The top 8 mobile app UI design trends for 2022

Every year, we see an explosion of new mobile apps being released. Revenue from mobile apps is projected at a whopping $808 billion in 2022. Now that we're approaching 2022, it's time you focus on upcoming design trends for the year and how you can tap into that mobile revenue stream.

As trends in app design evolve with time, many existing apps will often seem aged and out of place. Business owners should update their apps so that they have a better chance of being downloaded or used by the growing number of smartphone users. As a designer, you can maintain your reputation and improve your clients' app performance and mobile app user flow by jumping on these trends early.

Our team of designers have compiled a list of trends to look out for 2022. Some of them has been here for a couple of years now, but we also have some new additions to the list.

Minimalism

Minimalism is a design philosophy that emphasizes simplicity. It's very effective in creating clear and intuitive products. The minimalistic design can be applied to any product, but it's particularly useful for mobile apps. Let's see how this trend affects app design in 2022.

Mobile apps have become so mainstream that virtually everyone uses them regularly, whether for business or pleasure. However, there are still some opportunities for progress in terms of developing better and more user-friendly mobile apps. Design and code will be also seamlessly integrated with the next generation UI tools, providing a better experience for designers and developers.

In 2022, app designers and developers will focus their efforts on creating products that have a great onboarding flow. This means that users will get used to using the app much faster than they do today. If a new user opens the app without reading any instructions or watching any videos, they could still figure out how to use it in less than 30 seconds.

At Merge, we adore minimalistic designs. Our approach is the simplest the design is, the easier it is to use. Our favorite challenge is to translate complex products into the most straightforward solutions.

Elisabeth Gudzenko, Head of Design @ Merge Development

The overall experience of using a mobile application should be simple and straightforward, with as little friction as possible between the app and its users.

Invisibly mobile app design my Merge Development
by Merge Development

3D Graphics

3D is becoming increasingly important as it seeps its way into every aspect of a brand's identity and design language. In fact, it seems well on its way to replacing the flat design trend we've seen over the past decade now.

3D graphics are gaining popularity among designers because they allow you to create stunning effects and animations. Users love seeing depth on their screens, and 3D animations help users understand navigation better. Plus, 3D graphics are far easier to render on modern devices. Businesses should leverage this technology to offer a better user experience while keeping their app compatible with older devices.

3D graphics mobile app design
By Oyasim Ahmed Naeem via Dribbble

Experimental Typography and Unconventional Text Alignment

We've seen a lot of trends this year, as the rise of conversational interfaces and the abandonment of skeuomorphic design.

Experimental typography is an excellent way to make your mobile app design stand out. Try playing with typography and see how it affects users' perception of your app. The most common use case for this is using a typeface that fits with your brand identity or one that's simply unusual. For example, you could try using a typeface based on handwriting or letting users choose their typeface from a list of options.

Unconventional text alignment goes hand in hand with experimental typography – don't be afraid to break conventions when designing text within your app. It can be really effective for increasing legibility or adding an extra touch to your UI.

Experimental typography mobile app design
By Robbert Schefman via Dribbble

Asymmetry

Asymmetry in design is about creating a balance between symmetry and asymmetry. It's an architectural design principle that dates back to the Romans. In website or mobile app design, asymmetry can make for a much more rich and visually appealing layout. By using different fonts, colors, sizes, and shapes on a page, you can create a unique look that makes your site or app stand out from others.

Asymmetrical designs are using a new formula that breaks away from the rigid lines of traditional apps. It's a trend that will continue to grow in popularity throughout the coming years and one that developers and app design companies should be familiar with.

Assymetry mobile app design
By Taras Migulko via Dribbble

Abstract Geometry

Last year was about minimalism. We've seen many flat designs and simple geometric shapes used in mobile apps. The minimalist trend is moving forward to the next level in terms of simplicity, but there are some new elements that we'll see much more often next year.

Key visuals are an essential component of UI design, and they play an important role in crafting an app's brand identity. Nowadays, a well-designed key visual can get you thousands of downloads right away. Using abstract geometry as a key visual is one of the major mobile app design trends of 2022, branching out from elementary geometric shapes and delving further into creating something unique and brand-worthy.

Abstract geometry mobile app design
By Khrystyna Mytsak via Dribbble

Dark Mode

Themes like dark mode are highly visual and can make an app stand out among the trends in app design. With dark mode, you can add some exclusive features that will help your app be more user-friendly and attractive.

Many apps have already adopted this trend, and even mobile operating systems like Android and iOS fully support developers anticipating dark mode for their apps by providing developer guidelines. Though this trend had a boom in 2021, its actual start on mobile can be attributed to the defunct Windows Phone OS. Still, the benefits for users are undoubtedly useful.

Dark mode mobile app design by Merge Development
By Merge Development

Neumorphism

Neumorphism in design is the new trend where designers blend the physical and digital worlds by using real-world materials in their digital interfaces.

The basic concept of neumorphism is to harness the familiarity of skeuomorphism while employing the simplicity of flat design. The result is a minimalist-looking mobile app with details that mimic real-world objects, such as physical buttons with depth and shadowing effects.

With a monochromatic design and light, realistic drop shadows, neumorphism takes what we liked so much from skeuomorphism (the bubbly, 3D design of the original iOS) and flat design. This is a mobile app design trend in 2022 you need to utilize.

Neumorphism in mobile app design
By Merge Development

More Gradients and Shadows

Gradients have been a trend in web design for many years, but it's only now that gradient backgrounds are making their way into mobile app design. Gradient backgrounds are awesome for creating depth, adding movement, and drawing attention to certain elements on a screen.

Gradient backgrounds continue to be a mainstay in user interface (UI) design because they offer sophistication and elegance while creating a strong focal point. Gradient backgrounds can add subtle or bold color to an otherwise plain interface, allowing your app's content to stand out. Many designers use additional transparency effects, and pattern overlays to create unique experiences for the end-user.

The use of shadows in app design has become more common over recent years. This effect is often used to bring depth to UI elements and make them appear 3D. It's also used to give elements a sense of weight, which can make them feel like real-life objects (such as buttons or cards).

Shadows can be utilized in different ways throughout your app's interface. For example, it can be used to create a 3D effect, which makes your app's graphics look slightly raised from the background. In other cases, shadows can be used to add depth to text or to make UI elements look like they're floating.

Mobile app design by Merge Development
By Merge Development

2022 Is Here – Start Your Mobile App Design Journey Now

Mobile apps are quickly overtaking the Internet as the most popular way for consumers to access content and to buy things online. More than 79% of users have made a purchase using their mobile device and this number will only grow from now.

Don't miss the opportunity to attract customers to your business. Be aware of the top mobile app design trends of 2022 to ensure your mobile customer experience is above par and ready to boost your app to the top.



Serhii Hyliuk

Head of Growth

Head of Growth and Customer Success. I'm interested in design, new tech, fashion, exploring new places and languages. My mission is to make our clients happy.

Head of Growth and Customer Success. I'm interested in design, new tech, fashion, exploring new places and languages. My mission is to make our clients happy.

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