In any sphere, trends reflect the needs and behavior of people. This ongoing process of constant changes is everywhere—, especially in a mobile app universe. Users are demanding, they want to see something incredible when opening a mobile app. It takes only a few minutes for them to decide whether they want to continue using the app or just close and delete it.
UI/UX design plays a key role in catching and keeping the attention of impatient users. To be on track this industry continues coming up with new ideas and improving the old ways. The latest mobile design trends are all about improving the user interface with more creative, innovative ideas.
Good design should improve the user’s mood, create trust and make the app easy-to-use. As studies show colors affect the mood. So the design that makes users smile and feels the harmony using the app increases user engagement. Plus if it is great-looking and polished then people subconsciously tend to perceive the product/services as also good. Clear and well-thought-out interfaces save user’s time and make an app easy-to-use.
Based on the above objectives, let’s observe top mobile app design trends that will rock in 2018 and build the foundation of new changes in the nearest future.
#1 Minimalism and Simplification
Too many design elements may confuse the user. Minimalistic design makes the whole experience much easier.
It is also applicable to the number of colors that is nowadays used in the most popular apps. The common tendency now is choosing one color with a few shades of it.
#2 Material Design
This approach was first introduced in 2014 and till these days appears to be the most flexible solution offering light and dark backgrounds. It lets to add depth, animation and transition effects to the design that helps to hold the user’s attention.
Moreover, Material Design gives space for creativity and innovations where designers can add more features which leads to the diversity in the color hierarchy and functionality.
#3 In-App Gesticulation
Not so long ago it was pretty weird to simply tap on a sensory smartphone. Now you can also drag, pinch, press and tap at the same time, spread, double tap. Moreover, it is so exciting to find a new gesture in the app.
It attracts more and more users as this experience feels real and make all interactions faster.
#4 Full-Screen Experiences
Nowadays frameless design is a trend. More and more new devices have it. With more screen space users expect to use it in full. Along with full-screen experience, the quality of assets will make a big impact on the user’s expectations about the app. No pixelation is allowed.
When Apple has announced the launch of Ipnone X with a borderless display, it made a huge discussion on the effect it may cause to the UI design. Instead, they have transformed the way flat design was used in mobile applications, boosting storytelling.
It wouldn’t be a wonder if in a while a new design will appear that will cover the phone from edge to edge.
Various interactions and animations in fonts, icons, buttons, and photos have always created an enjoyable experience for users. This tendency continues with functional animation that lets users immerse in the application. It helps following the logic context.
Functional animation makes users understand an app more deeply and can lead them through the journey of animated scenes.
#6 Vibrant Colors
Color makes an impact on the user’s emotions and actions, sets a mood, draws attention. In recent years many famous companies, like Instagram, have changed their presentation from dull-muted tones to multi-colors.
It’s time for designers to use vibrant colors aiming at expressing warmth and energy. Newer colors should be selected wisely and allow to create a unique, powerful and eye-catching image.
It is expected that emotional intelligence will be improved greatly in 2018. It won’t be just about animated effects showed when a user completes specific actions. It will go beyond that—to make experience delightful and engaging.
It is natural for people to express our feeling even when we communicate via devices. Thanks to the latest technologies like face recognition we are able to express even more broader spectrum of emotions.
For example, there is already an existing Animoji—animated emoji that responds to facial expressions that iPhone X camera caught.
Emotional experience also applies to the way we interact with apps. For example, the well-known “like” button might be replaced by drawing the “heart” image on the screen.
There is a great percentage of people watching videos nowadays. The more video content is adapted for the mobile devices the more popular such app will become. It is expected that in 2018 businesses and random users will use this format to give the most important information in a timely manner.
So in 2018, there will be more video-based content and more platforms with live video streaming.
Cards play a crucial role in organizing information in mobile apps. They can contain all—video, visuals, text, links to the specified objects, etc. Actually, cards are one of the best ways to display large amounts of content on a screen. By the way, they look very aesthetic and properly optimized for taps.
The newest element in the design is sounds that are made to take the user’s experience to new levels. Sound layers are meant to add enjoyment and pleasure to the user experience.
#11 Big typography
Typography is another experimenting field for designers nowadays. In combination with colors, images, animations, videos, and innovative layouts, it creates an exceptional user experience.
This year typography will help designers to traditional fonts to experimental and creative ones. Most apps might try out the white space and content hierarchy use depending on the devices.
There is a great number of excellent reading apps that set the tone in good typography and adequate use of white space providing a positive reading experience.
Nowadays everyone wants to get the most important personalized information right away. For that app developers record user’s steps and customize their experience due to their needs.
So there is no need to search for the same information anymore. Individual push notification will do the job for users.
The business sphere also benefits from this, as it becomes easier to push the product to the specified audience. Thanks to the push notifications business sector is sure that its message will be redirected to those who will appreciate the offer.
Another opportunity is to receive content based on your location. Due to the fact that mobile devices are always traveling with users, apps can show specific information that can be relevant to the place. For example, Starbucks is already using this feature to provide special offers for users. And that’s just the beginning!
Personalization also means layout adaptation to the user’s needs. We are all different and have various needs. Apps can gather information about our preferences and behavior and offer us personalized menu navigation, voice guidelines, different typography, color schemes. The main goal would be to make the user experience enjoyable and easy.
For example, when using a messaging app it is much convenient if your friend’s name pops up as a suggested recipient right after you start typing the message. Not to mention, the well-spread desire to read the news in specific categories. With personalization you won’t need to search for the preferred topics, they will find you either way.
#13 Biometrical Authorization
How many people like adventurous movies using security gadgets? Today everyone can pretend to be a spy on a special mission simply using their own devices. Face ID, Touch ID or voice verification can protect personal data and bypass the need for traditional login authentication. They save nerves and time providing fast and secure verification.
Each year there are more and more people unlocking their devices with biometric authorization. No wonder, as it can boost security to all—from end-users to businesses. Not only it feels cool, but it is a more secure way to lock devices by biometrical than the usual passwords that people often forgot or could be stolen.
In 2018 Face ID verification is expected to be used more often, as it is the most natural and convenient way to protect your data.
#14 Augmented Reality
It is an absolutely new sphere that promises us to completely change the way we see and use our devices. It is clear that 2018 will be the year to change everything with augmented reality. Our mobile devices will become lenses to the virtual world.
Before creating AR app was a hard task until recently when Apple and Google released AR frameworks that help to build AR apps much easier and faster: ARKit by Apple and ARCore by Google.
Now there are just a few people who haven’t heard of such called Pokemon Go. Everyone was amused by this novelty, although this is a great example of how AR can be used in entertainment. But that’s just the obvious augmented reality use. There’s more!
AR lenses can be integrated into messaging apps creating a more engaging user experience.
Apart from just fun, AR can solve real-life problems. The easiest example is real-world objects measurement without the usage of a traditional measurement tape. How do you like it?
#15 Cashless Payments
Have you seen already how random people use their phone to pay for the products? It is becoming a new standard for people. At some places, cashless payments became a preferable way of payment, like in China.
It means that developers should see this feature as a default option for their apps.
Along with new trends, new opportunities arise. Old trends either disappear or transform into something way more beautiful. UX/UI designers along with mobile developers create our present and future making our life easier, more secure and enjoyable.
With time some tasks that seemed to be impossible to completely change the way we see and behave in everyday lives.
If you are thinking of an app for your business or willing to improve the UX/UI of your existing app make sure to incorporate these latest mobile app design trends. Choose to stand out in 2018!