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WEB DESIGN IN 2021

A new year marks the possibility for change and progress.
Are you ready? We are. 

The report

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A website screenshot inserted into a plastic sleeve
A website screenshot inserted into a plastic sleeve

Here are the major themes that will dominate the digital design industry this year and the role they’ll play in the work we create.

LIFE ON

screen

IMMERSIVE DIGITAL EXPERIENCES ARE REPLACING IRL.

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The screen will surpass our real-world expectations by creating stimulating, immersive experiences that make up for what we’ve lost in real life. Robust platforms will blur the boundaries between real and virtual by creating practical experiences—like attending a concert or lecture—that are spatial and rich with elaborate visual effects.

THE WEB IS WHERE WE LIVE

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THE WEB IS WHERE WE LIVE

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THE WEB IS WHERE WE LIVE

THE WEB IS WHERE WE LIVE

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THE WEB IS WHERE WE LIVE

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The world’s first online street food festival experience allows users to interact with others and order from food vendors using customizable avatars. Design by Reprise Digital Malaysia, website built by Ministry XR. 

A screenshot of the Tiger Street Food Virtual Festival website

Visual journalism by the Research & Development team at The New York Times which fully reconstructs spaces in 3D, enabling them to be seen from any angle.

A screenshot of the Journalistic Scenes by The New York Times website

The Prada SS 2021 Womenswear Show took place online, without a live audience. It was presented as a video with complementary materials, including a 3D VR experience. 

A screenshot of the SS 2021 Fashion Show on the Prada website

Travis Scott's virtual online concert, Astronomical, was built from the ground up in Fortnite.

A screenshot of Travis Scott's Fortnite concert, Astronomical

Designed by Arthur de Almeida, this interactive website teaches photography for beginners.

A screenshot of the Say Cheese website by Arthur de Almeida

Created by Yifu Zhang, the website served as the opening event for the 2020 Serving the People show, exhibiting works by BFA students from art schools across the world.

A screenshot of the BFA Show Opening website by Yifu Zhang

Balenciaga's Fall 2021 collection was unveiled via an elaborate video game made up of five zones, where users can explore a futuristic reality and encounter model avatars.

A screenshot of the Balenciaga Afterworld video game showing a model avatar

TREND NO.1

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Face

time

OUR REFLECTIONS ARE BECOMING THE STARS OF OUR SCREENS.

A face filter by Aaron Jablonski, a digital artist specializing in AR and face tracking technology.

A face filter by Aaron Jablonski, a digital artist specializing in AR and face tracking technology.

A 3D rendering of Sylvia, the first aging virtual influencer, with graying hair

Sylvia is the first virtual influencer to age over time, created by Ziv Schneider, Halime Maloof, Odie Senesh, ANO Agency, Alex Calderwood and Bethany Tabor.

Sylvia is the first virtual influencer to age over time, created by Ziv Schneider, Halime Maloof, Odie Senesh, ANO Agency, Alex Calderwood and Bethany Tabor.

A variable typefaces and the various facial expressions that designed it

A variable typeface experiment allowing users to design a font based on their facial features and expressions. Co-created by Overtone and Set Snail.

A variable typeface experiment allowing users to design a font based on their facial features and expressions. Co-created by Overtone and Set Snail.

A screenshot of the Do Not Touch Your Face website

A tool that alerts users whenever they touch their face using a machine learning algorithm and a webcam. Created by Mike Bodge, Brian Moore and Isaac Blankensmith.

A tool that alerts users whenever they touch their face using a machine learning algorithm and a webcam. Created by Mike Bodge, Brian Moore and Isaac Blankensmith.

A screenshot of the ANTIBODIES website, showing speakers in a video call

An open video call where a webcam records users’ facial gestures. Created by Daniel Iregui and Studio Iregular, curated by Liette Gauthier and commissioned by Maison de la Culture Ahuntsic.

An open video call where a webcam records users’ facial gestures. Created by Daniel Iregui and Studio Iregular, curated by Liette Gauthier and commissioned by Maison de la Culture Ahuntsic.

As human communication moves increasingly online, we're constantly faced with our own reflections staring back at us, placing extra emphasis on the face. Memojis, avatars and cutesy, quirky filters present altered versions of ourselves that impact our self-image. Web designers will focus on human identity as they create experiences that not only appeal to end users, but also feature them. 

TREND NO.2

Your UI, by you

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