I want you to remember the last time you opened a mobile app and went “wow”. What was the reason behind that? Was it the app’s functionality, onboarding, or anything else? 9 out of 10 times, it is because of the app’s interface design (UI).
The thing about mobile app design is that it keeps changing – according to the market, user behavior, industry, and much more! This is why keeping yourself updated with the latest trends in mobile app design becomes crucial.
Hundreds and thousands of mobile apps are launched every month and, if you are launching your dream app after putting months of effort into it, you would want your users to like it.
Well, your design is the first thing that your users will notice in your mobile app and, as they say, your app is only as good as how it looks. So, in this article, I’ll talk about the latest trends in mobile app design and tips to follow in 2020 – 2021.
Free Hand Design Elements To Add Uniqueness
Given the number of alternatives available for every app, it has become more important than ever to stand out from the crowd. One way of doing this is by adding freehand design elements and shortcomings to add uniqueness to your app design.
How & Where to Implement Them?
While adding freehand design elements and shortcomings are definitely one of the latest trends in mobile app design for 2021, implementing them the right way is equally important.
This is where understanding the UX psychology of a design element comes into play. Have you heard of The Von Restorff Effect or The Isolation Effect?
It says that among an array of elements, the odd one out is most likely to be remembered. For instance, the CTA or other buttons are often different from the rest of the design in a mobile app.
You can add shortcomings and freehand elements in your app in a similar way to create more impact and get your users to take action. So, here are 5 places where you can use hand-drawn design elements and shortcomings in your app are:
- Call-to-Action Buttons
- Highlighting USPs
- Welcome screen of your app
- Mission Statement/Tagline
- User Profiles
Here is an example of how to utilize freehand design elements and shortcomings in your app. This example below is of web app design but you get the idea.
Using similar in your mobile application is most certainly #1 in the list of the latest trends in mobile app design to follow in 2021.
Abstract & Geometric Art
Another mobile app design trend for 2020-2021 is the use of abstract & geometric art in mobile apps. The appearance of abstract & geometric art in digital products, and most prominently in mobile apps, will surge in 2021.
Where to Use Them?
The UX psychology behind this Cognitive Load – the amount of thought or effort that goes into completing a task. And in the case of your mobile app, it defines how easy it is for your users to understand the contents/elements that appear on your screen.
Lesser the cognitive load, the better will be the user experience of your mobile app. The use of abstract & geometric art combined with microcopies will be used in mobile apps to reduce cognitive load and to make them more intuitive.
While the use of abstract & geometric art in mobile apps will vary for different niches, here are a few places where you can implement them.
- Opening and Home screens
- Menu/Tab Bar and Dashboard
- Categories of Your Products and Services
- Search Bar
- UI Tour
Abstract & Geometric Art, along with microcopies and 3D graphic elements, will definitely be one of the latest trends in mobile app design to follow in 2021 and most probably, replacing the use of real-world photos/pictures.
More and more mobile app designers will experiment with abstract imagery to create simplistic and yet great user interfaces. Here’s an example of the use of geometric art in mobile apps.
Voice search is becoming increasingly popular among users. The inclination of big brands like Amazon and Apple towards making voice-powered assistants and other digital products is a clear indication of this.
Voice User Interfaces have been in the talks since 2017-18 and the use of voice search has only increased during this time. As such, creating voice-powered interfaces is certainly one of the latest trends in mobile app design to follow in 2020 – 2021.
Where to Use It?
The obvious place to use Voice User Interface is the Search Bar in your mobile app. The Architecture and UI Design of your mobile app will have to be reimagined to power Voice User Interfaces.
If you can either go for an end-to-end voice controlled user interface or implement it in a few places where you think its usability would be maximum.
The good thing is that even though VUI has been in the talks for a few years now, not many apps have implemented it. You can use this latest trend in mobile app design in 2021 to become one of the leaders in your industry, especially if your app targets a very niche market.
Tip: The demand for voice-powered interface designs will increase in 2021 but make sure that you are only implementing if your team is technologically ready for it.
Some of the technologies that go behind creating a fully functional VUI are – Automated Speech Recognition and Natural Language Understanding.
More Engaging Swiping Experiences
Most of the mobile apps use swipes at one or the other place. If your apps have swipes, why not make them more intuitive? As such, another one of the latest trends in mobile app design that we will see in 2021 is the use of more engaging swiping experiences.
A few mobile apps have already started using this latest trend in mobile app design in 2020 but there is a lot more to it than what we have seen.
Where to Implement Them?
More and more apps in 2020 are going for buttonless interfaces including the use of gestures. This really has set the stage to include more engaging swiping experiences to include in your mobile apps.
There are many different areas where you can use intuitive swiping experiences in your app user interface design. It definitely depends on the type of your app but a few places where you can use this latest trend in mobile app design in 2021 are:
- User Onboarding
- User Profiles
- Product Images
- Buttonless Interfaces
Here’s an example of a Liquid Swiping experience that you can integrate into your mobile apps in 2021.
Dynamic Functional Animation
Animation for entertainment is different. What I am talking about here is functional animation – animation with a UX purpose.
Dynamic Functional Animation is, in a way, a subtle animation element that is embedded in the UI design of your mobile app as a part of the functionality of that design.
With more & more mobile apps struggling with keeping their users engaged, dynamic functional animation is definitely one of the latest trends in mobile app design to follow in 2021 you should include in your mobile app.
Where to Use Dynamic Functional Animation?
There are a few obvious places where you can use Dynamic Functional Animation in your mobile apps. For instance, it can be implemented when a user chooses an option from a menu.
Tip: Keep your Dynamic Function Elements under 300ms to ensure that your users don’t have to wait for them to end before taking an action.
Other areas where you can use this latest trend in mobile app design are:
- Viewing products in eCommerce
- Play/Pause in music apps
- Adding products to the cart
Here is an example of how Dynamic Functional Animation can be used to enhance the user experience of your mobile apps.
Source: Material Design
Immersive Experiences Through Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality
AR and VR have been in the talks for a while now. With advancements in AI and Natural Language Processing, the implementation of AR & VR has become one of the latest trends in mobile app design to follow in 2021.
More users are expecting their service/product providers to include these trending technologies in their mobile apps. As such, the UI/UX app design has to adapt to your user expectations.
We have seen how the market has shifted towards everything remote during this year. This makes the use of AR, VR, and AI by app and product designers even more apparent.
Where Can You Implement This?
The trick with using advanced technologies like AI, AR, VR, and MR (Mixed Reality) is that the app UI – UX is the least concerning point. The challenging part comes in at the technical end of it.
So, it’s great if you are planning to use this latest trend in mobile app design in 2021 but make sure that your development team is up for it. Having said that, here are a few areas where you can use AI, AR, and VR as a UX UI designer when designing mobile apps:
- Property Tour in Real Estate Apps
- Online Product Try-Outs in eCommerce Apps
- Online Classrooms in EdTech Apps
This app UI design trend is up for grabs if you want to make your app stand out from the crowd in 2021.
Latest Trends in Mobile App Design 2021: Over to You!
These are the latest trends in mobile app design for 2021. Over the past year, we have seen many apps trying out elements like dark modes, and now, users expect this in every mobile app they use.
But what has become more obvious from the most successful apps such as Trello, Netflix, Shine, and more that users value ‘simple and functional’ more than anything. So while trying out these latest trends in mobile app design in your apps, make sure that the basics – small mobile app size, user experience, etc. are not compromised.
To leverage these latest trends in mobile app design in 2021, you will need the help of expert mobile app developers. This is where Resourcifi can help.
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