June 21, 2021 • Knowledge

Global Mobile App Design Trends in 2021

Global Mobile App Design Trends in 2021

The competition in the mobile application market is currently very competitive. Every day new mobile apps are being developed and it often offer new exciting features and content for potential users.

One of the keys successes of a mobile app to compete in the market is design. Design is about an attractive appearance and how to incorporate essential aspects, such as psychology, aesthetics, and user behavior.

Every year the trend in mobile apps is always changing. Likewise in 2021, the mobile app UI/UX design trend will also experience significant developments.

And as an app owner, you should keep up with the latest mobile app design trends. Fortunately, we are here to summarize the best mobile app design trends in 2021 for you.

So what are the mobile app design trends for 2021? Let’s see the complete discussion and hopefully provide you with design inspiration for your mobile app.



Overview of Mobile App UI/UX Design Trends

Mobile app design is the process of designing a mobile app that aims to produce an attractive yet functional design. Mobile app design focuses on both the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) of the mobile app that will be created.

People who design mobile app designs are called UI/UX designers. UI/UX designers are responsible for creating a good UI and UX by making the mobile app look more attractive for users to use.

For example, using colors that match the context, placing essential elements such as buttons and icons correctly. Also, creating a consistent design for each element used and ensuring the application can run optimally.

Mobile app design plays a significant role in the app creation process. Without a charming user interface, users will not be interested in using the mobile app that you have created.

In addition, user experience is also one of the key factors when using a mobile app. Therefore, a sophisticated technology needs to be supported by a user-friendly design so that it can be used and be helpful for its users.

Design is one of the selling aspects of a mobile app, every business in this digital era continues to innovate and improve their mobile app UI/UX design. These drastic innovations are part of the changing trend of mobile app design in line with technological developments.



What are the Mobile App Design Trends for 2021?

The world of mobile apps has experienced progressive and significant development every year. Here are some mobile app design trends that will excel in 2021:

  1. Augmented Reality (AR)
  2. Chatbots
  3. Dark Mode
  4. Neumorphism
  5. Better Animation Experiences
  6. Voice-based Assistant
  7. 3D Design
  8. Rounded Shapes & Corners
  9. Video Interactions
  10. Data Visualization
  11. Gradient Colors
  12. Password-less Login



Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented Reality (AR) is not a new trend, but it is predicted to be more prevalent in 2021. AR is a system that combines the real world with interactive computer-generated objects and works in real-time.

AR is one of the most extraordinary mobile app design innovations ever. The combination of reality and fantasy makes AR the best UI design.

AR technology is used for entertainment purposes and helps in various areas of life. Examples are e-commerce, e-health, and online banking, all of which have been equipped with AR technology.

When shopping online, users can try on clothes to see how they look before buying. Thus, from the user’s perspective, AR can improve the user experience in using the application and simplify work and save time.

AR is now no longer a science fiction product but is already a common thing within reach of users.




Chatbots are the fastest growing trend in digital communications. Chatbot technology has been around since the early 2000s; they have offered a wide range of advanced features.

Chatbots are widely used on websites or mobile apps. This technology allows users to communicate with bots instead of customer service.

Most UI/UX designers use bots to automatically reply to user messages. This aims to prevent users from waiting too long for an answer from customer service, which can be a barrier to sales transactions.

Conversational designs involving chatbots can help convert incoming visitors into customers. In addition, chatbots are a great way to build long-term relationships between brands and their customers.

A good chatbot is designed using machine learning technology. Therefore, every time users ask, the chatbot responds quickly according to the possible correct answers.

The more extensive the database, the better the response the chatbot can provide. With such great benefits, it is not surprising that this trend will continue to grow in mobile app design.

Moreover, it is supported by the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology which can also create chatbots. Thus, the possibilities for the chatbot trend to continue to grow and excel are becoming more and more limitless.



Dark Mode

Dark mode has become a popular mobile app design trend since last year and is predicted to excel even more in 2021. The dark mode is arguably a trend that must be applied to every mobile app.

Many big brands have implemented dark mode on their applications. From Google products (YouTube, Gmail, Drive, etc.), apps made by Facebook (Instagram and WhatsApp), to other apps on the Play Store or Apple Store.

Dark Mode itself is a power-saving UI design that displays most of the display in dark colors. In addition, dark mode makes the UI design look elegant, minimalist, and discreet.

For smartphones, dark mode brings two advantages. The first is to save battery power by reducing the use of light pixels. The second is to extend the life of the screen, especially for OLED-type screens.

As for users, the usage of dark mode helps reduce eye strain when staring at a smartphone screen for a long time. Not only that, but dark mode can also make your eyes feel more relaxed when looking at the screen at night.

Dark mode makes the appearance of the mobile app look more aesthetic and makes the content readable clearly because it is not distracted by decorations or unnecessary details. Therefore, many users prefer to use the mobile app in dark mode.

The dark mode trend in mobile app design is predicted to continue and will not fade any time soon.




If you notice, the icons and buttons used in mobile app designs have become very simple in recent years. But even though it’s simple, UI/UX designers still try to make it look as attractive as possible. How they do that?

The trick is to apply a trend called neumorphism. Neumorphism has been a trend in web design for the past few years and is now becoming a trend in mobile app design.

Neumorphism itself is an acronym for new skeuomorphism, it can also be said to be a derivative of skeuomorphism. This mobile app design trend brings the old style from the early 2010s but changes here and there to make it look more modern.

Neumorphism gives an appearance that seems to be between a flat UI and 3D graphics so that it looks minimalist but still modern. In this trend, designers create mobile app appearances with textures and colors on elements as closely as possible to the real world.

You can easily find the trend of neumorphism in mobile apps, including the default smartphone applications such as calculator, calendar, or settings. The mobile app has a minimalist icon design but still with variations in shapes and colors.

This UI design trend is fun and allows UI/UX designers to play around various shapes and colors. And apparently, neumorphism is a trend that will persist in mobile app design at least for some time to come.



Better Animation Experiences

In developing mobile apps, designers are now focused on adding smooth and impressive animations for users. This is in line with the smartphone specifications increasing so that UI/UX designers can produce more sophisticated animations.

Animations in mobile apps do not only serve decorative purposes. They are also crucial in providing a better user experience for users.

Informative, sharp, and clean animations help create a balanced user experience in enhancing the interaction process. In addition, animated movements make it easier for users to find information on the mobile app, such as status changes and action confirmations.

Therefore, animations should be added when the user interacts on a specific screen view, enters certain data, or presses a button that takes the user to another view. In addition, animations can also be added for transaction processing and as a confirmation marker that the mobile app has received input from the user.

Animation is not only functional but can also play a part in branding. More and more brands are implementing animations in mobile apps to complement their brand image. It helps users feel closer to the brand, improves the user experience and increases conversions.

The development of animation in the mobile app can also be seen with the emergence of micro animation. Micro animation is found easily in almost all mobile apps.

The most famous example of using micro animation in a mobile app is the hamburger menu. Sometimes, we are not aware of the existence of micro animations because they are very natural and blend into the user interface.

Micro animation makes mobile apps look more intuitive and natural. However, using too much micro animation or animation, in general can distract users when operating a mobile app.

Therefore before you adopt this mobile app design trend, you must understand whether the animations used will distract users from the original purpose. You must also understand your users, find out what they need and help them achieve their goals with the help of animations.



Voice-based Assistant

Voice-based assistants are one of the fastest-growing mobile app design trends and are sure to dominate in 2021. According to data from DBS Interactive, 41% of adults in the United States already use voice-based assistants on their smartphones for everyday searches.

This trend is no longer an innovation because it has been around for several years. In the past, voice-based assistants were only used as shortcuts in general. An example is Siri, where you can ask to wake you up at 6 in the morning.

But now, along with technological developments, voice-based assistants function to make it easier for you to search without typing and help solve more complex problems. For example, “do I need to buy a new smartphone?” or “what college major should I choose?”.

In other words, voice-based assistants continue to develop and become more user-friendly. The questions that can be asked are increasingly diverse, telling stories, and even understand who is interacting with it by analyzing the user’s face and voice.

Developers of voice-based assistants of mobile apps from leading companies, such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Siri, are competing to develop the next generation of artificial intelligence (AI)-based voice-based assistants. The next generation of AI-based voice assistants will have:

  • Advanced personalization. The primary purpose of personalization design is to make users feel that the content has been personalized, especially for them. For example, voice-based assistants will learn to understand the user’s face and voice and then interact according to the user’s characteristics.
  • Touchless interaction. Voice-based UI will help UI/UX designers reduce the number of steps required by the user to get the desired result.
  • Analyze the user’s mood. This is one of the most exciting innovations of AI-based voice assistants. The next generation of voice-based assistants will analyze the user’s speech to understand his current mood.

AI-based voice assistants will continue to accommodate our lives by providing faster and more precise answers and ensuring a customized user experience.



3D Design

The 3D design is not a new mobile app design trend. 3D graphic elements have been used in mobile apps and websites for years.

But the use of 3D elements in mobile app design has changed now. Not only is it used for decorative purposes, but they also have a clear functional purpose. This is because the hardware-implemented on smartphones capability has increased, making it possible to process more sophisticated 3D graphic effects.

Designing 3D graphics is not an easy job. It takes some skill and hard work to make it happen, but often the results are outstanding.

For UI/UX designers, the thing that must be considered when designing 3D graphics is that they must increase the efficiency of the interaction process and only then create a wow effect. An example is when products can be viewed 360 degrees, which can improve the overall user experience.

Using 3D effects can attract users’ attention and make the product look more attractive. Ultimately, in 2021 more brands are using 3D effects on their products and services to simulate a shopping experience similar to a physical store.



Rounded Shapes & Corners

In 2021, you will see lots of round shapes applied to mobile app designs. You can find these round shapes on icons, layouts, and buttons.

In addition, round shapes are also widely applied to corners. This is a growing trend and is inspired by modern smartphone designs; call it a flagship smartphone from Apple or Android. Rounded corners are reflected in the UI design of flagship smartphones so that all mobile apps and websites have a rounded look and feel. Indeed, round shapes look more attractive when applied to a mobile app design.

Psychologically, shapes such as circles, ovals, and ellipses represent eternity with no beginning and end. In addition, the round shape gives the impression of being magical, mysterious, and secret.

Because it doesn’t have sharp corners, the overall UI/UX design that applies rounded shapes and corners looks more organic and soft. This positively impacts users because it gives a friendly and pleasant impression when they use the mobile app.

In addition, rounded corners and shapes can relieve stress for users and eliminate negative impressions if there are technical problems or bugs in the mobile app. Thus, the trend of rounded shapes and corners seems to last a long time in mobile app design.



Video Interactions

Since last year, the Covid-19 pandemic has swept across the world and there is no sign of the world recovering as it was before. This situation forces the entire population of the earth to change old habits to break the chain of the spread of the Coronavirus.

One of them is limiting mobility and doing all activities, such as studying and working from home. At first, it must be difficult for some people, especially those used to interacting directly with other people.

Such conditions make people start looking for ways to stay connected and communicate with others without leaving the house. One of them is to use a mobile app that offers video interaction features, such as Zoom and Google Meet.

As reported by Bloomberg, Zoom shares have increased significantly by up to 300 percent since the Covid-19 pandemic hit in early March 2020. Moreover, the stocks that shot up were directly proportional to large profits, thanks to a surge in the number of users since the rise of remote meetings via video communications.

In 2021, many mobile apps similar to Zoom or Google Meet will appear and make it easier for us to accommodate our communication needs during the pandemic. Because uncertain conditions make people prefer to interact online rather than meet face to face.



Data Visualization

Remember the bar charts, line charts, pie charts, and other forms of data visualization in math lessons? Maybe some of you find lessons about calculating and displaying data visualization in the form of diagrams boring.

Whereas data visualization is essential and valuable for users to understand useful important information. The challenge faced by UI/UX designers is to make data visualization something fun.

A mobile app design trend was born that puts forward data visualization displayed in an attractive and fun way. That way, users can see the data and numbers presented without feeling bored.

Displaying data visualizations in an attractive and fun way can increase user interaction. You can add a little creativity, for example, using unique types of graphics, animations, and colors in the data that is displayed to the user.

The use of futuristic colors and smooth animations can make users feel at home for a long time looking at the data you present. In the end, data visualization not only provides insight and information for users but also gives a comfortable and beautiful impression that can improve the user experience.



Gradient Colors

Gradient colors are a web design trend that is now also widely applied to UI/UX mobile app design. Gradient colors can be considered as a counterweight to the dark fashion trend.

The use of gradient colors in dark mode can beautify the UI appearance of a mobile app. Especially now, the use of gradient colors in mobile app design is more versatile compared to a few years ago.

UI/UX designers are no longer restricted to using just two colors to create gradients. Instead, they tend to play around with a richer palette of colors.

In fact, many leading mobile apps use gradient colors as their logo apps, such as Facebook Messenger and Instagram. Using a gradient that contains a palette of various colors on a mobile app is definitely the right choice.



Password-less Login

As many mobile apps are used every day, it can be challenging to remember the password for every single one. Therefore, in 2021, the trends of password-less logins have become even more popular.

This modern UI/UX trend is based on the idea of ​​logging into an app or system without having to enter a password. This is good news for those who are forgetful because you no longer need to remember the password every time you log into the app.

There are several types of password-less logins that mobile apps have used. Among them are face detection, fingerprint authentication, link to login, and one-time password (OTP).

The most significant benefit of using password-less logins is the increased security when using mobile apps. In addition, the user experience has also improved because users do not need to remember different passwords for each mobile app they use.

The login method by entering a password is now obsolete and no longer effective. Thus, the password-less login trend will continue to grow. Moreover, it would be implemented in more mobile apps in the years to come.




Those are the top mobile app trends in 2021. Broadly speaking, all mobile app design trends in 2021 have the same goal: to use the latest technological approaches to make users’ lives better.

Of course, all developers want their mobile app to stand out and be successful. Thus, a seamless and inseparable combination of UI and UX is needed to implement in a mobile app.

If you want to entice users to use your mobile app, you need a great UI and UX. A visually attractive design is not enough to make users feel at home for long using your mobile app.

Mobile app with a user-oriented approach is the future of mobile app trends. In the future, there will be more innovations in mobile app trends that will make life easier for users.

Hopefully, this article can give you ideas and inspiration in designing your own mobile app following UI/UX design trends. See you later