mobile app design

Following your taste and desires when developing a mobile app, gives you a 20-30% chance of building a successful app. Following the mobile app design and development trends, however, raises the chances up to 70-80%. The rest is on your work, promotion, and offer.

In this article, we will present to you the top mobile app design and development trends of 2021. We will also do some brief comparisons between this and the previous years’ trends.

Your app isn’t modern until you make sure that it follows the latest trends. This can be tricky, especially if you’re developing the app near the end of the year or if you’re using some old trends. Problems may occur if you’re simply trying to copy others. You need to make sure that you’re following trends! But also- keep the originality and of course, add your own touch to the app.

From dark mode, swiping, and 3D elements and geometrics, to building super apps, including artificial intelligence into apps- we’ll introduce you to them all. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to understand the mobile app design and development trends and build the ultimate best mobile app of the year.


Mobile app design trends 2021

Like we’ve said before- your mobile app isn’t modern until you make it modern. What better way to do so than to follow the trends?

Mobile app design trends come and go. Some of them are timeless, while some are a complete fail from the beginning. Well, how can you determine the good trends from the bad ones?


Mobile App Design- one trend fits all. Does it really?

Through the years we’ve seen trends come and go. Some of them are here to stay, for example, the dark mode, or the minimalist looks on apps, logos, websites, etc.

Sadly, the rule ‘one trend fits all’, doesn’t apply to all mobile apps. For example, last year, many apps tried the minimalist look, because people became quite fond of it. Nearly everyone liked the minimalist aesthetics. Well, Google tried to alter their logos and you can guess what happened next. People,  for some reason, didn’t like the change at all. Now, maybe minimalism was not the problem here, colors played a huge part in this too. But more on that later.

The point is, even if something is trendy right now, you need to do deep research and think about your next step carefully. Sometimes not following the trend can be better than following it. Using a different approach to the same trend is also an option. Many trends can be altered and used as such.

Just because something is ‘in’ at the moment, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it must be used in its basic form. If you browse through the web, you will see tons of different designs going under the same name. It’s the diversity that makes designs universal.

Even though people generally disliked Google’s approach, that doesn’t make it instantly bad. It just didn’t quite work out. Trends are related to each other and you need to make sure they are also compatible with each other.


2021 Mobile app design trends


  • Minimalism

Like we said before, minimalism is timeless, and when used correctly, does wonders. It started off as a simple aesthetic and over the years it became a lifestyle. Then, it slowly made its way to the top design trends and somehow it stayed there over the years.

People like it because it is simple, it looks good and it gives off a simple and calm vibe. Most of the clients dislike complicated designs- they have too many details. They prefer the minimalist approach instead.

Combine minimalism with the right colors and watch how your app makes it to the top!


A free tip. When trying to include the minimalist look on your app, try using fewer colors, for example- three. Minimalism is all about using less and making more of it, and that applies to colors as well. By combining minimalism with lots of colors and shades, you get something over-crowded. That’s not the look you’re going for.


  • Fresh color palette

There are two things that we will mention here: keep it between 3-4 colors and combine them wisely.

Using three colors: Colors are a great factor when it comes to mobile app success. You need to make sure that they represent you and your company. All that, while also making the app unique and eye-catching. Using three colors for the app is optimal because it is somewhere in the middle of too little and too much.

Color combination: Colors need to be matched to each other. A few years back, the black and white combo was the most used one. It quickly became outdated. Designers started using the combination of black, white, and one bold color of choice to represent the company. 2021 is the year of fresh, bright colors. You can’t go wrong if you choose shades of red, green, blue, purple. Just keep in mind that the colors need to correspond with each other!

Surf the Internet to find different color combinations.  Find the one suitable for your mobile app design and add that one!


  • Geometry, asymmetric design, and 3D forms

2021 is also the year when the asymmetric design is stepping on stage. You can apply this to the mobile app background and give it an interesting look. Shapes like rectangles, squares, circles, and ovals are going to be widely used as well. Giving the objects in your app 3D touch is also going to make your app modern and up to date.

When trying to combine the three mentioned above, try making them lighter and softer. Don’t overuse them because it may look too crowded. Make it easy on the eyes, while also using shadows and effects!

The final result will look stunning. The app will have everything that it needs- minimalism, a fine color pallet, and shapes that are modern.


  • Swiping instead of tapping

The swipe method has been trying to climb on stage for quite a while now. It looks like this year it will finally manage to shine! Let’s face it- swiping is way more fun! People like swiping because it looks way softer than the classic tapping method! You might want to think about using this when developing a mobile app. You can even get the best of both worlds and combine both methods in the app. That way, your app will be unique and clients won’t get bored by it.

You can also add a simple effect on the swipe, such as the ‘book page-turning’ effect for example. The cube and the roll-around effect are also quite eye-catching. BUT- this year, we are focusing on giving the clients the not so digital experience.


  • Non-digital experience 

Designers in 2021 are trying to give clients a non-digital experience. 2020 was quite digital for most of us. We were doing everything through our computers and apps. This year we’re having a break from electronics! We’re giving the clients a non-digital experience.

This is achieved by adding a shade of yellow to the white background. Also, adding collages, paper, and cardboard texture to ‘handwritten’ fonts, etc.

Some designers go one step further. They design apps like newspapers, magazines, even board games. The main goal is to make the app more homely and approachable.


Remember- The more they like your app, the bigger the positive client feedback will be!


  • Include the dark mode

Last but not least on the mobile app design trends list is the dark mode of the app. It was introduced to us years back by Messenger, Viber, and later on Instagram. Soon enough, every app started adding this feature and clients really liked it. It’s great if you want your screen to look darker. Another reason to go dark is that it reduces the display power by over 50%!

That’s why 2021 is the year when 90% of the new apps will have the dark mode included. Make sure that your app includes it as well.

You can take this design trend one step further and add three, even four different themes to your app. You don’t have to go all out on this one, we promise. A simple change of the background shade to dark blue or soft white color can be a game-changer!

While at it, you can also consider doing a customizable background, with an image that the client will choose. That way, you’ll be one step closer to your customers, and that should be your main goal.


Mobile app development trends 2021


in 2021, there will be some significant changes in both app design and development trends!

In the next paragraphs, we will go over the 5g network, building super apps, and augmented reality as well. Did we forget to mention Artificial intelligence?


  • The 5G network

People have been talking about 5G for quite some time now. Whether it is a conspiracy-talk or discussing the benefits, it is quite a conversation-maker. 5G is going to be the fastest network so far. If you consider 4G fast, double it up, and you will get the idea. 2021 is going to be the year when 5G finally takes over and apps need to be up to date with this. The network must support the apps. Because of that, all the new applications will have better features and higher optimization levels.

Once the network is public, the optimized apps will achieve great success- make sure you’re among them. One thing’s for sure- the 5G network is going to change the way that apps are made and used.


  • The rise of super apps

Ever dreamed of an app that will multitask? Well, 2021 is when super apps come on the stage. Think of them as one door that once opened, takes you to different rooms. That means you don’t have to wander around anymore. Sounds great, and it is achievable. A great example is combining messaging, social media, marketplace, as well as services. There are already apps that are using this exact system and are quite successful in their work. This year there are many more to come, with stunning combinations that will make life a bit easier.


  • Video chat apps

If there’s something that 2020 taught us, is that we need more high-quality video chat apps. Many applications have this feature so far, such as Messenger, Skype, and others. But they do not support big calls and meetings. That’s why, in 2021, app developers will focus on building mobile apps with great functions. They will support big calls with lots of participants at the same time.


  • Voice user interface

It isn’t something new, but it’s definitely something that’s timeless. Why is this trend still in the top ten, even after a few years? Well, it’s because of its uniqueness. Google reports that 27% of the world’s population is already using the Voice user interface. Those numbers will only get higher as time goes by.

Voice user interface (VUI) is used nearly everywhere. It is the first thing that you see when you open up the Google search bar, but it isn’t widely used by apps yet.


  • Augmented reality

It first came out a few years back, and it was a game-changer! People loved it, they had to use it. Remember Pokemon Go? It was innovative and it used augmented reality. All you had to do is to download it and enjoy it. Snapchat filters? Same deal there. Messenger? Same! Augmented reality was really well accepted by the general crowd. This year it’s coming back even stronger and it will be a part of many new apps.

Augmented reality doesn’t give solutions to many problems. The main reason that people love it’s the fun it offers!


  • Artificial Intelligence

Now, this is where it gets interesting! Sci-fi movies kind of gave us the wrong impression of AI. Huge robots taking over the planet? No, thank you. But, what about apps that help us in our lives? Solving problems, answering questions, doing simple and complex tasks for us? Now we’re talking! In the following year, Artificial intelligence will become a bigger part of our lives. Don’t worry- it became quite advanced over the years.

A Gartner research predicts that 15% of the contacts between clients and companies will be done using artificial intelligence. Then, of course, those numbers will only rise from now on.

It will help programmers in developing apps, and it will become a part of many of them. Using it will give apps better features, fewer bugs, and no glitches whatsoever. Not all AI is bad AI, at least not in this case anyway.


Development trends costs in 2021


Should we expect a rise in the mobile app development sphere?

Tough question to answer. The short answer would be that it totally depends. The longer one brings out even more questions related to the mobile app you’re trying to develop:

  • Are you building an Android or an iOS mobile app?
  • What features would you like to include?
  • Would you like to build a mobile app from scratch?
  • Templates or an existing design?
  • Would you hire a company or a freelancer?
  • Are you hiring a long term developer?

And many more…


According to a Clutch survey, apps can cost from 2.000 to 140.000 dollars. There is a huge gap between the two, but sometimes paying more once is better than paying less many times.

To directly answer the question above- No, mobile app development won’t get more expensive. It may vary in its price a bit, but nothing too drastic. Keep in mind that if you’re trying to make your app modern and futuristic, you need to set more money aside. the new app design and development trends will definitely be something that’s worth purchasing. In the end, it’s going to be worth every cent if done correctly!


Read also: How Much Does It Cost To Make A Mobile App In 2021?




Developing a successful, modern mobile app can make your small business grow a lot in a short period of time. Take your time when building the mobile app. Keep in mind that following the latest app design and development trends is something you should definitely consider doing!

Mobile app design and development trends change drastically every year. This year, the dark mode, asymmetric designs, and minimalism will take over the game. Who knows what will happen next year? If you want to play it safe, make sure that your app represents you and your company the best. No need to over-do anything! Sometimes subtle details make great differences when it comes to design. You might also want to hire a skilled and experienced designer and consult with them.

When it comes to development trends- Artificial intelligence and the 5G network are the future. You won’t be making a mistake if you decide to include them in the process as well. Hiring a development company or an experienced mobile app freelancer might be the best. To sum it all up: research, consult, approach, and enjoy the success afterward!

Aneta P

Aneta is a Passionate Content Writer with knowledge of various fields & writing SEO friendly articles that meet all requirements. Also, writing pieces of content that promote the products/services of your business.