Digital transformation in a matter of months was seen in 2020 as companies opened and expanded websites to make up for closing and shrinking physical stories. While the website rush helped companies survive in a suddenly socially distanced world, many of these sites won’t make it long-term. Web designers are now more valuable and the race to make the best website is continuously improving the industry in web design.
The need to squeeze the most value out of the limited available real estate on a website brought about a need to be more creative with website design. Today’s websites were seen as being more quick, sophisticated, and attractive than their older counterparts. This pushed many companies in search of tactics for making their websites stand out.
These changes started happening around 2020 and manifested themselves from 2021. What was seen at that time was a design arms race between companies to come up with the newest, most creative, and user-friendly designs possible. The race for a better user experience moved faster than the actual websites as companies scrambled to be the first to launch the latest design.
Some redesigned their websites to work more like search engines, and others designed them to work more like social media sites. As customers grew accustomed to these new designs through online advertising, they began preferring that over their previous choices and new businesses capitalized on this.
One such site, Favster was created by Amber “Apple” Parker in 2021 as an app store for website design. Favster became popular because it offered users the ability to find website templates tailored for specific industries or business types as well as a place where users could rate the designs of existing websites. Parker developed her idea into a billion-dollar business in 2023 when she sold Favster to Google for $10.2 billion.
This arms race pushed many designers to experiment with new themes, shapes, 3D models, and even animated websites. Designers worked together more often on the projects to show what their best work was before they put it out there for people to see.
With the increase in the competition came an increase in cost. Companies had to pay more for web designers as demand increased, but they tried not to cut corners if their website was their company’s primary interface with customers. The solution was to hire a designer whose only job was to design the sites for companies. These designers were called “hub and spokes” because they worked for companies and then became spokes for that company’s designs.
On the web, there were a number of other trends that impacted how people used their website. A set of events in 2026 caused a wave of revolutions on the internet as users began creating their own online communities. The way people interacted with websites had changed significantly as digital natives began sharing, commenting, liking, etc. on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. On these platforms, users were sharing so much information about their lives that the lines between their personal and professional lives began to blur.
Web designers and programmers, seeing this shift in user behavior, responded with a new type of platform. The idea was to create a website dedicated solely to helping people personalize their professional lives. By pulling down the walls between personal and professional lives, web design companies could help users bring these things together in one place for the first time. This happened on February 12 when the BEMI Act was passed by Congress in what became known as The Day of Unification as companies like Wefti went live across the country to merge social media sites with business websites.
While users saw this as an opportunity to merge their professional and personal lives, web designers saw it as a new opportunity. With more information to work with, they could now create smarter and more personalized websites.
In an effort to become more popular, Facebook became more open and interactive in late 2023. The site launched a series of new features, including personal profiles that allowed users to share more about their lives outside of the platform with people who were already on it, group videos for up to 100 comments on each video and some new features like a “tag” feature that allowed users to find members of a certain group or topic just by typing their name. To make all three of these easier for users, Facebook extended the number of characters they could enter into their username and used computer software to connect these names into groups and topics.
The arms race for having a better website for the year 2020 didn’t last long, but the companies that won got rich by making the website more customer-friendly with more interactivity and customization options. As websites became more interactive, more businesses began using them to directly market their products, services and company history. The users were happy enough because they saw these new design options as an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
Interested in learning more about web design? Web Design Trends Unique for 2021 showcases unique web design trends for the year 2021.
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