Apps are taking on a bigger and more important role in our lives, that’s why their designs evolve in a way that reflects on how we use and interact with them. One commonality we see in apps today is that they are way more vibrant, polished and much more immersive. We see inspiration in some going back in time and looking more retro and pixelated, incorporating in them a strong sense of nostalgia. That’s why UI design is essential, how your app looks is an important part of your whole brand's identity. Here we will briefly explore some of the trends in app design.
Something that has been in digital product design for a long time, their evolution in the last couple of years has been truly impressive. Sometimes an illustration can feel more organic and eye-catching than a photograph. When we give our users images that feel organic, the environment of our app feels comfortable and familiar. They can grab even more attention from our users if they are animated, they can bring our products or services to life. This in turn will invite the user to interact with them more.
The effect of colors on us is long and well documented. As our phones have better and better displays, capable of a wider range of colors, so have our appetites for more saturated colors increased. Colors like purple, blue, pink and other neon colors appear to be the ones that are increasingly standing out. Colors that don’t appear much (or at all) in nature, ones that can only be made by us. They convey a sense of optimism and future, in sharp contrast to more earthy colors like brown or green.
Some trends tend to come back by purpose and are not just fads, like old-fashioned typography. In a more simplistic oriented design, bold but stylish fonts are a good way to emphasise the main idea behind your app. If we could suggest a specific style it would be to follow Bauhaus traditions from the 60’s style banners.
More traditional (template) layouts are definitely on the decline. When used in the right way a symmetrical layout can add a lot of distinctiveness and character to your design. There are a ton of options and opportunities, and the room to be creative here is endless. Keep in mind what your user needs, if you get it wrong the people can feel lost and frustrated, not something we would want.
Even the most basic smartphones today support AR, and their usage will become a part of our daily reality. Most major tech companies are investing untold amounts of capital into AR development, and it will grow exponentially in the next few years. Strengthened by ARCore from Google and AEKit from Apple, UI designers can use a blended reality approach so their layouts are much more functional. There are endless ways we could innovate by incorporating AR into our app design, and we should be ready to do so.
Storytelling in UX terms means providing your users with structured and engaging information based on a sequence of actions. Not just bare descriptions, as that is not the best way of keeping your users attention and will not lead to profitable user flow. It’s about transferring data to your users in the most creative and best possible way. We could do this with cleverly copywriting, intermixed with some illustrations, high-quality photos, bold colors and interactive elements. Storytelling helps with making a mark on your user and establishes your brand in a more memorable way.
When we analyze what the new trends are in design we have to take into consideration other factors and not just the visual component. The needs of our users, their emotional state and how we can make things more convenient for them comes heavily into play. We will see some trends come back, and some will only expand and grow, like more interactive elements in our applications. Apps will become more data-driven and personalized so they can cater to each individual in the best way. We have to keep this in mind when we are designing our app, it has to be flexible or it will not succeed.
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