Best App Designs of 2023

Discover our editors' monthly winners for the best app design awards.

Methodology for Selecting the Best Designs

Our expert panel of designers refers to a clear-cut set of metrics for evaluating multiple factors, including creativity, execution, visual identity, brand image, recall, functionality and overall user engagement, to identify the best designs for each month.

Brands and agencies who wish to be considered for the best design of the month awards must submit their designs for evaluation. The design jury then rates each submission on a scale of 1 to 10 — the average of which counts as the final grade. The entire vetting process takes two weeks, after which the winning designs are published on DesignRush and promoted on other DesignRush channels, including social media.

Design Awards 2023

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 — and this goes for mobile app design as well. You don’t have very much time to make an impact on your audience. Hence, 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.

Decluttered Interface Mobile App Brainsparker

Self-Evident Navigation

Users want ease of use. They don’t want to do work — they want the work done for them. And if they don't find what they want quickly, 79% of them will move on to another website or app. That also means that your mobile navigation needs to be simple, easy and self-evident.

Easy and intuitive navigation throughout an in-app experience is imperative. Simplifying the main menu and making a user journey straightforward and logical goes a long way in retaining your users.

Self-Evident Navigation Cash App

Legible Text

Ninety-five percent of the information found on the web is a written language: a typed-out, readable text. And when it comes to mobile app design, written text and typography still dominates as far as the 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.

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. Chatbots are the fastest growing brand communication channel and 68% of users like chatbots because they provide quick feedback.

Artificial intelligence tools like live chatbots are in this season, with 55% of businesses using chatbots to drive more quality leads and save money on customer support costs. 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.

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 strain 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. This will make for more organic and fluid interaction with the user interface.


Minimize Typing Curator Mobile App Design

App Design Trends To Follow in 2023

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. 92.6% of consumers say that visual factors like color are 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.

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 2022, an average person spends 100 minutes per day watching online videos. 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.

Mobile App Design Video Integration Elbi

Increased Personalization

Chatbots and similar AI technology that receives feedback from users to create a more comprehensive, personal experience have led to some businesses 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 a coffee shop sending out drink order recommendations or a streaming platform 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 2022.

Increased Personalization Fitness For Weight Loss App

Augmented Reality

More and more brands are introducing the AR/VR experience into their mobile platforms and app experiences. 

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. And this will extend into apps that will provide a super-personalized experience to its users via this technology.

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. As much as 80% of companies are investing in providing a consistent omnichannel experience to their users. Incorporating design elements that are pleasing to the eye and make the overall journey through the app simple and streamlined is a priority on all devices.

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.

Overlapping Elements Mobile App Design Calm

How to Create an Award-Winning App Design

Best Practices

Stick to what works best in the industry

While it’s true that app design awards demand creativity, you shouldn’t try to reinvent the wheel when it comes to designing a functional, streamlined app.

You should always follow what has traditionally worked and what users are familiar with. If there’s an opportunity to improve, go for it!

Most successful apps all have similar designs and they follow a matching ruleset. For starters, focus on smooth navigation throughout the app, ensure the actions are recognized, minimize the need for typing and most importantly – keep it simple!

Industry standards


Design for one-handed use

The general rule of thumb (literally) is to optimize your app design for one-handed navigation. The fact that two-thirds of the global population’s interaction with smartphones were managed with a thumb says enough.

Put the most critical and often used buttons in the thumb-friendly zone. Those that are smaller and close together are difficult to tap and are prone to errors and you don’t want your users to feel frustrated, so place them accordingly.

Understanding the differences between screen sizes is also critical. That is what differentiates app designs that are simply functional from those reaping the most respected app awards out there.

One-handed navigation


Don’t forget about the minority of users

Designers behind award-winning apps consider the totality of the prospective community. What does that mean? It’s simple - think about the lefties as well.

Left-handed people comprise approximately 12% of the world's population. Usually, when users hold their phones, the bottom half of the screen holds all the important elements and actions reachable by the thumb. Right-handed users access the bottom-right side of the phone while left-handed ones do the opposite. Understandably, the latter is more challenging.

Solution? Allow users to configure the UI for their convenience through custom settings.

Minority of users


Make it fun and interactive

While we have already touched upon these, it’s imperative to note that app design is a perfect vessel to let your creativity shine.

While your new app obviously requires text, you want to adorn it with lots of fun, visual elements to make it pop. Go one step further and include animation and interactive elements to highlight a particular feature within the app.

If you don’t need fancy effects, you could always use pictures to enhance the words seen on the screen. Visuals are what ultimately make your app easier on the eyes.



Make sure your app works

Some level of restraint must be exercised to ensure you don’t go overboard and make your app lag under all the weight.

If the design idea is too complex, the app will take more time to load and by extension skyrocket your bounce rate with every passing second.

Moreover, make sure actions are recognized. There’s nothing more frustrating from the users’ point of view than an unresponsive app. When a button gets clicked, something needs to happen. If not, one would think the app froze.

Even if a page needs more time to load than is recommended there should be an exciting, moving symbol or something to show that it’s being refreshed. Making sure that the user actions are clearly and instantly recognized also creates the illusion that a page is loading faster than it does.