Transitioning from skeuomorphism (a design concept that mimics real-world features to help users feel a sense of familiarity), apps are now embracing neumorphism. This is a visual style that almost appears three dimensional, bringing design elements to life through box-shadows.
Neumorphic techniques transform a flat user interface and creates a soft finish that’s pleasing to the eye. One of the biggest advantages for app users is the realistic textural experience, and feeling like they can almost reach out and touch the objects.
There are a number of app colour trends to watch in 2022, but I think there’s a special focus on colour schemes that are easy on the eye. Creating comfortable experiences is important in 2022, as people now spend a third of their waking life staring at their mobile screen. Cue the eyestrain epidemic.
Using gradients and muted colours in app design can reduce discomfort, and can easily be done by combining colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel. By balancing these ‘analogous colours’ together, you can design an app that’s calming and easy to view.
Find out more about app colour trends here.
Another way to prevent eye fatigue is to adopt minimalist app design. This is one of the key mobile app trends to draw inspiration from because it’s a crowd pleaser, no matter what industry or sector you’re in.
Most people enjoy clean, minimalist interfaces because they’re easy to use and because they don’t have to deal with visual overload. By using less text, readable fonts, harmonious colour schemes and prominent buttons, you can entice users to continue their journey, rather than bombard them with content.
When it comes to improving usability, one of the mobile app trends we’re loving is asymmetric layouts. Misalignment in menus or galleries can actually improve visual flow. This is because of the way that the human eye tends to scan and move around on the screen.
For apps where there are multi-product or multi-image galleries (such as shopping apps), an asymmetrical structure can work particularly well. There’s also room to experiment with unconventional text alignment too, including text that is placed vertically or diagonally to create interest and intrigue.
Brutalist mobile app trends
While minimalism reigns supreme, we’re also making way for designs that are less clean and polished. Brutalism is about being unashamedly bold, and using raw design aesthetics that scream “look at me”. It’s attention-seeking behaviour that works well for some apps (but remember, there’s a time and a place for this kind of design style).
It’s also a current trend for web, where brutalist fonts are being used to capture the user’s attention and make a statement. To see more about website design trends, see our latest blog post.