You’ll notice a handful of things if you look at the up-and-coming app design trends 2022 below. One, because of our phones’ improving tech specifications, many applications now seem to be much more vivid, polished, immersive, and in every other way superior to those we’ve seen before. However, many app designers are going back in time for inspiration, including vintage elements such as pixels typefaces and retro color palettes into their designs to appeal to consumers’ nostalgia.
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OrangeCrush created this illustration for the app design trends of 2022.
It’s not by chance that the app design trends for 2022 are how they are. Apps’ designs change to reflect and drive how we engage with them as they take on larger, more significant roles in our lives. Are you ready to explore what’s next for your phone and get ideas for your next app design? We’ve compiled a list of the 9 app trends predicted to be the most popular in 2022.
The following are the top 9 app design trends for 2022:
Illustrations in the front
Illustrations in applications will be huge in 2022—literally. Not simply images, but actual drawings that highlight the programs as pieces of art. In many situations, like Outcrowd’s design for Rent a boat, we’re seeing flat and semi-flat images in contrasting, eye-catching hues. A picture or a graphic that seems, well, graphic-y might feel more organic than an artwork. Apps advertise themselves as comfortable, familiar settings by providing users with graphics that seem natural.
How many times have you started an app or scrolled beyond the app’s landing page only to be faced with a wall of text and then remarked, “Nah, tl;dr” and moved away?
Fonts with serifs
Sans serif typefaces have ruled applications for as long as they’ve existed. That will change in 2022. Sans serif typefaces aren’t going away, but designers are relegating them to the background in favor of serif fonts.
As shown in Martin Zagawa’s concept design for a social app, combining two types of typefaces provides a visual hierarchy, quickly differentiating headlines from supporting text. Serif fonts, in his design, are reserved for the app’s structural, non-changing text, such as the user’s name and the user’s forthcoming events feed. Sans serif fonts, on the other hand, are used for all the information that is transient and changing, such as names and dates of certain parties.
It’s evident that the world of applications has progressed far beyond Whisper and Angry Birds. We use applications to manage our money, negotiate business transactions, and talk to our therapists about our innermost feelings. Serif fonts emphasize this function and aesthetically give applications the gravitas they deserve as apps take on a more significant role in our lives.
Overabundance of futuristic colors
Maxed-out colors is another of the top future app branding ideas for 2022. Although app designers are using every hue of the rainbow in their creations, purple, blue, pink, and other vibrant colors seem to be the most prominent. Why? The hues of the future are these. In contrast to earth tones like browns and greens, the purples, blues, and pinks that are dominating app trends are hues that don’t exist in nature and can only be created by a human creator. That, and the colors shine against black backgrounds, giving them a glistening, almost cyberpunk vibe.
Beyond the fact that purple and blue seem cool and techy, there’s another reason why designers are experimenting with color in more ways than ever before, and it has to do with technology: today’s phones can display bright, brilliant hues to their full potential.
Entrain’s meditation app design starts with a bright, dramatic purple to frame the user’s personal log, then employs pink, purple, and peach gradients to separate the user’s various sessions and objectives underneath. The major colors of Hazki’s picture game design are bold purple and blue, with a light blue box visually separating the discussion from the rest of the game. In his design podcast app design, Joharwn also employs a vivid, almost fluorescent blue as a secondary hue, but his maximalist color palette is the polar opposite: brilliant yellow, strong orange, and punchy, bright backdrops behind artists’ images to make their faces glow against the black background.
Elements that are transparent
Gradients are still going strong in 2022, as we can see from other emerging design trends. In the app world, how designers work with gradients sets them apart from how we’ve seen them employed in the last several years. Gradients, overlays, and color pops will all be translucent or semi-transparent on your screen by 2022.
It feels light when you can look through a picture. This year, app designers are playing on the idea of being able to reach straight through and touch what’s on the other side. BrioRom accomplishes it in his Meetup design, where the translucent red overlay maintains Meetup’s red logo while telling users precisely what the Meetup is about: traveling somewhere in person and meeting people face to face.
A designer may put a lot of information onto a page without it seeming overwhelming or heavy by making some design components visible. This is critical since you don’t have a lot of room to work with on a phone. A translucent purple, green, and gray gradient create the app’s color palette while enabling the user to easily see a picture and text of any activity they’re presently completing in Elias Craft’s workout app design. It forms a visual barrier between the text and the picture, but it’s more of a sheer drape than a full wall.
Organic, rounded curves
Another emerging trend we’re seeing outside of app design is rounded organic curves. These flawed, squishy forms, like many of the other app design ideas 2022 on our list, are gaining appeal because they make stereotypically cold, sterile digital settings easier to connect with. One area where circular curves in app design might be utilized to confound uneasy assumptions is finance.
Instead of the dark blue and gray squares and rectangles that we’ve come to expect from banking applications, Oversight below employs a nightingale plot graph to show where the user has been spending money. Confronting where our money is going isn’t always pleasant… but Oversight’s design removes all of the worry and tension from personal finance, making it accessible, human, and even enjoyable. In the dark mode
Even though staring at our phones for three to five hours a day might harm our eyes and exhaust our batteries, our habits aren’t likely to change anytime soon. Designers of apps are adjusting to our phone habits in 2022 and concentrating on dark mode. Dark mode contrasts bright (but not blinding white) text with dark-colored backgrounds. Not only can seeing applications in dark mode spare your eyes from strain while scrolling and messaging in poor light, but it also saves battery life.
Designers are using neons and luminous gradients to make items sparkle against black backgrounds in anticipated dark mode app designs for 2022. In their music data analytics software, A.D.S. employs vivid colors in a pretty creative approach, where each music genre is allocated its own color and the user can see which genres they listened to each day and at different times of the day.
A handful of the main branding ideas for 2022, probably most notably this one, are centered on showcasing what our current phones can accomplish. Designers are emphasizing 3D components in their app designs, demonstrating the immersive worlds they can build with them. When a completely three-dimensional picture displays flawlessly on a flat phone screen, the app becomes a tangible environment that the user may enter.
The Glyph does an excellent job doing this in their design for Soap Store, which includes spinning 3D depictions of the store’s many items. Looking at this app is like browsing a Lush shop; the gently revolving soaps are so realistic-looking that users may raise their phones and take a few sniffs.
Customization and personalization
Highly customizable applications are another up-and-coming app trend that takes advantage of what technology can do. That’s because we’ve learned to anticipate and demand personalization in today’s world. We’ve become used to our applications getting to know us, such as Spotify producing unique playlists and Facebook knowing precisely what we discussed with our pals over breakfast. We know that by 2022, our applications will be able to treat us as individuals. As a result, app designers are giving us precisely what we want by building designs that allow us to tailor our app experiences, resulting in better app experiences.
Manoj Bhadana’s quote-generating software allows users to choose the kind of inspiration that suits them best by providing a variety of options. Font and the sort of incentive that the user reacts to are examples of these options. This prevents the generator from dispensing generic, one-size-fits-all incentives. It allows users to create quotations that speak directly to their own souls.
Apps that can be customized provide us with options that we didn’t have a few years ago. A user may now create their own unique experience with an app, giving them the feeling of being in control. This style is perfect for programs that users wish to keep close to themselves and engage with on their own terms.