The Evolution of Mobile App Color Schemes: Trends to Keep Up With


The Evolution of Mobile App Color Schemes: Trends to Keep Up With

Mobile apps have fundamentally changed the way we interact with software and each other. From booking a ride-sharing service to ordering food and groceries, mobile apps simplify our daily lives. And as technology progresses, the ways we design and utilize apps evolve as well – this includes one vital aspect that greatly impacts user experience, mobile app color schemes.

Color schemes serve a significant role in mobile app development as it affects user engagement and interaction. It can create a particular mood and elicit emotions that lead to user interaction and variable user experiences. Therefore, app developers must choose a color scheme that positively impacts user retention and engagement.

As mobile app trends evolve, so do color schemes, and keeping up with them can be challenging. To stay up-to-date, developers must be aware of the latest app color scheme trends.

This article will delve into the evolution of mobile app color schemes and the top trends followed by app developers in 2022.

The Evolution of Mobile App Color Schemes

When the first mobile devices surfaced, their graphic settings were limited, primarily black and white with minimal color palettes. However, as we moved into the smartphone-era, the appearance of devices became aesthetically pleasing, and users soon expected similar performance from their apps.

App developers focused on designing and rendering mobile apps that looked and felt amazing, taking user experience to a whole new level. Early color schemes ranged from just a few color choices to much wider color palettes, which gave designers more options to work with when designing mobile apps.

During this period, app developers sought to provide users with visually appealing and helpful mobile apps, which saw the advent of bold, bright, and activating colors like blue, red, green, and yellow.

As important as choosing the right color scheme for an app was, developers required an excellent understanding of what single colors or color combinations could evoke the mood and emotions they sought to elicit from users.

With the advancement of technology, mobile devices’ capacities saw continuous improvements, and developers often found it challenging to keep up with these trends – leading to the development of two different but equally acceptable types of mobile app designs – flat design and material design.

Flat designs gravitate towards more simplistic, stripped-down designs alongside a minimalistic approach to designing apps. It involves the use of fewer details, textures, and shadow effects to keep the app design clean and straightforward. In contrast, material design involves the use of layers and shadows to add depth and create a 3D experience for the user.

Flat designs typically use primary colors for the significant aspects of the app, while material design utilizes more ranges of colors.

Trends to Keep Up With in Mobile App Color Schemes

1. Dark Mode

Dark mode has gained immense popularity, and it’s one of the biggest app design trends in recent times. Apart from being visually appealing, dark mode helps reduce eye strain, prevent blue-light emissions, and improve battery performance.

As a trend, dark mode has garnered much love for its reflection of a futuristic appearance and soothing feel. A good example of an app that employs the dark mode design is Apple’s iOS mobile operating system, which allows users to toggle between the bright version and night mode for some supported apps.

2. Gradient Colors

Gradient color schemes have been in use since the early days of design, and it has evolved and improved over time. Modern technology provides an option for designers to work with smoother gradients than previously possible, creating color transitions that flow flawlessly.

App developers over the years have found that gradient color schemes improve user engagement and arouse positive moods in users. Gradient color schemes work well in social and sharing apps like Instagram, Tiktok, and Snapchat, where visuals and graphics play an integral role.

3. Neumorphism

Neumorphism is a mash-up of the principles of flat design and the layering principles of material design. It is gaining momentum as a new design trend in 2022. It involves the use of light gradients and shadows to create a three-dimensional design experience, providing buttons with tactile depth that seems like they’re popping off the screen.

The primary goal of Neumorphism is to make app interactions more physical, realistic, and natural in appearance. It’s also perfect for apps focusing on user experience, as it aims to make app development more accessible, and its intuitive designs offer an improved app experience.

4. Pastel Colors

Pastel colors are not new, but they remain a popular trend in 2022. These colors are soft, calming, and often used to convey a sense of relaxation and tranquility. Pastel colors work well in apps with features that encourage relaxation, meditation, or wellness updates, like weight loss tracking or a mood tracking app.

An excellent example of an app with pastel color schemes is Calm, an app dedicated to meditation and relaxation. The app’s color scheme reflects the app’s goal of creating a calming, relaxed, and serene mood for users.

5. Mixed Vibrant and Muted Colors

As much as muted color schemes are ideal for minimalistic approaches, they can get monotonous and discourage user engagement. App developers have seen the need to mix and match muted colors with vibrant ones to create eye-catching mobile app color schemes.

An excellent example of a mobile app with mixed vibrant and muted colors is the popular video editing app, Tiktok. The app’s use of muted pastels alongside its bright and vibrant illustrations adds a unique and trendy vibe to the app, drawing users in and encouraged usage.


Mobile app color schemes play an essential role in enhancing user interaction and experience, and keeping up with the latest color scheme trends will benefit app developers in the long run. Color schemes can affect users’ moods, emotions, and engagement, making it an integral design aspect.

To stay up-to-date, developers must explore and experiment with trendy color schemes, test how users engage with it, and iterate until the best result is achieved. The latest trends mentioned in this article remain some of the most popular and exciting design trends for mobile apps in 2022.

Editor Comment

Mobile app color schemes are an essential component of designing apps that drive user interaction and engagement. Developers must continue to explore various color schemes to ensure they provide a visual appeal that reflects their apps’ tone, mood, and functionality.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why are color schemes essential in mobile app design?

Color schemes determine users’ emotional perception, prompts brand recognition, and serves as a communication medium between the app and users. It also affects user interaction and engagement. It is essential for mobile app developers to choose a suitable color scheme that represents their brand and reflects their app’s purpose.

2. What is Neumorphism?

Neumorphism is a unique app design trend that combines material design and flat design principles to make app interactions more physical, realistic, and natural-looking. It involves the use of light gradients and shadows to create a three-dimensional design experience.

3. What is dark mode?

Dark mode is a mobile app color scheme trend that enables app settings, including background and text, to use different shades of dark colors instead of white or bright colors. It helps reduce eye strain, prevent blue-light emissions, and improve battery life.


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