What Is Web Design? – The Guide To Successful Website Design In 2021

Swansea Web Design Agency

Web design is an ever changing matrix of functionality and appearance concepts. It encompasses a variety of skills and disciplines in the production and maintenance of a website. 2020 showed us how valuable website design was, with the pandemic forcing us into a reliance on E-Commerce websites. In 2021, you need your site designed professionally both on the front & back end to compete in this aggressive digital climate. Although not solely the design of a website is enough to convert sales it plays a substantial role in guiding customers through the marketing funnel towards a conversion.

Technology changes fast, and website design is no different. Design elements that were once modern and innovative may have become tired or overdone in recent years. The last thing you want as visitors arrive at your site is to lose conversion because it looks outdated or even because it ignored critical web standards. Fortunately for you, we have put together a complete guide to website design in 2021. With design principles, trends and core web development– all of which are needed to stay competitive online.

web design messy table graphs colour charts graphic

What Is Web Design?

Web design is defined as “the process of planning, conceptualising and arranging content online” according to Page Cloud. Today, designing a website goes beyond aesthetics and includes the websites overall functionality. Web design is not limited to just desktops, as it also includes the design of web apps, mobile apps and user interface to name a few. Principles and design trends have evolved over the years – with technology, graphics, fonts, animations and more playing a large role in the change.

2 core principles have remained vital in recent years and continue to prove their worth in 2021 – User Experience (UX) & User Interface (UI). UI is a part of the user experience, as UX is the overall umbrella term with UI sitting underneath it. They both complement each other in the sense that UI builds towards servicing the best possible UX.

By designing a website that is easy to use, you will be rewarded with a greater number of pages per session and conversions. Creating a website that is also visually impeccable will mean users will return consistently. This is because they feel comfortable onsite and the design makes your brand look more trustworthy. The design also relates to them or even compels them to convert.

User Experience (UX)

It may sound obvious but designing a website that is easy to use or designed with the users (customers) in mind is very likely to gain returning visitors. A functional and content rich site will retain conversions and increase overall user sessions on your website. A survey run by Web FX showed that 89% of consumers shopped with a competitor after a bad user experience. So,  don’t become part of this percentage and ensure a seamless UX for all devices and customers. To further reiterate this, the prominent users of smartphone shoppers (Gen Z) have the attention span of 8 seconds! Meaning your content needs to be snappy, short and to the point to ensure a pleasant UX.

User Interface (UI)

user experience model
User experience & user interface

The same principle must be used regarding the user interface (UI). If a website is designed with aesthetically pleasing elements such as the controls a user interacts with (button controls, gesture controls & calls to action) it is more likely to retain traffic. Ultimately, UX defines where an audience wants to go and UI helps them get there.

When designing a website full of rich and noteworthy content with UI in mind, it is crucial that front end designers have their say. They are responsible for the creation of HTML, CSS & JavaScript code. These are the building blocks of web coding and JavaScript enables the interactivity needed for the user interface. This makes it essential in a modern, slick website design process. Front end developers use their extensive knowledge into UX principles, whilst having a keen eye for aesthetics and overall design of a website. This therefore makes their work imperative for businesses.

3 Web Design Trends In 2021

As digital specialists we are always on the lookout for evolving design trends and standards that can boost a business’s SERPs ranking and overall brand awareness. Below are 3 web design trends to watch out for in 2021:

Vintage & Retro Fonts

Vintage clothing, music and now fonts have all come back into fashion in recent years. Retro web styling has had a surge in popularity, with throwback typography adding artistic style and zing to a web page. Retro fonts have the ability to breathe new life into old, traditional typography with a modern spin, making it unique and eye-catching for your audience.

vintage & retro fonts

Horizontal & Vertical Display

As smart phone technology and ability has accelerated, users are looking to utilise screen clarity by viewing websites and pages horizontally. More designers continue to experiment with horizontal scrolling. However, they must be cautious on when to best use it. It could be best used for elements such as photo gallery’s – showing users a small preview of photos in a landscape format won’t take up as much page space. Horizontal display and scrolling will make more of an impact once best utilised, as for now the norm sticks with vertical display as it is considered to be more effective for reading and viewing content.

3D Visuals

With the advances in higher resolution screens, web designers, front end developers & graphic designers have been pushing 3D graphics. 3D visuals have been weaved seamlessly into web design in 2021, with creative agencies adding colourful 3D shapes with shadows, gradients and layered elements to grab attention and deliver messages.

3D visuals

These are just some of the web design trends on the rise in 2021. The purpose of these design techniques is to add flavour and exciting elements that incorporate your brands message but also deliver information. Cluttering your web page with static, dull elements is likely to result in a high bounce rate for your website. According to Content Square, 69% of website content is never seen by visitors. This means you need to deliver the most important content in an engaging format. Perhaps by using one of the trends above.

Core Website Development Principles

Regardless of new trends and styles in web design, these core principles should remain crucial in every website:

Page Loading Speed & Secure Hosting

Mobile First Web Design

Navigation & Site Structure

Page Loading Speed & Secure Hosting

Nobody likes a slow website. Having to wait more than a few seconds for a page to load can quickly deter a visitor from remaining and returning to your site. With this reliance we have formed on websites in recent years, it is essential of quick loading times. Regardless of its attractiveness, if it doesn’t load quickly, it will not perform well in search and result in a poor SERPs placement.

Research shows that a 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in under 2 seconds! In order to achieve this, you need a secure & fast host. The variety of media being loaded (videos, images, maps) must be fast and secure. SSL certificates are used which protects users and websites alike.

SSL certificates

Mobile First Web Design

According to a survey from Statista, over 50% of all website traffic comes from smartphones. You need to therefore prepare by prioritising mobile users and create a responsive website to a variety of screens & users. This entails building a website that loads quickly on 4G, 5G & WIFI, have non-invasive calls to action and ultimately display information clearly.

Google prioritises mobile page load speed as a key metric when determining a website’s search ranking, which is significant since 94% of organic search traffic comes from Google! It is therefore essential that developers ensure mobile websites are smooth and safe online, just as a desktop experience would be.

mobile first smartphone in pocket graphic

Navigation & Site Structure

A website’s structure plays an important role in both user experience (UX) and SEO. Your users should be able to easily navigate through your website without encountering any structural issues. If users are getting lost while attempting to navigate through a site, chances are that crawlers are too. A crawler (bot) is an automated programme that searches through your website and can determine its functionality. Ultimately, poor navigation can lead to poorer UX and site ranking.

How Can We Develop Your Swansea Business Into A Stylish Website

Those listed above are just some of the trends and principles that encompass website design in 2021. Search4Local strive to continuously improve our knowledge and application of design techniques to ensure that your business in Swansea attracts, retains and converts visitors into sales.

Suited to your brand, our team of expert web designers and web developers can create bespoke websites and online shops that represent your business in the best light online.

Don’t hesitate to contact us today for more information on our web design services and how we can help improve your overall online presence. Call us on(Phone) or contact (email) for more information.


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