8 Relevant Trends in Mobile Application Design

In a world of continuous change and innovation, design trends emerge rapidly—along with new operating systems and devices. Although many trends come and go quickly, some have managed to stick around for the past few years. Today’s mobile design trends are breaking ground, influenced by technology, art, and culture.

Mobile UX & UI have never played a more important role than they do today, for large and small firms alike. For larger companies, mobile application design plays an essential role. As a part of a “mobile-first” strategy; companies aim to develop unique, mobile applications that deliver quality results to users.

“If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.”-Ralf Speth

After analyzing the latest trends in mobile application design, we picked out the eight most relevant.

  1. Smooth User InterfaceUser Interface (UI) should be one of the first things you consider when designing a mobile app. The more functional and flexible your app is, the better it is for users. Users today want a seamless design that enables them to use apps without any effort or confusion.
  1. Functional AnimationFunctional animation is subtle animation embedded in a UI design as part of the functionality of that design. Users enjoy it because it brings new levels of excitement when using an app. Animation should always serve a purpose and shouldn’t be used merely for aesthetics. There must also be a balance between form and function—animations shouldn’t do all the work. Functional animation is a great tool that can make your app stand out from competitors.
  1. Bigger Screen DesignsThe new generation has embraced larger smartphones and tablets. These large devices bring new challenges to designers that traditionally created interfaces for small devices. Larger screens change the way users hold devices, so it’s important to consider this when designing an app.For instance, some designers choose to concentrate all controls at the bottom of the screen. This way, users can use just one thumb without having to engage the other hand.
  1. Card Layouts, Swipe NavigationThe card layout trend began in 2014 and is still going strong. Users enjoy the card layout because it allows you to group information in outlined boxes—making them an entry point to more detailed information.  In addition, swipe is the most natural gesture these days. Users love the ease of swiping through stacks of cards to navigate through an app.
  1. Unique NavigationAnother trend among designers is making navigation unique, without giving up intuitiveness. Today, users have the option to choose the type of navigation they want to use in an app. Unique navigation improves UI by giving users the freedom to navigate vertically, horizontally, or even in a modular manner.
  1. OverlaysMore and more users today are using overlays. Overlays move users out of the application’s normal flow in seconds. It’s important to ensure that overlays don’t get in the way of the app’s functionality. They shouldn’t include too much detail; mobile app users don’t want to spend too much time learning how to use the app. When used appropriately, users become more engaged and interested in using your app.
  1. TypographyUsing the right font helps to differentiate between headlines and paragraphs. Designers today are challenged with implementing typography that is scalable, ensuring that apps fit every device regardless of the screen size. Whether using an iPad or wearing an Apple Watch, users appreciate being able to use the same apps.
  1. Fresh Color SchemesTraditional flat design made white backgrounds a trend. Today, more designers are using vibrant color schemes within their applications. Designers continue to experiment with light and dark palettes, depending on whether their users use their app during the day or at night.

User Interface design hasn’t changed much since last year. Overall, we are beginning to see simpler interfaces that aim to make users’ experiences as seamless as possible. Intuitive UI is critical to the success of your app. If you’re looking to design a new app or update an existing one, incorporating one or a combination of these trends will set you apart from your competition.

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Karie Barrett

Creative Development Director at QAT Global
is the Creative Development Director at QAT Global. She has over 20 years diverse marketing, design, and business experience. Karie is responsible for driving creative strategy and execution to develop and produce quality creative web and marketing solutions that meet internal and external client's business objectives and goals. @KarieBarrett

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