Mobile apps have become an indispensable part of the modern lifestyle. Most of the smartphone users have their devices loaded with numerous apps which serve different purposes. There are apps for banking, navigation, weather forecasting, online grocery shopping, ordering food, booking taxis... the list is literally endless. With such an incredibly large number of apps available for download, the competition in the mobile space extremely stiff. An app has to deliver something extraordinary to survive this competition and make a lasting impression on the users.
The core delivery parameters of a mobile application include the design and functionality. Primarily, it's the app design which keeps the user engaged and entices him to stick to it despite the myriad of available alternatives. Functionality comes second only to design as the user is likely to explore it only if he finds the design good enough to keep the app on his phone. While the app has to be designed to give an excellent user interface and experience, it should be in tune with the latest trends too.
Let's have a look at the innovative trends that are going to shape the design of mobile apps in 2017:
Material design is the trend which will rule the mobile app scenario this year too, like the last few years. This design structure has already been used in some major applications such as Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, and Google Drive. These designs integrate simple coloring and clear icons with increased functionality to give a better experience to the users. It has the classic flat design combined with improved features such as gradients, shadows, and glow visuals to make them more engaging and user-friendly. With these designs, there is plenty of scope for the designers to use their creativity and modify them. At the same time, there will be space for skeuomorphism, with the incorporation of real world elements in the basic flat structure.
The conventional click-and-surf navigation concept is going to make way for creative scrolling in 2017. In this context, the navigation buttons will be replaced with gestures. The new gesture-driven navigation is all set to improve the user experience, retention, and usability of the app. Additionally, these gestures will improve the speed and interaction as well as enable the app to be more focused on the content.
Another design trend that will rule the mobile applications space this year is that of card layouts. Cards perform the function of grouping related information in specific boxes so that it can be accessed conveniently with a single tap. Also, these cards offer remarkable ease in navigation with the easy swipe function. The layout improves the user experience and interaction by enabling them to reach the required information in a convenient manner. With these cards, they can sort and arrange the existing apps on their devices on the basis of their preferences.
Designs for Wearables
In 2017, mobile app designs will not only focus on smartphones but on wearables too. The reason is the increasing popularity of wearable devices as these are rapidly replacing smartphones. As more and more and more people are adopting smart wearables such as sports gadgets and fitness sensors, there is an increasing need for apps to be compatible with such devices. These apps will be designed keeping in mind the wearable-specific challenges, such as battery capacity and display size. All the smallest details such as text size, colors, and legibility will be taken into consideration to deliver the best wearable-compatible app design.
This year, mobile apps will incorporate interactive storytelling rather than rely on boring text alone. As video content is making waves on the internet, the mobile app market is also going to capitalize on this trend by including visual storytelling in their design. As a part of creative branding, these visuals are likely to engage the users and drive app sales too.
Use of subtle colors and white background has been in trend for mobile application designs for quite some time now, but 2017 is going to see a change, with brighter colors and darker background emerging as the new trend. The trending material designs use colors to define positions for specific elements. With this upcoming trend, mobile apps will give the users the flexibility to choose the background color based on considerations such as the time of the day.
In the past few years, app designs have been emphasizing layouts, navigation, and content type. In 2017, however, adaptive typography is going to be back, as it will go a long way to enhance the user experience. The focus will be on the font types, the spacing between the letters, and hierarchy between the headlines and paragraphs. The use of adaptive typography in designs is going to increase the legibility of the content, particularly if they are going to be run on small screen devices such as wearables.
Simplified User Interface
When it comes to designing mobile apps this year, things will be kept simple to the core for improving the user interface as well as experience. Elements such as a blank screen and outlined boxes for grouping related information will be included in the design. Hidden navigation is another design feature that can be incorporated for keeping the interface simple and uncluttered in appearance.
Attractive Presentation of Social Media Buttons
Social media makes up one of the biggest marketing channels for mobile applications, so it becomes imperative to give some extra attention to the presentation of social media buttons while designing the apps. With such eye-catching designs for these buttons, the app is likely to fetch more shares and gain popularity via social shares.
The design trends for mobile apps this year are going to be focused on making the apps more user-friendly, with improved interface and experience for the users. At the same time, these are aimed to make the app all the more interesting, exciting, and entertaining.