7 Mobile App Design Trends to Watch in 2022

Like all digital design trends, mobile app design trends change rapidly. Here are 7 app design trends to keep an eye on in 2022.

Mobile apps have become an integral part of our everyday life. They keep us busy, entertain us, help us stay organized, and streamline tedious and time-consuming tasks that would otherwise take too long to complete.


The mobile app market is on the rise. Just this year, the mobile app market revenue is estimated to reach a whopping $693 billion.


However, making an app that will engage users requires more than a few skills. Design and ease of use can make or break an app’s success, so it requires thoughtful planning. 


That said, we decided to dive deeper and explore this topic, showing you the latest trends in mobile app design to help your business be successful.

7 Ways Mobile App Design Will Experience Innovation This Year

Without further ado, let's see what mobile app design trends we shouldn't miss this year.

1. Personalized User Interfaces

Personalization plays a huge role in user engagement. According to research, more than 90 percent of consumers would rather go with the brand that offers them relevant content suggestions, knows and remembers their preferences, and shows interest in them.


The same goes for app development and design. Apps that are designed to fit the needs of specific target groups, and that can be customized, are more likely to thrive in the fiercely competitive market.


Therefore, app designers should strive to address unique customers’ wants and needs, and personalize user interfaces as much as possible.


Since app developers can access data that shows them their target audiences' preferences, they can easily design apps that can adapt to different types of devices, screen settings, sounds, and so on.

2. Rise in Popularity of 3D Elements

A well-known proverb about judging a book by its cover doesn’t hold up in app design. The app layout and design is something users will see first once they download the app on their mobile phones, and it can make or break the app’s success.


That said, to attract and retain consumers, mobile app designers and developers may move towards 3D visuals and user-triggered animations in the coming year. 


The main point is to make design interactive and sensitive to user's touch and make it change in color, shape, or design, whenever users click, hover, or touch 3D elements. This will allow app developers to increase user engagement and make an app more stimulating.

3. Navicons and Multi-Directional Navigation Gain Attention

Navigation icons or, shortly, navicons and menus will be in the center of attention when it comes to mobile app design this year. 


Crafting an intuitive and convenient user interface is a priority for every app design team, in case they want to keep their users engaged and retained. That said, this year we can expect mobile apps to have simpler and easier navigation, that will keep users engaged and help them discover content easier and in a more engaging way.  


Furthermore, we can expect the rise of multi-directional navigation which will ease the user journey through the app and make it more engaging. Instead of just scrolling through the app, up and down, users will interact with the app. This includes the use of horizontal sliders on top of the vertical ones, which will be favorable for apps that offer multiple products or profiles such as music or dating apps.


horizontal-sliders-mobile-app-design
(Image source: App Store, Audible app)

4. Super Minimalism to Prevent Eye Fatigue 

According to research, the average person in the US spends more than five hours each day on their mobile devices. When we see this data, it's no wonder many users are looking for apps that won't put so much strain on their eyes.


Because of this, a focus in mobile app design will be placed on minimalism and highlighting the most important pieces of content. Mobile app designers will try to strip away everything that might come off as a distraction and embrace a "less is more" attitude.


Following this thought, we can expect more apps to embrace dark mode, as it creates less strain for the eyes and keeps users within the app longer. What's more, dark mode design makes text, icons, and other features stand out a bit more.


5. Micro-interactions Will Become a “Thing”

micro-interactions-mobile-app-design
(Source: alphr)


Micro-interactions have been popular for quite some time, but they're expected to take the lead in app design in 2022. Micro-interactions are interactive versions of metaphors turned into icons, and their main purpose is to attract the user's attention in a specific moment.


Furthermore, they are here to make the mobile UI more interactive and accessible to the end-user, and make the app more attractive, engaging, and "warmer" than how most apps used to be.


A good example of micro-interactions would be Snapchat’s bitmojis. Bitmojis would appear each time a person in a chat starts to type, on the top of the type bar.

6. Use of Rounded Corners 

rounded-corners-mobile-app-design
(Design by Viktoria Horbach)


While sharp edges and heavy contrast boxes were popular in previous years, we now are seeing an increase in the use of softer designs. Users are now more familiar with mobile apps, and they use them in a more intuitive way, which lessens the need for bolder buttons and section design.


Therefore, in the following years, we can expect more designs with softer buttons with rounded edges and light contrast to aid in functionality. 

7. More Gradient Elements

gradient-elements-mobile-app-design
(source: Winkee app)


Just like in fashion, where we see old app design trends getting revamped, we experience the same thing in the app design sphere. The use of gradients is something that will make a huge comeback into UI/UX space. 


Compared to previous years, gradients now appear lighter and more complex. Mobile app designers won't use only linear gradients but include a mix of different colors, palettes and overlays.


App designers will use gradients to add functionality to the app, not just like a background decoration like was the case before. Mobile app designers will use similar colors to separate menu items better and make them more appealing to the eye. They'll use gradients to create the illusion of the light source behind the elements or to make app pages appear more interesting.

The Bottom Line

We can expect great things to happen in app design development this year. Minimal design, the increase in the use of interactive elements, and a more personalized user experience are just some of the things that we're looking forward to seeing this year in mobile app design.


In case your team needs the help of trusted professionals, we provide a wide range of UX/UI design services to help you launch your app!

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