The Grumpy Designer Looks Ahead to 2021

Let’s not dwell on 2020 very much. The fact that I didn’t make any predictions for the year (after doing so for 2019) should say it all. There were bad vibes in the air – you know? But that’s history now.

Besides, the future is always brimming with hope. If it weren’t, nobody would dare to preview the year ahead. Thus, I’m jumping back onto the bandwagon for 2021.

Consider this the definitive tongue-in-cheek look at how the new year will impact the web design community. I’m going to give you a rundown of the hottest future developments so that you can show up prepared for battle.

Are you ready to turn the page on 2020? I thought so! With that, here’s what you have to look forward to in the new year.

Zoom Meetings Will Get an Extra Boost

I know, Zoom is so 2020. After all, it’s how we conducted meetings throughout most of the year. You might wonder if we have seen enough of it already.

But I am nothing if not loyal. I don’t stop loving my favorite songs from years past (much to the chagrin of those around me), nor do I eschew trusted apps for something shinier. The fact is that Zoom worked pretty well and has served a genuine purpose.

So, how do they top their incredible 2020? By worming their way into the Internet of Things (IoT), of course.

You see, one of the big drawbacks of virtual meetings is that you need a computer, tablet or phone to participate. This can be highly-frustrating to clients and colleagues alike, as it allows us some time to ourselves.

No more excuses! Zoom meetings will soon be held on every smart device. Refrigerators, bathroom mirrors, washing machines – they’re all fair game. This ensures that none of us will miss a single second of the action.

A woman conducting a video conference.

About Those 2020 Functionality Additions

Nothing like a worldwide pandemic to force businesses to change in a hurry. Dining in turned into takeout. In-store shopping became curbside pickup. Suddenly, everything we knew about everyday commerce was out the window.

This transition made websites more important than ever. As such, web designers spent a massive amount of time bolting on new functionality. Features like online ordering, inventory tracking and emergency communications were just a few of the tasks at hand.

Now, you may be thinking that these changes will be permanent. It’s the much talked about “new normal”, you say. But that’s not how this grumpy guru sees it.

Experience tells me that a client’s mind is always subject to change. This seems to be especially accurate in times when you rush to fulfill a highly-complicated request. You scramble to get code in place, fix bugs and get things working just the way your client wants it.

What inevitably comes next?

“Hey, could you put it back the way it was?” – that’s what.

An arrow painted on a wall.

WordPress Takes on Notification Overload

One of my greatest pet peeves with WordPress plugins is the massive amount of notifications they generate. Most seem to be geared towards advertising and are of little actual value to the end user. And don’t get me started about the messages that show up every single time I log into a site – even after I dismiss them. It’s all too much.

2021 will be the year that WordPress corrals the chaos. They’ll achieve this by creating a separate notifications screen within the admin.

No longer will notifications rear their ugly heads anywhere and everywhere within the WordPress dashboard. Now, a single screen consisting of all possible notifications will be implemented. Easy, right?

Of course, this will undoubtedly frustrate the developer community. As a compromise, WordPress will make this new screen appear every time a user logs in.

And, to ensure that everyone reads it, users will be required to verify a legally-binding agreement at the bottom of the page. Oh, and they’ll also have to buy something from Jetpack – just for good measure.

A person using a laptop computer.

Rapid-Fire Predictions

What else is going to happen in 2021? Here are a few other predictions that simply must come true:

  • In an effort to crack down on fake news, Firefox will stop rendering all web content;
  • In a related mission, all browsers will redirect to a photo of its founder in shorts;
  • Tesla will release an autopilot feature for the web, only to pull it weeks later due to frequent crashes;
  • Ever the forward-looking company, Apple will do away with pixels on its new devices;
  • Against the advice of spammers everywhere, Bitcoin will no longer be an amazing opportunity;
  • Following the lead of Atari and Nintendo, Adobe will release a Flash retro console;

Whether or not any of the above predictions pan out, let’s hope 2021 is a great year. I wish you happiness, health and success!