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To meet customer expectations, mobile apps should be designed with a better UI. The trends likely to stay in 2018 include the use of material, card design etc.
The Latest Design Trends In Mobile Apps To Rule In 2018
If the shift in design trends observed in mobile app development in the last few years is
anything to go by then 2018 is likely to see some changes to reflect the business reality of
the day as well. In fact, the changing dynamics of business in terms of growing
competition and shifting customer choices does not allow the mobile app developers to
breathe free. On the contrary, there is a constant clamour to come up with trendy designs
that not only spur the interest of customers but meaningfully engage them towards
Challenges faced by designers
The task of engaging customers in a meaningful way is easier said than done given the
entry of new devices with different screen sizes and resolutions every other day. In fact,
the presence of different kinds of devices - mobiles, phablets, and wearables have made
the task of designers that more difficult. This is due to the reason that designers have to
create layouts that fit across all screen sizes.
The complexity is further increased as the designs have to be navigable and user friendly.
Moreover, the display of info or images across screen sizes is a challenge of sorts, for
designers have to maintain the hierarchical structure by linking various sections and sub-
sections in the app to help the user move across sections in a seamless way.
Customer driven design trends
There is no denying that customers are becoming increasingly choosy and demanding
with each passing day, and do not want to settle for anything less that does not meet
their expectations. Upon installation of an app, every customer wants a unique
experience of faster loading, seamless browsing, quicker search and query solving. The
moment one of the above criteria is not met at the desired speed the engagement level of
the user reduces with a possibility of abandonment of the app. It is worth noting that
according to a survey carried out in 2017, about 24% of the users were found to have
used their apps only once post installation. Let us understand that it is not always the
limited bandwidth or ‘some’ technical reasons to blame for the slow loading of apps, for
faulty design also plays its part.
Adopt new design trends
Is this a worrying trend that developers and other stakeholders should be wary of, the
answer is a certain yes for it presents a challenge of pursuing mobile app development
with designs that are cutting edge, scalable, and most importantly, suitably engaging in
creating a rich and innovative user experience. Let’s discuss the fast evolving design
trends that you can incorporate while developing mobile apps.
Simpler yet effective designs: Instead of trying out many things in designing, it is
better to stick to the basics of using a minimal colour palette and a simple design
template. Use an array of colours that are vibrant but not garish. The interplay of colours
should be such that it leads to visual delight rather than visual fatigue. Thus, it is better
to use a diverse range of contrasting colours with suitable backgrounds and strike a
balance between creating a subtle skeuomorphic feel with shadows and depth and the
minimalistic appeal of a flat design. Of course, incorporating a personalized design
format based on the needs of the client would make for a better UI leading to a better
Material design in vogue: Among the many attributes of a mobile UI design trend are
the app icons, responsive grids, well defined styles and UI patterns. An attractive app
icon followed by an equally attractive style and UI offers the necessary visual delight for
users to garner interest in the app. And the best way to design an engaging app icon and
an attractive UI is by using Google’s material design.
Developed in 2014, the material design format has since been accepted by the designer
community for its flexibility, smart use of spaces, and the ability to add more features.
The quest to have a better UI leading to a better UX has led to the synthesis of material
and flat designs. This has come about as users seem to have a preference for icons that
show shadows, transcluent images, animation, and transition effects.
Custom illustration: By adding greater visual elements in the form of custom
illustration is one of the better ways of building brand identity and achieving user
engagement. The design approach brings about a greater responsiveness and connection
of the app icons with users. The visual appeal thus garnered is better at creating brand
awareness and in achieving brand recall.
Minimal outline: Since the ultimate aim of mobile app development is to generate a
better business revenue by leveraging the huge online user base, you ought to have
design elements that are unique and eye catching. To begin with, designing icons, grids
and layouts with a minimal outline can appear to be different in order to arouse user
interest. Also, since such a design takes a less amount of time and effort on your part it is
more cost effective as well.
A boost to card based design: The card based design came into vogue in 2014 when it
was felt that certain related functions can be grouped together and outlined separately
for easy user access and to garner a better UX. The need had arisen as it was observed
that users prefer functionality and quicker access to information over visual aesthetics.
Card layouts make the interface more interactive and dynamic and are easy to swipe –
just one tap on a card and you can access another one with additional but related
You have seen such layouts on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and
Tinder among others especially in segments where you have to create your profile. The
segment to create your profile (say in Facebook) shows the card based design wherein
you can fill all the relevant details in one place rather than having to visit other screens.
Thus, the ease of navigation and a quick access to information have made the card based
design a trending one.
Functional animation: Using a mobile app should be fun besides being interactive.
These aspects have been taken care of by using a motion app design or functional
animation. The aim of taking such an approach is to engage users in the interactive
process of navigation by adding elements of fun and entertainment in a logical way. One
can recall the example of the dating app, Tinder wherein the ‘left swipe to like and right
swipe to pass’ provides an engaging visual feedback to the users. The best thing about
this mobile UI design trendis that it can give designers/developers the design
architecture to run riot with creativity unlike in a material design format, and can be
used across devices and operating systems.
The year 2018 will see new design trends in mobile apps to make the user experience
more lively, functional, interactive, and engaging. It appears designers have their tasks
fully cut out to make the UI of mobile apps more engaging for users to take notice.
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