More than 2,5 billion people on Earth have smartphones and use them heavily every day. We spend about 4 hours a day staring at the screen. Curious fact but each person has three favorite apps used most frequently. The leaders among them are Facebook, Youtube, WhatsApp, Instagram, Uber, Gmail and Pinterest and many more like Yelp, Snapchat, Candy Crush, Pandora, and others. You can see more ratings here.
So how to make sure your new app wins howling success and not a total wreckage? The answer is in sleek and custom User Experience. We have heard this from the digital evangelists for thousands of times but do we completely realize this?
“Based on the new data, we can see that the average app loses 77% of users within the first 3 days after the install,” says Andrew Chen, Mobile Growth specialist at Uber.
So let us have a look at the top UI/UX trends for mobile design which I think will rule in the year 2017.
1. Interactive Onboarding (Walkthrough)
Bright and simple walkthrough - the app presentation between installing the app and logging in - has become a trend already and looks like a stable tendency for the future. The main purpose of this onboarding is to explain the app and how to use it in the easy to grasp way. This is really useful and makes the user’s life easier. Animations, demonstrating images and brief text descriptions come to help here. We used Airbnb and Dropboxas examples here.
2. Card-Based User Interfaces
Cards suddenly broke into the mobile world and took root. Basically, cards are small containers for the information pieces with each card having its own independent content. The contents can vary greatly: images, texts, links, etc. while the cards are united under one main topic. Cards are one of the cornerstones of the Material Design guidelines and their thorough and in-depths analysis inspires confidence in this approach. Want to learn more about the cards? Have a look at the Google manual. You can also read more about the cards here.
3. Bye, Bye Burger Menu Icon!
We wanted the best, you know the rest. In 2015 burger menu was a real trend aiming to simplify the screen and remove all the excessive elements and we can still find it in various services. The experience, however, shows the designers overdid it with the burger menu and we are witnessing a reverse trend now.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter are spectacular examples of moving from a “hamburger” menu to a bottom tab bar in iOS apps and to the bottom bar in Android apps. Hiding the tabs important for the interaction with the app did not turn our to be a good user experience solution. You can read more in the articles by lukew, Sebastian Lindemann, Zoltan Kollin.
4. Mobile UI Animations And Motion Design
How can we do without animations? Each designer would ask this question and will be completely right about it. Animation in mobile apps got now the honorary title of a unique and really appealing element of the quality user experience. Keep in mind that animations should never be feckless and the illusions of transformation and movement should serve a clear purpose.
Animation by Tubik Studio.
5. Custom-made Illustrations
Custom-made illustrations are one of the best ways to add your personal touch, express your uniqueness and make users remember you. Such custom illustrations are really time-taking (I know this very well myself) and demand really high skills but the results are worth the efforts. Besides vector illustrations help create SVG images, i.e. the images which are easily loaded, modified and adapted (one image is enough for high-resolution displays). This becomes more and more trendy among the designers from all over the world, just go to dribbbleto see it yourself.
6. Subdued Color Contrast
We all know about the contrast, do we? The colours should be bright and rich, the texts should be readable. But how can one choose between horribly deep colours or nice pastel tones? We think it is high time for soothing colours. This is especially important for news and informational apps which suppose reading or longtime visual integration.
Image from coolors.co.
7. More photos
We need more photos in the mobile apps design! With tastefully chosen photos you can easily create beautiful and meaningful apps. In an app for tourists, we use backgrounds with famous cities and architecture sites. In a restaurant app - photos of the restaurant itself and the delicious meals cooked there. Usually, you do not have to invent the wheel, the goods are selling themselves. Resonating with the users from the very first moments of their visual perception is so simple and great at the same time!
8. Volume in Mobile Design
And in conclusion, one of my favorite elements of wowable design. Usually, we can achieve volume effects with the play of light, drop shadow, and contrast. Images on the different perception levels add depth to the flat picture and look strikingly great.
A really useful Mobile Design Essentials Workshop from Google.
Summing it up
Will my predictions turn out to be true or false? We will face 2017 in about six weeks and see then! There will surely be lots of new trends and mobile design hacks and designers will fight their challenges of creating head-turning UI and making users happy. And this is what we should always keep in mind - no matter how trendy your mobile design is, all the efforts were useless if the app does not answer its purpose and users do not feel happy with it. So let us make our users happy and our apps even more perfect in 2017!