended to catch your attention. 


Retro fonts may be on the verge of making a comeback, but choosing a big, bold font for the writing on your web page will always be on-trend.   

You might assume that the writing font only has a small part to play in the overall website design, but this is an easy way to be consistent with your business’s branding. 

By using a unique, eye-catching font, users may come to associate that particular font with your brand which can help with your reach and reputation. 

Multimedia experiences 

As internet speeds become faster, it becomes much easier to combine different types of media without causing your internet to run too slowly or freezing your screen, but that doesn’t always mean you should! Minimalism is in, remember! 

Visuals like video, images, text, and audio, are all great, but only when used together wisely. 

It’s also important that you remember to include alt text for all images, as well as closed captioning and transcripts for multimedia that has been pre-recorded, as 2021 is seeing a bigger push to include media and content that is accessible to everyone. 

Final Thoughts

We hope that this guide has given you a good overview of modern web design, what it is, why it’s important, and what trends to look out for this upcoming year. 

To recap, some of the predictions for 2021 included dark mode, carefully curated mixed media, and the prioritization of user experience with a particular focus on page speed. 

Always remember that you should be designing a website for the users and consumers who will interact with it, not the brand itself. Modern web design is about helping you get your message across in the best way so that your website can achieve the best results.  

If you feel like you’re in need of a little more inspiration, you should check out some of the great ideas over at hhtps://www.webdesign-inspiration.com where you’ll find plenty of examples of modern web design that are up to date with the most recent popular trends.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.