Top 7 Mobile App Design Trends 2016

Trends keep coming and going some get outdated very soon, whereas some stick around for some time. Even if they stick, they keep evolving under the influence of cultural and technological forces. When we talk of mobile app trends, new ones normally usher in with the release of new device or new operating system.


In the words of Steve Jobs, “Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.”

Post 2013 when iOS 7 was released, till date UI/UX design has gone down a path of simplification and minimization of user interfaces, making them more intuitive and immersive. With mobile usage on exponential increase, mobile app design trends are getting very important. A study suggests that more than 2 billion of the 3.2 billion people who access web would do so from their mobile devices. With mobile being right, left and centre more than ever, designers are looking to perfect their mobile-design skills for their clients.

Here are 7 mobile app design trends that are hot in 2016.

  1. Bigger Screen Designs: The new generation is more comfortable using oversized smartphones. A survey indicates that big screens will grow by 35% a year till 2018. With big screens comes bigger designs and since this trend is here to stay till 2018, designers are busy creating designs accordingly.
  1. Market Is There for Both Native and Mobile Web Apps: Native mobile apps are ones that that you open by tapping on your smartphone’s home screen and web apps are the ones that you access from mobile versions of browsers like Safari. Native apps are superior and faster to use, but the demand is there for both. Mobile web apps have nearly 9 million monthly visitors compared to native apps’ 3.3 million visits.
  1. Wearables: It is predicted that the wearable market in 2016 will have nearly 18.5% growth as compared to 2015. It is a different ball game altogether when it comes to wearables. Here, the screen size is less than mobiles and also the technology used is different leading to necessary changes in the user interface. So, the designers have to create intelligent, user-friendly wearable apps that are unique to this type of mobile devices.
  1. Functional Animations and Motion Design: Functional animation is the most captivating trend, which makes app experience more active, unique and immersive with more direct visualization. The motion and shape change illusions that the designers create need to be simple, fast, vivid, and responsive and should serve a clear logical purpose. It is a superb trend for e-Commerce stores and helps in distinguishing apps from their competitors.
  1. Smooth User Interface: A smooth user interface is the most important thing to keep in mind while designing any app. This is because the success of any app is dependent on the experience that the user gets. If the user experience is not good, the app will fail in no time. UI designers keep strong focus on practical elements like clarity, flexibility and functionality, which play up the benefits of digital screens.
  1. Gestures: In mobile design, it’s divided into two groups – touch mechanics and touch activities. In layman’s terms, it’s what your fingers do on screen and what is accomplished as the result. The designers need to come out with intuitive range of gestures for better UX.
  1. Colour Schemes: Flat design made subtle colors and white backgrounds a trend. Material design praises both light and dark backgrounds, but in reality nearly 70-80% of apps have white backgrounds. Designers need to seek different color schemes. If we keep using the same color patterns over and over again,color minimalism, which is trending now, will quickly turn into color primitivism.

The direction of UI/UX design in 2016 hasn’t dramatically changed from last year. But, as we know, design is a constantly evolving process; new trends will eventually keep coming out from the existing ones. Mobility is the future and that’s why the demand for mobile application developers is increasing day by day across the globe. Mobile hasn’t just caught up with desktop; it is actually crushing desktop in terms of sheer user numbers. Designers have huge responsibility to prioritize the user experience when designing mobile apps. These trends are here to dominate the native mobile landscape as the years progress.


Manmeet Singh

I currently hold the editor-level position with and Founder as well. With a group of online & offline companies under the Soofi Group in my kitty, writing for the design genre was an interesting support to In my opinion, everyone has their taste for design, plus the scope of writing is wide and thus the contribution I make here through words would encourage me to explore this section aptly.

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