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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.

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the latest design trends in mobile apps to rule

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 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

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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