5 mobile app design trends that are spreading like the clap

As a self-confessed app junkie, I spend more time drooling over mobile apps than is probably healthy. Design trends in any industry are fascinating to watch, but with the rate of innovation in mobile technology, mobile app trends are especially intriguing.

Here are five trends I’ve noticed (for better or worse) among mobile apps recently.

1. Images front-and-centre

Seen in: Pinterest, Instagram, Path, Google+, Gimmebar


With the popularity of Pinterest’s UI, we’re seeing similar image-focused grid layouts all over the place (don’t believe me? check out Clipboard, Gimmebar and Gentlemint just to start with). Mobile apps are going the same way, although the smaller screen size means a single image is often the focus.


2. Heavy on the gestures

Seen in: Clear, Task, Any.do, Sun


When task-list app Clear was released, the completely gesture-controlled UI turned a lot of heads. Emphasis on gesture controls is becoming commonplace now, as more app developers follow suit.


3. Drip-feed displays

Seen in : Flipagram, Trickle, Screenfeeder, Stream News Reader, Spout


As we’re bombarded with more information every day, we now have the problem of reducing the noise we’ve added to our lives. In an attempt to move away from the ‘noise’ of social media, several developers are pushing for a more minimalistic approach.

These apps are taking our social media feeds and putting them on display – taking the focus away from engagement and interaction.


4. Minimalistic weather

Seen in: Weather Neue, WTHR, Solar, Nubilous, Thermo


As a design junkie, this is a trend I’m really enjoying. New weather apps seem to be competing over which one can be the most minimalist.

The slew of bright colours, large fonts and simple icons are leaving traditional data-heavy weather apps in the dust, design-wise.


5. Stitched double-pointed ribbon ends

Seen in: Wunderlist, Masterpieces, My Voyages, Burger Quest, Hngry, Jamie Oliver’s 20 Minute Meals, Weave


More of a specific detail than an overall design concept, the double-pointed ribbon end is showing up all over the place.



Not that I don’t love it – but it’s not so impressive when you see a design element for the twentieth time.