There is no denying that app design continues to evolve and improve as new technologies become available. Increased memory capacity, CPU performance, and general hardware design mean our devices can do much more today than they did even just a few years ago.
Everything from office productivity apps all the way through to gaming and virtual reality apps are all seeing massive progress. What are the current trends in mobile app design, however?
Of course, predicting design trends is always a risky business. What is clear is that mobile app design is becoming increasingly important as users continue to switch from using desktops to using mobile devices instead.
Possibly the most exciting development in mobile app design is VR, or virtual reality, and AR, augmented reality. AR and VR are not new by any means, but advances in hardware technology make it possible to use them in a wider range of applications.
While there are still some who believe VR and AR will remain a niche market, the power of modern mobile devices has led to new investments in the technology, with many predicting AR and VR will become much more widely used than they are now.
Nintendo’s Pokémon Go AR game is a good example. While its popularity has decreased, it was an unprecedented success. In fact, few predicted that an AR game like Pokémon Go would capture the imagination and do so well. In fact, its success is leading others to pursue AR and VR projects.
Focus on User Experience
App designers are becoming increasingly focused on user experience. It is important to make a distinction between user experience (UX) and user interface (UI), however, as they are two very different things, despite common misconceptions.
UI is about the visual appearance of an app while UX is more about usability and how the app makes users feel.
This is important as today’s app users prefer simple and uncluttered apps that are easy to use and have useful functionality. In most cases, it is the content of the app that is of most interest to a user, not fancy graphics or indulgent typography.
Colour and UI
Colour theory is another element of mobile app design that you need to consider. The current trend is for calming pastels and gradients.
As we hear more stories of people taking a break from their smartphone and tablet to get “off-grid”, it is important for app designers, business owners, and tech leaders to discover why so many people now view their phones as having a negative impact on their life. While colours and other visual elements are not the solution, making apps aesthetically appealing will always be important.
Wearable Tech and the Internet of Things
On the surface, it may seem the wearable device trend hit its peak with the Apple Watch. However, it may not be done yet.
In fact, it’s predicted that, by 2019, 200 million wearable devices will be sold. This will impact the app design industry in several ways. For example, many app developers and app owners will need to think about how their apps can be used on smaller screens. In addition, wearable devices will create opportunities for new apps, concepts, business models, and ideas.
No-one really knows what the future holds for app design, but it is an exciting time, not least because technology is advancing at such a breath-taking pace. Knowing the latest trends will help you stay ahead of the curve.