Most Popular Mobile App Design Trends for 2021 

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by Graphicszoo 15+ days ago 5 mins read

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Design is subjective and our tastes in mobile app designs change over time. Our technological and increasingly progressive world gave birth to mobile app design trends that are ever-changing.

We’ve witnessed some of the best mobile app design trends of the past year. Now that we’re at the cusp of a new year, it’s time to usher in new trends as well.

As a designer, being up to date in design trends is important. You need to be quick on your feet to adapt to more effective and efficient ways of making design so you won’t get left behind or, better yet, so you could set yourself apart from your competitors.

In this article, we’ll predict and discuss the most popular mobile app design trends for 2021. Some trends we’ll mention are new in mobile app design and some are old trends that we’ll still see more of in the next year.

Hopefully, this list inspires you and prepares you for the new standard in mobile app design.



Simplicity is indeed a beauty. Minimalism has been around in the design realm for a long time now and it’s not going anywhere soon.

Minimalist is one of the most popular mobile app design trends because of its sheer simplicity. Its easy and clear navigability gets users right where they need and help them find what exactly they’re looking for; much faster.

The app loads faster with fewer assets as well. This gives users more time interacting with your app and less time waiting for assets to load.

Truth be told, most of us are on our phones all the time. With all the notifications, pop-ups, ads, and other disturbances from other apps, a minimalist mobile app design gives your users space to breathe.

Minimalism helps avoid distractions and make sure that users focus on what matters: the product or the content we put in the app. 

Instead of putting in more unnecessary elements, minimalism enables designers to refine the quality of details—from images, typography, layout, and more.

In minimalism, the product and content should speak for themselves. They should be compelling enough that they don’t need too many design elements just so they could capture users’ attention.


Mobile-first design

mobile app design trends 2021

With the world leaning more towards mobile, it’s now important than ever to shift to mobile as the primary basis for the design. With the mobile-first design, instead of making the app look like the website, we’re now turning it all the way around.

Starting the design process with the small screens of mobile makes it easier for developers to structure the app by focusing on integrating simple, mobile-friendly functions first then adding additional functions as the screen size increases. This results in a mobile app design that’s consistent, simple, and intuitive. 


Dark mode

mobile app design trends 2021

Dar mode design is rising in popularity simply because of its use of black or any dark color as the app’s primary color, as opposed to white or any light color. 

In fact, lots of apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have implemented dark mode versions of their app designs already, and we’re likely to see more apps follow this trend in 2021.

The dark mode is easier to look at and is proven to be less straining on the eyes. And because we’re on our phones most of the time, this design makes it a little bit easier for users to use the app for a much longer period.

This design trend is also ideal for mobile apps because it helps conserve energy and battery life. This makes phones last longer, and users will be able to use your app for longer as well as a result.

Here’s an extensive guide on designing dark mode websites and mobile apps.


Typography-based design

mobile app design trends 2021

This trend’s main design element is typography. Similar to minimalist mobile app design, typography-based mobile app design is clean, sleek, and simple. It makes users focus on content and what it has to say. 

Mobile apps that solely use typography as their design elements don’t have to be plain and boring. In this mobile app design trend, texts take center stage, and you can play with font styles, sizes, weight, colors, background colors, and layout to make it aesthetically pleasing.

With such a vast variety of font styles out there, you can totally make the text a design element in itself through typography. This makes it ideal for mobile apps that are information-heavy.



Any type of motion grabs the attention of mobile users more than static elements. This is why we see animation as one of the most popular mobile app design trends for 2021.

Through movement, animation guides users with the flow of the app. This mobile app design makes the user experience more intuitive and seamless. 

Animated assets such as buttons also make the app more interactive. Animation encourages users to explore and test out different app features because it’s in our natural instinct as humans to follow the movement, and animation does just the job. 


Integrating micro-interactions in mobile app design aims to give its users a more immersive experience than regular mobile apps. This mobile design trend attracts users and increases user engagement.

Micro-interactions can be applied in mobile app design in various ways:

  • Reactive buttons with animations or sounds
  • App theme that changes in different situations (like dark mode)
  • Informative pop-ups
  • Haptic feedback
  • Motion graphics
  • Predictive text
  • Buttons that are only clickable when a certain task is accomplished (like filling up a form)

This guides users because getting a reaction from the app tells them that they did something right or wrong. It’s also satisfying for the users because the micro-interactions appeal to their emotions to get them to engage with your app more.

Instead of focusing on designing great looking graphics, micro-interactions put more focus on enhancing the app’s intractability for a more intuitive and pleasurable user experience.


3D design

3D design is on this list because it is the future of mobile app design. 3D brings mobile app designs to life by making assets pop out of the screen more than flat 2D assets. 

3D is also realistic. This gives the app the ability to be integrated into new media like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

This makes the 3D design trend ideal for e-commerce, education and research, and gaming mobile apps. It makes the mobile app more immersive and interesting with visually arresting images that float or give depth to the small screen.

In conclusion

These mobile app design trends are popular for a reason. As new technologies come in, the design adapts as well. 

These trends happen by learning user behavior and psychology to improve user experience. Being forward-thinking by following design trends gives you leverage and puts you at the top of your game.

If you’re looking for design professionals that are up to date with design trends and have the right expertise to execute them properly, Graphics Zoo is right for you. Send us an email at