Are you a mobile app designer or developer? Are you on a lookout for the latest design and development trends to get introduced? Well, there is actually nothing absolutely new yet, except few changes in approach and some old elixirs of design put into new context! Well, even though these trends are not as new as an alien life on earth, they deserve the attention of mobile app developers just because they would help you fine-tuning your design focus. Here below we picked 7 such trends every mobile app designers should know about now.
1. Blurred background overlapped with interesting typeface
The blurred backgrounds became a trend in many web apps and websites recently. While the background is blurred, the overlapping eye catchy text with large typeface and CTA buttons offer it a smart first look. It works because of sleek, clutter-free and functionally optimized look and feels. Mobile app developers willing to achieve a stunning look can find this design trend useful. Maintaining the right balance between frontal typeface and background image is crucial here. Want to design your app with the same element? Well, follow the below-mentioned principles.
- Maintain uniqueness with never used images and overall look and feel
- Maintain the balance between visually striking and pleasing
- Always chose images that have a relation with app purpose or context
- Do not make it too blurred so that it is not recognized at all
- Make the front text and button as simple as possible, avoid clutter at all cost.
2. Rich microinteractions
Microinteractions are almost everywhere around the web. When a task is completed you are notified with a beep sound or when something gets downloaded an animated loading icon arrives allowing you o see the progress of the download. These are small interactive elements but without the user’s knowledge, they add value to the user experience. Facebook ‘Like’ is a great example of successful microinteraction that allowed branding. To allow designing microinteractions in a more device optimized way now sophisticated device-level capabilities are also helping. The new 3D touch capability in some smartphones is a nice example of that. Do you want to design microinteractions that help to elevate the UX? Well, keep these principles in mind while designing microinteractions.
- Offer microinteractions that fit user context perfectly
- Make it simple, intuitive and meaningful
- Make use of device capability
- Follow established conventions to avoid incomprehension
3. Interactive storytelling
Interactive and visual storytelling is continuing to be popular across the web and native apps. Besides engaging audience quickly it allows robust maneuvers for branding as well. Captivating and appealing visual effects apart, such storytelling design must orient the user with the app contextually. It is all about presenting a UI more meaningfully for the users to appreciate and engage with the app.
- Push users with optional interactive buttons within graphic interface
- Make use of robot conversation to know user preference and offer interaction accordingly
- Avoid long and dense block of texts
- Present information with visual elements as much as possible
4. A bit of skeuomorphism with flat design
Can you name the most formidable design trend that lasted for more than three years? Well, all of us can instantly that it is none other than flat design. But from last year even flat design began to evolve. Even though we still agree with the effectiveness and visual appeal of this design, the good old ‘flat’ design no longer looks so flat now. A little bit of skeuomorphic elements like gradients and shadows or color hierarchy is paving the way for more meaningful applications within the flat design. Google started this change with Material Design and it continued to evolve since then.
- Appropriate use of gradients and shadows over and above flat design can add depth
- Skeuomorphic design elements should be used partially only where it is purposeful
- Avoid using these elements too liberally as that can actually make the benefits of flat UI missing
- Use gradients, shadows and other real-world elements for visual hierarchy and CTA buttons
5. Scrolling given creative punch
Which were merely experiments with scrolling now became established design trends. Yes, various scrolling techniques are now used in web apps for definite purposes, not just to create visual appeal. Scrolling is a crucial element for app onboarding experience and naturally, you should be considerate about your audience and UX while introducing a new type of scrolling. Just mind the below-mentioned principles for using creative scrolling.
- To choose among parallax, infinite and horizontal scrolling, your app objective and desired effect will be important
- For animation rich, interactive and visual storytelling Parallax scrolling is ideal
- For content-rich single page web apps infinite scrolling can be a good choice
- For showing visual grids, slides, catalog of products or for contents requiring large visual area, horizontal scrolling can be ideal.
6. Typeface playing bigger role more than ever
Fonts are themselves visual elements and from creative use of fonts in advertisements, media and packaging, the web and mobile interfaces learned a lot. Well, fonts are not a just whimsical visual choice. They represent a psychology and mindset. Moreover, fonts are considered and chosen in combination with other elements like design layout, theme, color scheme, audience, app focus, etc. Here are the key principles for making a difference with typeface in design.
- Choice of typeface should draw attention to the content, not to itself. It should mean ‘look at this’, not ‘look at me’.
- You can use different typefaces only to make visual hierarchy
- Do not use too unconventional fonts unless it is absolutely necessary. Sticking to the convention, you are at least safe to avoid visual blunders.
7. More independent design for wearable
Wearable devices are booming, most notably smartphones. Until now, apps for wearable devices have been designed as Bluetooth connected apps to work only in relation to their mobile counterparts. Well, soon with the introduction of Wi-Fi capacity in a smartwatch, the apps will be able to connect to the web independent of mobile apps. As for designers, wearable apps demand grittier, technically demanding skill set to design for the small screen with all the features and ease of use intact. Consider these principles for wearable app design.
- Wearable apps are not stripped off, smaller versions of mobile apps
- While visual coherence and branding elements of the must be there in both versions, wearable should have unique attributes specific to the interface
- For wearable size and friendliness to gesture and touch input matters a lot since the screen is much smaller here
While mobile app design is continuously evolving, the above-mentioned trends seem to hold enough promise to stay popular for months to come. App design is becoming more creatively demanding and so, even within these trends, we can expect new creative bursts and offshoots.