Marketing research data suggests that more than ¾ of the mobile retail sales are triggered by some of the most remarkably designed apps with a smooth and simple interface.
Are you one of those entrepreneurs who seek to enhance their brand image by taking their the mobile way, thereby generating traffic and revenues?
If yes, then you must know that there’s one rule that determines the success of your app:
“An ideal balance of UX/UI design is the first step to make your customers download your app and use your goods/services.”
And with things advancing quickly in the mobile space, you must have the foresight and prepare for new challenges around the corner. Every time a new innovative feature rolls out in an app, it’s time you work on your next big milestone before people replace you.
For everybody who’s in the race, I have compiled a list of biggest, impactful trends in mobile app user experience for 2018 and, most likely, beyond. Let’s focus and browse these highlights for next 10 minutes.
1. Going Effortless
When users interact with your app, one thing determines if they’ll come back the next time they need the same service: Effortlessness in use and Minimalistic Navigation. Let’s see what these two aspects are:
Effortless User Flow
Linear design experience is UX with a specific organisational hierarchy, a beginning, a middle, and an end. This allows the users to complete one action at a time with utmost focus. It allows users to keep a track of time that they’ll require completing the task.
The process of ordering food through Menulog is an example of linear user flow.
Progressive and Minimalistic Navigation
When your app requires a lot of instant actions and functions, there’s no need to show everything-all-at-once. Designers can use here a technique called progressive disclosure — make a step visible only when users come to it. Progressive disclosure has an opportunity to diminish comprehensive load and improve the cognitive interface.
Progressive disclosure gently introduces interface and features to users as they interact with an interface.
Here’s an example of user flow, using smart TV to access an app:
2. Minimalistic Colour Schemes
Colour is one of the most robust tools in the designer’s kit. Colour can capture a spectator, ignite a mood, influence users’ sentiments and trigger actions. When it comes to an app’s UX, this is undoubtedly the time of placating colours.
Mobile app design has a new trend in colour schemes for 2018 – minimalism. As users are being enchanted by the blend of subtle and simple colours in backgrounds, easy access to navigation, innovative scrolling and the predominance of bold and big fonts.
When the app has a lot of design elements with vigorous colour schemes, it may cause much-unwanted confusion for the user. Creating a minimalistic and unified colour element makes the whole experience much easier — just click, and you’re done! Those products which no longer apply distracting tinsel in their work will definitely move forward.
You might have already noticed that lots of your favourite applications have at least one common feature — they all choose one colour and a few of its shades.
Colours will be used not only for aesthetic appearances, but it’ll also be a part of the utility experiences. For instance, designers will use colour to distinguish between different notifications or even activities visually.
Here’s an example:
3. Entering the World of Gestures
The release of iPhone X has got designers new interactions and animations to get busy with, to keep up with the competition.
The absence of physical home button has led them to the realisation that even the most basic interactions with a device can be gesture-based and people are much more inclined towards them.
So, 2018 – the year of gestures it is!
Although Gestural Interfaces are known to be a step backwards. In usability, there are critical problems related to gesture-based interactions such as discoverability and learnability issues. In attempt to solve those problems, the designs will be more focused on motion design and microinteractions.
4. Make It About Content
It’s not a surprising fact that 60% Consumers feel more positive about a brand after consuming content from it.
A 2016 survey from PwC indicated that 45% of the online buyers prefer reading reviews, feedback and other content while buying online.
Well-curated and easily accessible content is what makes a mobile app appealing to its intended users.
The main focus should be on following things:
- Removing visual clutter and improving comprehension is a popular goal among many UX designers today. Designers remove irrelevant information (noise) and prioritize relevant information (signal) by putting content first and elaborating clear visual language.
- Have a clear order with how UI elements are displayed to make content comprehension easier. Strong visual indicators like vibrant colours and call-to-actions can be used to direct the user to certain interactive elements or essential information.
With iPhone X and other similar design launches in the market, frameless design became a trend. More screens space is available for users to use and they expect to have a wiser usage of it.
A full-screen experience with top-quality assets will have a direct impact on user expectations for your app. Pictures must not appear pixelated on a mobile screen.
5. Emoticonising the Expressions
Expressing emotions is becoming a natural priority for people. Using emoticons has been a powerful way to add a tone and voice to a statement. Emotional intelligence is not just making an app journey fun but making it more interactive and intelligent to use.
Seeing more of emotional intelligence integrated into the mobile experience is something strongly anticipated for the year.
Face recognition can be used to give more appropriate reactions.
More concern on gestures will transform the way we interact with apps. For example, capturing a happy face for a feedback and giving a similar reaction. This might just go a long way in establishing lasting connections.
6. Video Formatting
Look at some of the stats on video consumption patterns of the web users:
- One-third of all web activities is spent watching videos
- Every day 100 million people watch at least one online video
- The average internet user is exposed to an average of 32.2 videos in a month
These statistics make it hard to overlook the significance of using videos in your online marketing endeavours.
With average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000, to eight seconds in 2015, a video can be a great way to prolong this time. Formats like 360-degree videos and Facebook Live are successful execution of this format. In 2018 more users and business will use this format to deliver essential and timely information.
You could use a tutorial video for user’s better understanding or a mini-video in place of a lengthy paragraph in your app. For an ecommerce app, you can use video representations or usage of your products.
“The elegance of making a video is that you are making it easier for the viewer to be exposed to the message you are trying to convey.”
Or simply put, “Give your users the biggest information in the shortest amount of time.”
7. Augmented Reality
Another revolutionary trend which promises to completely change the way we see and use apps is the fast emergence of augmented reality (AR). With the phenomenal success of Pokemon go and Furniture apps like IKEA, it’s obvious that 2018 will be a year of AR.
Here is the market cap of AR for the upcoming years:
In 2017 both Apple and Google released AR frameworks that allow building AR apps much easier, so even smaller businesses can think of making tremendous progress with an AR app.
IKEA AR app is a perfect epitome of the fact that AR is fast becoming a thing that solves real-time problems and delivers value to users. It makes it possible to measure the real-world elements without a physical measurement and get a better picture of the scene before actually creating one.
8. Biometric Authorization
A traditional login requirement is sometimes prone to security breaches and thefts. With biometrics, all that’s needed is a specific physiological or behavioural characteristics, which make your login more secure and authentic.
There are three major ways to Biometric Authorization:
People today use biometric authentication as an alternative to passwords.
According to Apple, an iPhone user unlocks device 80 times per day, and 89% use Touch ID for unlocking on an average. This trend is soon going epidemic.
In 2018 biometrics will be more accessible and we’ll see more use of biometrics for authentication and identity management processes. It’s something that can also enhance security for businesses that use this technology for their mobile apps.
So, we’ll be using the most secure and easy to use way for authentication— our faces. Face ID in iPhone X has the opportunity to become the most prominent way of authentication in the upcoming year. So you better be gunning for it.
9. Interactive Design
People have become more of conversationalists, which is why chatbots and voice-assistants work wonderfully for certain companies. AI already being one of the hot trends in the mobile app to cause disruption in 2018, will foster activation of more and more chatbots and voice-recognition technology to engaging with customers.
Although GUI experience is not entirely replaceable by voice assistant, the shift will be significant once they get integrated into messaging platforms. Businesses will have real-time automated conversations with their customers.
Google and Siri are the two influential voice-assistants, after which in 2014, Echo, Amazon’s voice-controlled device was launched. Amazon Echo and the associated Alexa application today is used globally. The device has the potential of voice interaction, playback music, creating to-do lists, setting alarms, streaming videos and podcasts, and giving weather, traffic and other real-time reports.
It’s easy to observe here why the next big thing for coming years will be voice-activated assistants. Voice-activated interactions enhance the UX by removing the typing overhead, which is another huge source of friction for app users.
10. Advanced Usabilities
Location Based Services
Since mobile devices move with the users, your app can utilise location data to offer content which is relevant to user’s location. This makes services more accessible and interactive to the environments around them. An entrepreneur’s guide to geofencing is something that will help you in this scenario.
Many retail apps have already utilised this property to provide special offers and discount for the users near their stores. In 2018 we’ll see more apps use those capabilities to make the experience better.
Personalisation in UI design isn’t only about showing, it’s also about making adjustments. For example, some users might have poor eyesight; others might be colour blind. So why not create customisable UI for these people to change as required?
This can be achieved by using data already provided by the user using device sensors. Accordingly, apps can determine if the larger font size is required, or it’s needed to make sounds louder or lower when playing video content.
Getting the right app UX design becomes even more critical for startups and small businesses as it will be your potential customer’s first impression of your brand. In other words, a UX might just be enough to decide if your ship is going to sink or sail.
If your app feels clunky, your first impression is falling at the first hurdle.
No matter how influential the idea behind your mobile app, it will never work if people are not making value out of it.
So, look out for the proficient mobile app developers around you and get going with the best advice on the app UX you just picked.