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The top 8 mobile app UI design trends for 2023
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.
Every year, we see an explosion of new mobile apps being released. Revenue from mobile apps is projected at a whopping $935 billion in 2023. Now that it's 2023 already, 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.
A collection of design trends to look out for
Our team of designers has compiled a list of trends to look out for 2023. Some of them have been here for a couple of years now, but we also have some new additions to the list.
Minimalism is a design philosophy that emphasizes simplicity. It's very effective in creating clear and intuitive products. In front-end development, minimalism can be applied to any product, but it's particularly useful for mobile apps. Let's see how this trend affects app design in 2023.
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 2023, app designers and developers will continue to 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The last couple of years were all 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 2023, branching out from elementary geometric shapes and delving further into creating something unique and brand-worthy.
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.
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 2023 you need to utilize.
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.
Bonus: two more UI trends for the upcoming year
Voice Interface Design. As voice assistants become more prevalent and capable, designing user interfaces for voice interactions will soon turn out to be necessary. UI/UI designers should definitely consider factors like conversational flow, personality, and context to create an intuitive and enjoyable user experience for this type of innovation.
Interactive Illustrations. And last but not least, interactive illustrations can add a layer of delight to a mobile app, making it more engaging and memorable. By using animations, sound effects, and interactive elements, UI specialists can bring illustrations to life and make them feel like a natural part of the app's user interface. We believe this trend to become even more popular in 2023 since designers continue to look for creative ways to differentiate their apps.
2023 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 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 2023 to ensure your mobile customer experience is above par and ready to boost your app to the top.
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