Best App Designs of 2021

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5 Highly Impactful Features of the Best App Designs

Decluttered Interface

It takes about 50 milliseconds for a user to make a first impression on your web design — this goes for mobile design as well. So, you don’t have very much time to make an impact on your audience. But one thing you need to stay away from is a cluttered interface. Clutter and chaos lead to confusion, dissatisfaction and irritation.

A decluttered interface leads to increased functionality and ease-of-use. This means fewer complaints, more downloads and happier customers. Your app can experience increased usability too with a few simple techniques — shortening and simplifying copy, removing unnecessary imagery and graphics, keeping the design elements simple and keeping in mind the singular goal and purpose of the app apparent at all times.

An app that excels at simplicity and ease is Brainsparker. This app was created for the purpose of providing meaningful and efficient motivation to its users. And from onboarding to the final stages of use, this app is nothing but clean, simple and easy. Bright colors, bold text and a clean interface guide users through their journey to inspiration and motivation. There’s no hassle or clutter causing chaos, and no anxiety to dampen the iOS and Android app experience.

Decluttered Interface Mobile App Brainsparker

Self-Evident Navigation

Users want ease. They don’t want to do work — they want the work done for them. And eight out of 10 customers say they stop engaging with mobile content if the images don’t load properly or display well. That means that your mobile navigation needs to be simple, easy and self-evident.

Easy navigation throughout an in-app experience is imperative. You don’t download an app that makes your life harder or more complicated than it needs to be. You download an app to make your life easier.

An app that excels in simplicity and self-evident navigation is the Cash App. This peer-to-peer mobile payment app is simple, elegant and easy to use. After a simplified onboarding process, users are able to quickly and effectively send and receive payments. The interface is extremely intuitive and the UX is highly user-friendly. This obvious and self-evident app experience takes the work out of sending and receiving money like never before.

Self-Evident Navigation Cash App

Legible Text

Ninety-five percent of the information found on the web is a written language. That means that it’s typed out, readable text. And when it comes to mobile app design, written text and typography still dominates as the way most information is absorbed. That means that your typography needs to be legible and readable — otherwise, it’s useless.

Too much text can jam up a screen and cause confusion. Text written in obscure and outdated fonts can have a similar effect of confusion and irritation on the user’s end. When you optimize your typography, you’re in turn optimizing your entire user experience. If they can’t read or understand what you’re typing out, they are just going to turn away.

An app with bold, legible text is Drops— a language learning app that teaches its users how to speak a new language in just five minutes a day. For starters, this app keeps text to a minimum, ensuring that users can get an equal balance of text and image to absorb the information at hand. This makes the experience cleaner and easy to follow — and considering this is an app that helps you learn new languages, easy is something you’re looking for. Navigation is simple, the text is minimal — and most importantly, it’s easy to read and understand.

Legible Text App Design Drops

Interaction Feedback

Users want answers, and they want them fast. They want constant collaboration and intuitive feedback that can streamline their app experience. Up-to-the-second feedback while using the app, then, is vital for a fluid user experience. Thirty-five percent of consumers want to see more companies utilizing this chatbot technology, and 21 percent find chat box features as the easiest way to interact.

Artificial intelligence tools like live chatbots are in this season, with 27 percent of consumers interested in seeing these AR capabilities expand. These services allow for real-time feedback that developers can use to improve app functionality. They also make it easier for app users to play around with an app and get the most out of the platform.

One app that is killing the interaction feedback game is Mezi, a full service, personal travel assistant app that handles 60 percent of its interactions via a chatbot. With Mezi, the chatbot helps users plan the perfect getaway — whether it’s a long weekend away or a full-month excursion. And this intuitive AI bot learns the more you use it, understanding your interests and personality to help cater each experience to you personally. The bot also allows for real-time feedback throughout the booking process so the app can continue to grow and evolve.

Interaction Feedback App Mezi

Minimize Typing

The more information and steps you make a user perform, the more chances you’re giving them to quit the process entirely. Especially on a small screen like a smartphone or tablet, you’re causing the user to strain themselves to comply with your demands. This can put unnecessary stress and anxiety on your users.

Users don’t want to exert more effort. So try minimizing this with input fields and defaults that users can quickly and easily clock through without the added work of typing it with their thumbs like the mobile app Curator does. This will make for more organic and fluid interaction with the user interface.

It might seem oxymoronic that we’ve chosen an app that allows you to create mood boards as an app that excels at minimizing typing, but you’d be surprised. Throughout the onboarding process, users have to do nothing but read a few words against bright and exciting backdrops. And the information they absorb is little but extremely effective. From there, users can create mood boards with little copy and little effort. They can type out phrases, look up concepts, and play with images and animations to let their creativity show. This app makes it extremely easy and requires little excess typing for users to get the full and impactful experience.

Minimize Typing Curator Mobile App Design

5 Amazingly Inspiring App Designs

City Intro Animations

“The advancement of common-use technology, combined with the knowledge available in cognitive science literature, could provide designers with extraordinary possibilities to fully exploit emotions' potential for user experience.”

This quote comes from a study on the impact of design on emotional stimuli. Since emotions impact decision-making capabilities, this study went about analyzing the ways in which design can elicit a given emotion. It found that by modifying interface aesthetics and promoting positive interactions, design can make a noticeable impact on user emotions.

City Intro Animation is an inspiring example of how movement, color and familiar imagery can strike a chord for users. The movement is fluid, the colors are soft and romantic and the cities displayed hit a nerve and fill you with emotion — whether its happiness, nostalgia or excitement.

City Intro Animation Technology App Design


Having trust in a brand plays a vital role in whether or not a consumer will interact with a brand and its content. And according to research, it’s clear that the overall UX design and UI design played a major impact on whether or not a user found the brand trustworthy.

Trust is vital to impactful experiences and emotional engagement. You can’t inspire your audience and engage your users if they don’t trust your content or your brand. And in order to build this trust, you need a fluid app and interactive UI design — on both Android and iPhone devices.

Fitsy is a fitness tracker app with stunning chatbot features that aim to inspire and spur users to action. The AI bot can help you make decisions on your workouts and health regimen based on your own personal stats. This is extremely emotionally engaging, as it created a dialogue between the technology and the user.

Fitsy Mobile App UX UI

Monthly Data Reports

What goes into creating trust between your brand and its audience? A good, responsive design according to this study:

“Website quality perceptions build initial trust because consumers tend to judge the goodness of the vendor behind the site based on how good the site looks to them.”

As we’ve stated, trust is a valuable marker for consumers when deciding whether or not to go through with a purchase and interact with your brand and its content. And this same trust is necessary to consider during mobile app development and creation. If your mobile app UI design is disjointed, unresponsive or alarming, your audience will be quick to hit delete.

A great example of an app design feature that promotes trust is this monthly data report animation. With its smooth scrolling effects, exciting and cool color scheme and bold, clear typography, users are hit with an immediate sense of calmness and ease.

Monthly Data Reports App Functionality


Emotion is powerful. Inspirational content can make a profound impact on your audience. And studies show that emotionally compelling designs are vital to a user experience that excels.

User experience relies heavily on the emotional human-computer interaction. Promoting positive emotion through seamless feature integration, exciting colors and engaging typography is linked to motivation and fixation on the users' end.

Though fictional, the Bikester app is an exciting example of how design can elicit emotion through human and technological interaction. This app aims to make cycling more fun — a goal that, in and of itself is an emotional one. The app lets you interact with friends, gives you encouraging motivation and takes the stress out of working out. It’s a clean and clever design that certainly achieves the goal of making bicycling fun.

Bikester App Design User Experience

National Geographic

“With personality as the foundation of your designs, you can layer more emotional engagement on top.” This quote by design expert Aaron Walter lays down the foundation of good design — personality and emotionally engaging elements.

Brand identity is important across all mediums — from web design to app design and beyond.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t be a little human and engage on an emotional and personal level. In fact, that human piece is vital when it comes to creating a mutually beneficial relationship with your audience.  

The National Geographic app is a prime example of how you can let your personality shine in order to appeal to your audience on an emotional level. We’ve all heard of National Geographic, and so we’re already familiar with its voice. But this dark, sleek and moody app gives off a much more emotional vibe than we may have been expecting. It pulls you in and allows for an emotionally engaging user experience.

App Design Brand Identity National Geographic

App Design Trends To Follow in 2021

Color Gradients

After functionality, it can be argued that color is one of the most important aspects of mobile app design. Color psychology dictates that color has a distinct impact on how we interact and what emotions we feel when it comes to a given product. Eight-five percent of consumers say that color is a determining factor when it comes to making purchases, so color trends in app design should not be ignored.

To breathe life into your flat app design, start introducing color gradients. This adds depth, movement and excitement which makes more of an overall calmer and more engaging user experience. Gradients can strengthen a design and add necessary homogeneity. They also work to direct the user's eye to the most important information available.

Sway is an app that promotes mindful meditation through interactive movements. It's a hands-on app that works as the user moves. But it's the vertical color gradients that truly bring the meditation full circle, directing users on how to move and encouraging them with a bright burst of color that seem to move along with them.

Color Gradients App Design Sway

Video Integration

Every year, they say that this will be the year of video. And every year, they’re right. In 2017, 78 percent of consumers watched some form of video online every week. Daily, that percentage is 55 percent. So a majority of people are actively taking in video content every day — if you’re not jumping on that bandwagon, you’re missing out.

Video is a great medium for showcasing valuable content. It can be packed into a few minutes and shown in a vivid and engaging way. Through video, facts, ideas and histories can be provided to target audiences with ease.

One app that does a really great job at integrating video into its in-app experience it the app Elbi. This app makes donating to charities simpler and easier, allowing people to promote causes through images, video and text within the app. Videos are frequently updated and seamlessly integrated into the entire experience. This flawless integration, quick playback and engaging content are some of the apps greatest qualities, proving the power of video is real.

Mobile App Design Video Integration Elbi

Increased Personalization

Chatbots and other AI technology that receives feedback from users to create a more comprehensive experience have led to some professionals seeing upwards of a 45 percent increase in conversion rates. This may have been tested in web design, but the same principles still hold true in mobile app design. People want a personalized mobile app experience.

We see customization everywhere — whether it’s Starbucks sending out drink order recommendations or Netflix offering tv show selections based on your past watching preferences. Personalization is in, and it’s going to become an even bigger trend in mobile app design in 2018.

An app that has integrated advanced AI to learn user behavior and offer a more personalized experience is Fitness for Weight Loss. This app customizes a workout for the user based on presets the user inputs during onboarding and then learns what workouts to offer the more the user uses the app. This makes for a highly personal and engaging app workout experience from start to finish.

Increased Personalization Fitness For Weight Loss App

Augmented Reality

Recently, The New York Times offered its own augmented reality experience, letting users view the Olympics on their mobile devices. And it’s just one of many brands that are introducing the AR experience into their mobile platforms and app experiences. Pokémon Go was another app that raised the AR bar, giving people a fun and interesting way of interacting with their surroundings. In just one month, Pokémon Go saw a revenue of more than $268 million.

With VR technology, the real world and the digital world will collide. This will allow brands to have deeper, more impactful interactions with their audiences to better provide them with the product they want in the future.

Ikea Place is a solid example of an app that’s using virtual reality to enhance the user experience and give users a new way to look at interior design. This app uses augmented reality to give users a look into what Ikea furniture would look like in their own space. All users have to do is point their camera and place the furniture. This AR integration is seamless and engaging, giving users a whole new way to interact with their smartphones and the world around them.

Augmented Reality Ikea Mobile App


When it comes to giving users what they want, a fully integrated mobile experience should be at the top of your list. Eighty-three percent of mobile users say that a fluid experience across all devices and mediums is imperative for a positive user experience. This means that you need to incorporate design elements that are pleasing to the eye and make the overall journey through the app simple and streamlined.

Create a greater sense of space and distinguish yourself from the competition with overlapping effects that draw users’ eyes to certain aspects of your design and lead them on a comfortable and intuitive user journey. You can overlap text, colors and image — any elements of your mobile app design to make your mobile app stand out.

An app that does a seamless job at integrating overlapping effects in a visually appealing way is Calm. This intuitive and stress-relieving app helps you sleep better through a series of meditative videos and graphics. Users can use this app to sleep better, reduce anxiety, or to guide them through peaceful meditation. And the serene overlapping text and image designs really capture this tranquil essence, making it even easier for the user to relax completely.

Overlapping Elements Mobile App Design Calm

5 Mobile Apps With User-Friendly Interfaces

The New Yorker Today

By 2020, 6.1 billion people will be smartphone users. That means that your mobile audience is growing, and you need to make sure you’re staying up-to-date on growing trends and evolving technologies. But one thing you should never forget is having an intuitive and user-friendly mobile design.

Mobile-friendliness is a vital aspect to all design, but especially to mobile app design considering the dimensions of the screen, the limitations of movement and the large amounts of content that need to be conveyed in such a small space. Users need to be able to float from category to category or from section to section with ease and satisfaction.

The New Yorker Today understood the importance of a seamless user experience, creating a mobile app that was highly intuitive, easy to navigate and user-friendly. This app makes reading the news and staying on top of the days’ biggest headlines easy and simple. With fun and exciting swiping graphics that come as a result of a smooth upward slide of your fingers, this app is effortless for users to use.

App Design The New Yorker Today Mobile Friendly


A recent survey found that 95 percent of users believe the following statement to be true: Good user experience just makes sense. If that sounds like common sense, that’s because it is. User experience is imperative to good overall design, and what users want more than anything else is ease.

Simplicity and personal interaction are key aspects of a highly effective, user-friendly mobile app design. They give the user a sense of comfort and trust in the product they’re using. It relieves any stress and anxieties and lets the user know that your brand is dedicated to making sure they have an experience tailored to them.

Wishi is a mobile app that offers personal style tips and advice to its users. It comprises a large community of stylists and beauty experts, and the app is dedicated to matching you with the style you’re looking for. From its bright, clean layout to its live chat features, this app puts the user first at every step of the journey, providing a user experience that is a breeze.

Wishi Mobile App User Experience

Trips by Lonely Planet

Content marketing is a vital aspect of most marketing strategies, and 83 percent of B2B marketers said that mobile apps were an important aspect of their strategies. And with the number of mobile users in the world growing at a rapid pace, it makes sense that marketers are moving to mobile to promote their brand through engaging and thought-provoking content.

Content is key for marketers. It’s how they promote their brand, offer helpful insights and interact with their audiences on a more personal level. On mobile, this could prove to be tricky. You need to create app content that offers valuable information in a way that will push users to want to genuinely interact with it. This means it can’t be simple, promotional content — it has to be compelling and useful.

Trips by Lonely Planet is an excellent example of how brands can provide useful content in an engaging way that adds to the user-friendliness of the overall mobile app experience. This app offers personalized travel guides from real people all over the world. They can use this platform to share their experiences through photography, video and written content. And anyone who has read through a travel guide or travel blog know that sometimes, there is an overwhelming amount of content. Luckily, however, Trips is able to provide this content in an easy-to-digest way that keeps you exploring.

Mobile App Content Marketing Trips by Lonely Planet


Users want quick and easy access to mobile content with 91 percent of users saying that this user-friendly nature is vital to their mobile experience. That means that you have to come up with creative and innovative ways of displaying this content and getting it in front of the user in a clean and effective way.

Through design, this can be achieved by using bright, clean colors, open space and vivid imagery. You want people to be engaged, so you need the design elements of your app to be engaging — it needs to be fun, it needs to pull users in, it needs to layout content in a comprehensive and organized manner and it needs to be purposeful.

Boox is an app that has a clear-cut purpose — it lets users turn their cherished memories into tangible photo books that they can look back on fondly. This elegant and efficient app populates photos from a user’s photostream and creates a book out of these memories. Through subtle animations, engaging scrolling effects and dynamic movement, this app is a user-friendly app for amateur and professional photographers out there.

Boox App User-Friendly Design

Kptn Cook

Nearly 60 percent of internet users say they won’t recommend a website that has a poorly-designed mobile experience. Users simply don’t have time to try and teach themselves how to use an app or navigate through a jarring and complicated mobile experience.

And in an increasingly mobile-first world, your brand can’t afford to be left behind. Not when mobile experiences are becoming more telling of the way a brand operates as a whole. An app needs to be responsive, engaging and provide compelling content. It needs to have an intuitive interface and walk users seamlessly through their journey.

An Android an iOS app that provides a highly intuitive and user-friendly mobile experience is Kptn Cook — an app that provides recipes to its users in a very Snapchat-esque way. Users are provided with three recipes a day from bloggers around the world. These recipes last for 24 hours, then they disappear and you get a whole new batch of recipes to try out. After a brief onboarding, simple and stunning graphics, dark colors, and vivid photography provide content to users in a way that puts them in just the right mood to start cooking — exactly what the app was created to do.

Kptn Cook Great App Design