Mobile application design, like much of the digital world, sees trends come and go as technology evolves and users’ needs change. As the mobile world continues to expand and become a primary source of consumption, app developers should take note of improvements, trends, and developments in the mobile app industry.
In the past, the general idea was that the more visual elements a mobile application could bring to the table, the better. Every bit of white space was expected to be filled with something, whether it was text, gradient, color three-dimensional designs, or other design techniques that cluttered the device’s screen.
This year, however, the top trend in mobile app design has been simplicity. Designers have chosen to focus on clarity, rather than filling up the app space. The goal is to create a simple, visually appealing interface that is also tremendously user-friendly. This minimalistic design trend makes mobile apps seem cleaner, with fewer distractions, giving an overall better user experience.
2. Social Media
With the vast expansion of the mobile world comes an increase in social media app usage. Social media is accessible from virtually anywhere on mobile devices, so including elements from sites like Facebook or Twitter should be strongly considered during the design process.
For example, one highly recommended feature in mobile app development is to allow users to “sign in” using their Facebook or Twitter accounts. By placing a social media button within the app, designers give users a simpler approach to creating an account on the application and signing in in the future. This gives users an easier, more convenient and more pleasant experience.
3. Functional Animation
An eye-grabbing trend that has taken off this year is the use of functional animation. This design aspect uses motion to give users a more attractive and exciting experience within the mobile app. The animation may occur when the app opens or closes; for example when the device’s screen seemingly zooms into or out of the app’s icon. It may also occur within the app, as a page turning like a book’s animation when the user scrolls from tab to tab.
Functional animation often gives users the feeling that they are more in touch with their mobile device, or that they are more tech savvy in general. The motion should be just visual enough that users will notice it, but still subtle enough that they will not think about it much after it occurs. If it’s overdone, the app may lose its appeal and seem too saturated with movement.
4. Color Scheme
Similar to the idea of minimalism, the current trend in mobile app design is to keep a simple color scheme. Colors should subtly flow within the app, keeping users from being easily distracted. The simplicity of a more neutral or pastel color scheme helps the eyes to flow more naturally from one area of the app to the next.
A subtle color scheme is not only easier to follow, but it gives the app more of a modern look. Today, minimalism in colors seems to be a more effective and attractive trend.
In true futuristic fashion, one of the latest trends in the digital world is the implementation of wearable devices. Mobile device users can now purchase products like smart watches and smart glasses, which can connect to mobile devices and can be used to perform many tasks.
Application design trends on wearable devices are much simpler than those of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Wearables are much smaller, so their app design generally consists of necessities, like text messages, battery capacity, and some navigation.
Mobile applications, much like fashion, have trends that come and go. For the best outcome from users, be sure to keep up with mobile app design trends!