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Trends in Mobile App Design

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Mobile web developers are constantly rethinking ways in the design of mobile applications in hopes to benefit the User Experience (UX). The mobile app universe is constantly changing and new ideas/trends are always being created in hopes to offer the most effective app design to meet the needs of users. In terms of mobile UX design trends for the year of 2018, editor-in-chief of UXPlanet.org Nick Babich, discusses 12 design trends that will impact mobile apps this year.

  1. User Journey Simplification

The user experience is by far the most important thing that designers focus on. If you were to make an app that had information on how to cure cancer and was very informative but the design of the app was poorly made and nearly impossible to navigate, you might as well consider your app a failure. The UX needs to be your number one priority.

Linear User Flow

A linear design experience is UX with a specific beginning, middle, and end that allows users to complete one action with each step. For example, the mobile app, Uber, allows users to select the kind of vehicle, destination, route, as well as view the total amount that the ride will cost them before finalizing the order.

Progressive Disclosure

Loading up massive amounts of information is often seen as problematic for users. Designers use a technique called progressive disclosure to make information or action visible only when users need it. This is a very useful feature that has proven to be extremely beneficial to the overall UX.

 

  1. In-app Gestures Paired with Animation

Newer mobile devices are starting to completely move away from the use of physical features like buttons and instead implementing gesture-based interactions. Devices are becoming more and more personalized for users, which means designers are rethinking methods that users could use in mobile-apps to help the user-experience. Animations will be a primary method to help avoid any sort of confusion for users. They will be used to make it clear what interactions are available, to clarify spatial relationships between UI elements, and to provide feedback on the interaction.

 

  1. Content-Centered Experience

In today’s world, users want content fast and they want it whenever they need it. Designers use several methods that allow users to have access to the information they want quick and easy.

Decluttering

Decluttering removes irrelevant information and prioritizes information by putting content first and elaborating clear visual language.

Clear Visual Hierarchy

Strong visual signifiers are used to direct user on certain interactive elements or essential information.

 

  1. Full-Screen Experiences

With every new iPhone and Samsung Galaxy device comes a larger screen. This allows users to experience full-screen application with the added space. HD images and videos will see the most impact in these newer devices.

 

  1. Vibrant Colors

Color plays a vital role in the toolbox of online designers. It can create emotion, signal an action, and provide contrast. Vibrant colors in particular make people focus their attention more on certain things.

Color as Functional Element

Designers will use color to visually separate different types of notifications.

 

  1. Emotional Experiences

Emotional intelligence (EI) has completely integrated itself into mobile devices and has impacted the way users communicate with each other as well as receive information. In the 2018 world of technology, it is now possible for users to express themselves emotionally through the use of several different interfaces. Emoji’s have completely changed the way in how users express their emotions. Face recognition technology will enhance this form of expression through mobile devices.

Natural Interactions with Apps

Apps are looking for more simplistic forms of interaction that the user can use when scrolling through feeds and what not. For example, instead of tapping on the button or icon, the user could draw an icon on the screen instead.

Mimic Emotions in UI Feedback

Users have always had the ability to write up a review or offer some sort of feedback on a product or service, but now users are given more of a platform to express how they feel through apps that mimic human reactions.

 

  1. Dominance of Video

Video content has never been so popular. Users are more likely to watch a 30 second video about a news story than reading an article that takes them ten minutes to read/analyze. The formats of video have drastically evolved as well. For example, news agencies have started to use social media platforms such as Facebook to provide live video feeds of news stories. There are also new technologies such as 360-degree cameras that allow users to view content fully as if they were there. Virtual reality is also a popular form of video that is changing the way people experience video through their mobile device.

 

  1. Biometrical Authorization

Anyone who has made accounts on several different apps, emails, social media, etc. knows how much of a pain it is to forget login information. Biometrics have started changing the way users can login to apps by using facial recognition, fingerprints, or voice recognition.

 

  1. Conversational Design

Conversation is the most effective way that people receive information and communicate. Chatbots are going to be a HUGE trend in mobile apps. Instead of dialing up a customer service representative in hopes of not being put on hold for a half hour, businesses are now integrating chatbots into apps to offer assistance for customers so that they quickly report issues or ask questions. Voice assistance have also sophistically progressed and will have a major boost in implementation into mobile apps.

 

  1. Advanced Personalization

Apps will be more involved in catering to the user more personally in 2018. Location services on mobile devices have made it possible for apps to utilize content based on the users’ location. This makes services more responsive to the environments around them. Users also have specific needs that distinguish them from others like poor eyesight or colorblindness. Personalization will a major factor in how apps compliment the needs of users by adapting a layout, font size, audio volume that specifically match the needs of the user.

 

  1. Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. In 2018, AR technology will be a major trend in mobile-devices. Creation will be easier/more accessible for users.

 

  1. Cashless Payments

Cash payments have essentially disappeared in several Asian countries and looks to be making that change in the United States. Apple Pay has already established their own mobile payment software and has seen extraordinary use out of it. More businesses are accepting mobile payments and that trend looks to be not slowing down for 2018.