If you are going to create mobile applications and expect them to succeed, it is worth considering the current trends that are present in the schedule now and will occupy leading positions for the next 2022. Monitoring hot trends in the design of applications and applying them to the work will make the application a modern one, leading to a one-wave communication with consumers. As the designers are predicting themselves, in 2022, almost like in 2021, such graphic design trends for apps 2022 will lead:
This direction in graphic design is defined as the use of flat simplified buttons, badges, volumetric view icons. This style, like its prototype in the faraway 2010-s, makes it possible to make simple forms not less interesting, while maintaining the animosity of design for apps in 2022, but by giving it a breathtaking realistic view of the new improved 3D graphics. The concept of neumorphism does not offer users a photo-realistic view of the image, but such buttons and icons are pleasant to "be felt tactfully," as they look repoussé and volume. In fact, Neumphorism uses flat badges and buttons and gives them a big, magnificent look.
A classic example of neumorphism in the weather app. Source
The popularity of this style is also linked to the development of virtual and augmented reality, because it is literally creating a three-dimensional effect on a plane. Neumorphism is well combined with minimalism, and their association will make it possible to create new solutions for shading and other styles. In any case, it is expected that neumorphism will become even more in demand in 2022 than it is now.
A standard approach of formatting neumorphism style buttons. Source
Visual effects, pleasant for the eyes
The design of the application must be not only beautiful, chained, but also pleasant in use. These days, when many of us are chained to their phones and watch screens all day, it's more relevant than ever. In the past year 2020, active development received remote forms of work, education and communication, so the schedule began to adapt rapidly to changed conditions. Applications' designers feel the need of users for a more comfortable viewing, which reduces the burden on the eyes, offering a simple integrated design combined with soothing flowers and eye-pleasing visual effects.
Examples of calm design of applications that are really eye-pleasing. Source
These applications use calm, natural colors and simple mock-ups that do not tire users with complexity and allow them to look at the screen for longer without any discomfort. Technically, the easier the design, the more minimalistic the concept, the more convenient it is to work, the easier it is not to be distracted by the superfluous and bulky details of the interface.
Swiping has always been one of the main advantages of mobile devices to desktop computers. And while clicking the mouse can be quick and pretty easy, swiping is much more convenient and more interesting. The trends in the graphic design of applications in 2022 have encouraged the use of this advantage, making the swipe more interesting, exciting and memorable.
Launch of the swiping as the way of interactions of the user with the application. Source
There are many different approaches to improving the quality and functionality of swipe, so the only limit is your imagination. Swipe goes from a simple function to a necessary feature that can simplify user tasks and make them quicker and more obvious. For example, you can add animation to a simple swipe, and already flipping through pictures, pages or other kinds of content becomes much more emotional and enjoyable.
The depth through the shadows and layers
To accentuate individual elements of the page, designers suggest taking advantage of the power of shadows, which will achieve a depth effect. Shadows and layers will provide a powerful boost to contrasting details, and darker, bolder shadows will highlight the main thing, pushing other elements to the background, so this trend will continue to be popular in 2022.
Creating a visual depth is an effective method of developing a modern and stylish application. Shadow contrast can be added to icons, images, buttons, and any other interface elements. And if you combine shadows with a layer-by-layer overlay of elements, you get a very effective structure with a clear hierarchy and an attractive appearance. The shadows will open a whole new dimension for the user, adding shadows to the layers will only enhance the futuristic effect and the feeling of being inside the interface, so that the client can be fully immersed in the process of using the application.
Analog sources of design development inspiration
It is wrong to think that the use of ultra-modern methods will guarantee a hundred percent popularity of the application. The long experience of designers shows that analog sources for inspiration are increasingly coming to the forefront - retro is making a comeback, and in this case it represents elements of the familiar surroundings. This refers to the use of textures of the most ordinary things and materials - paper and cardboard, and also mock-ups which feels inspired by the contemplation of collage, slightly yellowed, warm backgrounds instead of clean whites, retro typography and outdated button design.
Therefore, along with the development of new technologies, the emergence of innovative materials, it is nevertheless increasingly common to see app designs in the style of newspapers and magazines, as well as old school calculators and board games, which give high-tech apps the familiar atmosphere of yesteryear. The beauty of this trend in app design is the warm and light feeling that this style evokes. The basic principle behind this approach is to make apps feel more real, homely, and pleasant "to the touch."
Abstract and geometric art
It is worth mentioning that current trends gravitate more towards realism and the implementation of spatial effects in applications, but in 2022 the popularity will return to styles involving the use of strict abstract forms, cold and verified geometry, an artistic approach to design. Many designers believe that the more strict geometric style will be mostly used for startups and applications as an alternative to photographic realism. It attracts attention with bright colors and simple abstract shapes, and provides a comfortable viewing experience without distracting from the functionality of the app.
This trend in app design strikes a delicate balance between elaborate details and simplicity, with plenty of variation and artistry. In 2022, it is envisioned that more and more app designers will experiment with more complex abstract images that are extremely simplistic, yet elegant and delicate.
Unusual use of angles in design
Gone are the days when applications had no alternative but straight angles. In 2022, there will be a demand for a more interesting approach - the use of unusual angles, which will make the interface more interesting. In this case, such corners can be found both in design elements and in the background - in the latter case, it will become relevant to depart from the traditional rules of angles in the background images, which will attract the attention of users to the new direction.
To stand out from the crowd, sometimes it's enough just to go beyond the usual presentation. Unexpected angles add interest and make app design even more dynamic. This trend in graphic app design seems exploratory, playful, and a bit rebellious, as it fundamentally changes the rules and deviates from the usual laws.
Immersion in virtual reality and augmented reality
Quarantine has changed our lives forever, and at this time, virtual and augmented reality technologies got a boost. When it is forbidden to leave the house, such an option remains not just the only way to get a much-needed rest, but provides many interactive options for design. But now the quarantine is over, and the world is back to routine life, but there is no loss of interest in these technologies at all.
The world has already been moving in this direction for the last 15 years, and the virus simply accelerated the development process, squeezing what should have taken 10 years into 6 months. And while previously these technologies were only considered within the gaming industry, the pandemic has made it clear that AR and VR applications can be realized in other fields, not just in the entertainment industry.
A key feature of this trend is that developers create designs in which they let the user feel inside the app with subtle but attractive design elements, useful supporting information in the right places, and gamification of the entire experience. Using these apps, the process is supposed to feel like an exciting game that engages you as you work through the interface.
The main thing in applying virtual and augmented reality technologies is to think outside the box, this will allow finding creative ways to implement them, while trying to improve not only the visual experience, but also increase the usefulness for the user. For example, the IKEA AR application allows you to see how furniture looks in different places of a particular room, saving users from having to repeatedly move pieces of furniture in search of the optimal location.
More and more companies are thinking about solutions for integrating VR and AR into their digital products. If the new VR wave gathers pace, we will soon see a rather exciting phase of graphic design development, offering completely new opportunities to promote products and services.
Creative visualization of data
The boring presentation of material in mathematics classes leads to a new trend concerning data visualization, designed to make a variety of graphs interesting and understandable. No matter how we style some tables, graphs, lists, and databases, they look outdated, unattractive, and tedious.
So, whether you're developing a data presentation app or just want to talk about some numbers in an engaging game form, data visualization is an additional functional option. This creative trend can add some creativity to your analytics.
Using unique types of graphs, animations and colors in correlation with your data can make them more stimulating and provide users with more interesting information. For example, wavy patterns are a popular choice because they create a mesmerizing, hypnotic effect that is a pleasure to observe.
Application design with wavy patterns. Source
To visualize information so that it does not look like data, but more like a general flow of information and is more engaging, will help a creative approach to the design of graphs and tables.
Other 2022 trends concerning graphic design of applications
Let's take a look at the current trends and trends in graphic design of applications that are planned for 2022.
Whether you have a startup, a small coffee shop with a mobile rewards app, or another profile company, in any digital product the evolution of color always involves a contradiction: bright or pale colors, artificial or natural. In 2022, we will increasingly see the use of natural, pleasing colors that approximate real life. Bright elements will only be used to accentuate things. In general, the color palette has become more pastel and vital.
It is also important that the gradients will be light, minimalistic and sophisticated, while bright colors are already out of fashion.
In order to stand out from other developers' products, you can use unusual futuristic patterns and wild combinations. This is especially true if there is an urgent need to draw the user's attention to something new, because most of today's applications are created in the style of minimalism. A bright pattern can often be found on some of them, for example, on the front page or somewhere on top in each section of the app, that is where users should pay attention to it.
As for using typographic techniques to make yourself stand out, bold and overlapping fonts will be in fashion next year. The trend of overlapping fonts on interface elements will enter the arena. Combinations of barely compatible fonts and bold headings are inevitable, as they work well with both minimalism and absurd design, and allow you to highlight an idea as well as separate content.
Bold fonts not only attract attention, but also help make a brand's style more individual. In graphic design, semi-bold fonts will increasingly be used to help visually separate certain sections and emphasize the main message, which is perfect for modern minimalism.
Since 2020, Apple has been strongly recommending that all apps integrate a dark mode. Soon it will not just be a recommendation, but a mandatory requirement, possibly for iOS and Android mobile apps as well. All leading brands have already introduced dark mode because most users like it. Many even use dark mode by default, so it will become even more popular, the number of apps with dark mode will grow. Among the main advantages of dark mode are a significant saving of battery power and no harm to eyesight.
A place for empty space
A new trend of empty spaces is appearing, which is also related to minimalism and the principle of the human brain. Indeed, it is much harder to perceive information when a page is overloaded with it. Conversely, the meaning is much easier to understand if the page has little data and only one block surrounded by a lot of empty space.
Asymmetric web layouts
They appeared mainly because people were fed up with the same sites built according to the same set of grids, they just got bored. Asymmetric layouts are designed to personalize and add more dynamics to applications. And the unconventional approach to implementation that our company's specialists can offer will help evoke a wow effect from the users that they don't expect.
More and more unusual pictures will appear in the app design of 2022. Everything is shifting to a more artistic and non-traditional style, more creative, with author drawings. Standard and classic illustrations are no longer surprising.
Standard stock illustrations will still be relevant for a commercial standard product, but if you want to attract attention or surprise with something, designers use hand drawings or bright illustrations for this purpose.
An example of an unusual way of presenting information. Source
Mixing Photography with Graphics
This is not a new theme either, but it will continue to be used in mobile app design. This section includes the effect of collage and unusual photography. If an unusual illustration produces a shocking effect, in the case of a collage of photos, it softens the effect, which can surprise or interest in a certain way, helps to emphasize the individual and improve or highlight something in this way. This can also include surrealism, a certain fabulousness in the presentation of images, which will also gain traction in 2022.