UI/UX Design Trends Transforming Mobile App Development in 2021

By NIIT Editorial

Published on 18/05/2021

9 minutes

Modern times have seen exponential upgrades in business websites, mobile applications, and application development. It has become essential to maintain tabs on the latest app design trends. The mobile application development and design trends are heightening quickly, bringing the business owners to storm towards client personalization.

What is Mobile App Design?

In simplified words, Mobile App Design is a technique of crafting mobile applications. Various mobile apps are used for numerous purposes. However, some common factors are responsible for its usage. Some of the factors are accessibility, usability, engagement, and user experience. In other words, we can specify a mobile app design as a combination of the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). The major job of a mobile app designer is to work with some essential elements like templates, themes, font size, user data, font color, types of buttons, and widgets for assuring a promising performance of the application. There are several mobile application development courses available out there for potential app designers to gain the said knowledge.

Designing and developing a mobile application appears to be the simplest task for any expert. However, there is nothing harder than composing an app with an outstanding UI/UX design that can help improve user engagement. UI/UX are like the backbone of the app, which can either make it or break it. 

Even though UI and UX processes come hand-in-hand, they exhibit apparent differences.

User experience design (UX) is a design process that aims in constructing a system that imparts a better experience to the end-users. It comprises tasks required for optimizing a product and its purpose in the user interface. It concentrates on the comprehensive product buying experience and preparing the whole journey of a user, hassle freely. UX designer guides the user’s journey on an app. UX is any interaction that a user makes with a product or service.

“User Experience Design (UXD or UED) is a design process whose sole objective is to design a system that offers a great experience to its users. Thus, UXD embraces the theories of a number of disciplines such as user interface design, usability, accessibility, information architecture, and Human-Computer Interaction.

Whereas, User interface design (UI) is the outside look and emotional display of a product. It focuses on the product's interface appearance and its functionality. It aims in establishing visuals for the user’s journey by taking care of all details like touchpoints on the page, controls while scrolling the website, or swiping the gallery. UI designers make accomplishments to ensure that the user's journey is reasonable. It is about formulating a thoughtful and user-friendly interface for the end-users. UI is an assurance of how easily a user achieves the desired task.

Why is Mobile App UX/UI Design so Necessary?

Mainly, every operating business in this universe has two primary objectives:

  • First, is to enhance the sales for generating remuneration.
  • And second, is to grow a business in the extended race and flourish widespread.

A remarkable UX/UI design enhances user acquaintances and warranties customer contentment. More pleased customers, lead to more application users. And, the greater number of application users will, later on, get converted into probabilities.

Top 10 UX/UI Mobile App Design Trends - 2021

The UX/UI app design trends keep improving in the mobile industry. Therefore, it’s mandatory to have apps that always seize the user's attention. 

Below are the latest app design trends of 2021: 

Dark Mode

The dark mode was inaugurated as the key characteristic update in Android 10 and iOS 13. The android development enables the users to change their phone’s background theme to the light mode or dark mode, whenever they wish to. Your app should have a built-in dark theme UI, to switch in both modes.

Merits of this feature -

  • It consumes a limited battery compared to the traditional light mode.
  • The light emission in dark mode causes less straining to eyes.
  • It supports while using the app in darker surroundings.

Neumorphic Design (3D elements)

Neumorphic design is simply taking the 2010's icon and button ideas while making them multi-dimensional. Neumorphism commonly takes flat-like icons, buttons and gives them a dense, dimensional look. Though it somewhat remains the same, an eye-popping authenticity is added making it hop from the screen. Not quite photorealistic, but a lot more life-like and tactile.

Soft Shadows, Layers, And Floating Design

The 3D appearance of apps with soft shadows, layers and floating design will make your app design look happening and captivating. Your entire app looks bright and elegant because of its soft shadows and layers. The floating designs can strengthen the execution of your app’s landing page.

Voice Control

Don’t you love it when Siri or Alexa responds to your commands immediately? Well, if the answer is yes then you know what we are talking about here. To give a realistic experience, different brands are focusing on enhancing the user's experience with the voice search feature. The Big 5s (Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft) have created a voice-based device, making the whole process of searching or using apps more realistic, fun, and easy. 

3D Illustrations

With 3D effects and displace avatars, the experience can be more interesting and illuminating. One significant example of this feature is the 360-degree view. While it isn’t precisely a 3D view, it does give users the impression of discovering things in real-time.

From using shadows below texts, giving them a 3D manifestation to using AR/VR technology, adding 3D motion graphics in your UI design, the options are abundant.

FreeHand/Hand Drawn Elements

As the name implies, hand-drawn elements are imperfect designs arranged on a website or an app. This helps the user to connect with the platform emotionally. 

Surprisingly, they not only make the user feel emotionally connected to it but also emerge as a USP of the brand.

Device Synchronization

For an audience that uses numerous devices in their stockpile, you need to have a UX design that performs equally well across all the platforms and this experience should be constant as well as coordinated. This feature works not only on devices like mobiles, tablets, and laptop/desktops but also with smartwatches, and wearables too.

Blend Graphics and Images

While graphics define the vision, images place your brand in the minds of people. You can create graphics with amplified validity along with integrating them with high-definition images. When you use blended motion graphics with images in the app’s UI, the design becomes an all-time favorite. For example, blur the image and highlight the graphics, and vice versa. This will bestow you with some appealing images. 

Product Presentation

Product presentation design trend helps in making the apps polished and fashionable. It can engage more fluently with users. The latest product presentation theory revolves around storytelling. Designers create an arrangement of images, words to tell a story and attract the audience. 

Pastel colors

Modern times have put a lot of emphasis on minimalism. This has been introduced in mobile application designs as well. Designers are now opting for pastel colors in their designs that render a basic yet attractive touch to the designs. Through this, the designers put the focus on the lightness and demure highlights. The advantage of using pastel colors is that they blend in the design of every type and go well with all types of concepts. Pastel shades create a right and relevant kind of ambiance for the user. 


Neumorphism has been widely accepted by designers across the globe. It is one of the most upcoming trends in the design sense. Similar to Neumorphic design Glassmorphism is a new trend that the designers are passionately following. This trend is marked by a blurred background or blur-effect. The user is rendered with a looking through glass feel that creates a unique design.

Minimalistic design

The tables have turned and minimalism has returned to the market. It might be something temporary or something that is here to change the game entirely. Gone are the days of gaudy design elements, and piercing colors. Now, the design world is taking a step back towards the roots and presenting a fresh approach with the contemporary design sense. The minimalistic approach tends to create a better design, and it is always more explanatory to the user. The modern user has an affinity towards understanding the concepts that are contrary to the clutter. 


Onboarding has become a trendy concept lately. Most of the designers put the concept of Onboarding as a description or introduction to the product that allows the user to understand its usage and application in a much easier way. It displays the key functions of the product to familiarize the user. Onboarding has become a crucial part of UX in 2021.


2021 is the year that is going to see various trends and design mixes. With design concepts like Minimalism, Pastel Colors, Onboarding, and Glassmorphism, an immersive experience is something that can be guaranteed for the user. However, technology is ever-changing, and hence, more design trends will come up with better features and overall experience to displace the current trends and change the game.

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