2021: Is it time to rejuvenate your online presence?

The pandemic and its aftermath have undeniably derailed most retail projections. The stakes have never been higher for small and independent businesses that are challenged to deliver a competitive and seamless online presence. Digital imposed itself as the new brick and mortar fuelling a fierce user-experience competition for all sectors. Reactivity and agility are vital to survive and thrive. According to Accenture, nearly 86% of online retailers are investing in expanding their eCommerce experience over the next 12 months. Will you join the race?

Self-isolation prompted a surge in screen time that amplified the need for user-first and well-thought-out web design. In the UK, adults spend 40% of their daytime in front of a screen during the height of lockdown (source: Ofcom Media Nation 2020 UK report). From reducing eye strain, web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) to horizontal scrolling, the checklist for a unique digital experience is getting more intricate. Regardless if your business is powered by Shopify, Webflow, Duda, Wix, Editor X, Magento or Square Space, the time has come to rejuvenate your online presence. What are the latest trends and how to stand out from the eCommerce crowd?

While 65% of B2B organisations either have an eCommerce site or plan to launch one by year-end [2021], a large number have no strategy at all. (Source: Gartner)

Gucci Beauty — tutorial micro site


Our worlds are noisy and Zoom fatigue is a thing. It is common for users to experience eye strain after staring at screens for long periods. In 2021, web designers are working with soothing, comfortable and pleasant colour schemes that are easier to digest. Although the dark and light mode is still on the table, the binary colour contrast doesn’t compare to the versatility of subdued colours. By simply revisiting your website colour palette, it is possible to transform the look and feel of your brand and make it more appealing.


Another touchpoint for colours is contemporary gradient and transitional hues. As always, Apple is at the fore of innovation with its latest operating system released in November 2020. Big Sur dropped the Californian landscape photography and introduced three-dimensional transitional soft modern gradients. The swirl of soft focus hues is lifelike and frankly captivating. Furthermore, we spotted transitional animated colour backgrounds that automatically morph in a discreet and very relaxing manner.

Good Books website
Good Books

There will be a competition for making designs as simple as possible with subtle and cool colors, so that users can spend more time looking at a website design.- RV™, designer at 99designs


User involvement boosts engagement and delivers a truly unique experience. Scroll gesture is universal and possibilities are endless. In 2021, horizontal scrolling, scrolled-trigger animations and transformations are an absolute must. They can boost your storytelling unravelling the web page content creatively and interactively.


In a ‘make it yours’ society, users are craving personalisation and uniqueness. You should consider custom cursors if you wish to improve the user experience and make it memorable. As long as the pointer accuracy is preserved, custom cursors are a brilliant way to push the envelope and enhance your online presence with a touch of playfulness. If you're reading this article on laptop or desktop, you are currently looking at a custom cursor.


Quizzes greatly influence the purchasing decision by suggesting personalised recommendations. Using the information provided by the user, they are a powerful tool to gather very detailed consumers profiles and collect data easily.

Il Makiage — Powermatch quiz

Let’s take a look at DTC beauty brand Il Makiage and its PowerMatch foundation. Selling a foundation without a physical retail location can be challenging. The brand Il Makiage claims to have the perfect matching foundation for all skin tones. Instead of focusing on expensive campaigns, they engineered the perfect online quiz and promised the perfect match.

Il Makiage generates 99% of its revenue through its own website. In 2020. The business was on track to exceed $100 million in sales according to Oran Holtzman — Il Makiage's chief executive officer. Effectively, this is a combination of extensive research, a clever tone of voice and curated visuals. A well-thought-out and designed quiz can take you a long way.


The simple motto would be ‘experimentation but maintain legibility’. The dated ‘one font’ policy is finally out of the window and font pairing heightens the user experience. We see a resurgence of bold, experimental and vintage-inspired font but with a contemporary feel. The stylisation is key with bold typography. It gives a nod to the past while still feeling very in the moment, breathing new life into your brand identity.

Shopify — Carnival site

WCAG 2.2

Shopping has become harder for disabled people both online and in-store during the Covid-19 pandemic, new research has found. Retailers are now being urged to act to make websites and apps easier to use by people who are often looking to buy the essentials. WCAG is the acronym for the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. 2.2 is the latest version for WCAG set for official release in the summer of 2021.

Luckily, you can access the official draft here. The web accessibility legislation is intended to give all internet users equal access to information and functionality on the web. Businesses will be required to tick all of the boxes. The checklist covers different accessibility topics including (but not limited to) adding captions with video, ensuring displays feature colour-contrasting text and backgrounds, having descriptions written in plain language and avoiding cluttered layouts.

On a world stage disabled people, on their own, have £1 trillion in annual disposable income. Source: Purple


Minimalist, breezy and organised web design is here to stay. Geometric grids are gaining traction as a way to successfully structure a layout. They don’t have to be in a uniform arrangement. Off-centred content placement, white space and crisp lines are encouraged and already very popular. This bold and bare aesthetic is perfectly suited for elevated and premium brands that wish to stand out from the crowd.

Museum of Peace and Quiet

Rules are meant to be broken. Trends are meant to be unfollowed. In the words of American essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”. At Our Social Creative, we believe in pushing the envelope and exploring new routes and ideas, sometimes against the tide but always forward. Is it time to rejuvenate your online presence? The short answer is yes, and we can help. Let's discuss how your user experience could reach new heights.

Public Domain — experimental landing page
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