Due to the very nature of the mobile industry, user interface design is constantly evolving to keep up with the preferences of its users. A mobile app is not only the vehicle to deliver content, but it is also a means to deliver exceptional experiences to the end-users. In the mobile app development industry, the need for faster, more powerful, and attractive apps are unswervingly on the rise. The ever-transforming boundaries of mobile app experiences are thus set to influence amazing innovations for mobile app design. In this article we explore the big trends that surfaced in 2018 and forecast the must-look-out-for mobile user interface designs shaping up this year’s UI.
As with trends of any nature, some will come and go, and others stay and become fundamentals. As UI design keeps changing its scope, these 6 trends discussed in this article will help create an app that is for the 2019 and beyond.
1. Neutral interfaces
Many UI designers are making a conscious decision to pull back on decorative elements and embellishments to give more prominence to the content. The neutral interfaces allow content-first layouts to give prominence to the actual content, thus helping the user digest the information without any distractions.
Whilst stripping away the interface to an almost invisible level brings a lot of benefits, it also poses a new set of challenges for the app designers to overcome. As we have seen with neutral designs, one of the biggest issues designers faced was the inherent loss of character, which could potentially hinder a truly memorable user experience. Designers have utilized typography to bring back some of that character and to differentiate apps from one another by making them stand out in the market.
2. Gesture based interfaces
With the rise of the ‘edgeless’ mobiles and the release of buttonless smartphones, new age mobile app designers are facing a new set of obstacles as well as opportunities to rethink their future creations. The lack of a physical Home buttons in Google, Samsung and Apple meant even the most basic interactions with a device are gesture-based now. This advancement also meant that now there is a larger screen and more space for the interface to occupy.
In 2018, we witnessed the up rise of in-app gestures that is dramatically transforming mobile user interface design to appear more modern, sleeker and even more effective. In-app gestures are now being used to speed up common interactions and when the required gesture is not the most obvious, a simple animation resembling the movement would do the trick. On Instagram for example, the user is able to double tap the image to “like” content instead of pressing a button.
3. Augmented reality
Much like chatbots, another direction which promises to completely alter the way users engage with apps is the fast emergence of augmented reality. In 2019, UI designers will be required to think outside the box to enable users to use their mobile phones as lenses into a virtual world where they can interact with the real world via an app.
Augmented reality is also able to address another barrier of online shopping, the inability to test a product out before buying it. For example, this technology could allow for the customers try on and see how clothes look on them before purchasing which could make online shopping just that much more convenient and interactive.
4. Animated Visuals
Even though we live in a fast-paced environment, the ability to stay focused has improved overtime, but the audience is more particular about the content they choose to consume and engage with, as reported by Prezi’s 2018 State of Attention report. The use of animated visuals has shown to be an effective method for keeping the audience engaged throughout their user experience journey. A great example of this is the influx of animated visual content on social media which has replaced the more traditional written content. Many brands are opting to use short and precise videos to retain their audience’s attention, as opposed to long captions. For mobile UI designers, videos or animations are becoming a more appealing way to deliver important and timely information.
5. Face ID
Face ID, one of the hottest trends of 2018 added to the UI design toolbox is predicted to grow in popularity in 2019 as well. Face ID is currently used to enable users to unlock their phones bypassing traditional login requirements. This however seems to only be the beginning of what this technology can bring to the table.
Face ID technology is able to negate the need to remember all your passwords since pins and passwords will no longer be required to log in creating a more seamless user flow. Furthermore, it is also able to address issues of security for its users when used correctly. Concept apps such as PaperFace by Rashid Sharif utilizes the technology to sign in to authenticate and sign legal documents such as lease agreements, illustrating that Face ID can boost security for both users and businesses that incorporate this technology into their mobile apps. It is predicted that in 2019 more UI designers will incorporate this technology into ecommerce app design as well.
Online shopping is not a marvel of 2018, but it does pose an interesting set of barriers when being translated from being a very traditional tactical interaction to a completely online interaction. During the process of online shopping a customer might need guidance but may not be able to locate the “contact us” button, or the response could take too long, which would result in being a major barrier to a sale. However, designs that can take advantage of artificial intelligence such as chatbots, as assistants, having real-time automated conversations with their customers can help convert visitors into customers. Chatbots, therefore, when utilized properly could improve the user interface tremendously, even though the appearance of a chatbot can vary depending on your mobile users’ interface.
In conclusion, the boundaries of mobile app experiences are constantly evolving to keep up with the fast transformations in the mobile industry. As technology evolves, we’re expecting to see even more exciting innovations that will influence mobile app design trends in the upcoming year. Despite our fast-paced everyday life, research has shown that the end users are more focused than ever, especially when the content is presented in an innovatively engaging way and more secure way. These are the 6 hottest trends in mobile UI design that will help make your mobile app stand out in the market.