Where can we imagine ourselves now without mobile apps? They are practically in every facets of life and they are irreplaceable. Most of our favorite apps retained the same look for more than a year except a few superficial changes. Now as the 2016 is knocking at our door, we can expect them to boast an altogether new look and a new approach in making themselves useful for the user. In conformity with the already ripening and budding designs that continued to rise in popularity for some time, we have discussed here 5 mobile app design trends that are likely to rock 2016 and beyond.
1. More use of animation
Earlier smartphone users used to have a static app experience than today. As the gap between mobile and high end desktops and laptops is increasingly being bridged with new technology the web and app experience designed for these devices can now handle more dynamic elements than before. The increasing use of animation in mobile web and apps provides a testimony to this.
- Animations can improve visual experience of the app to several degrees.
- Animation used contextually can be great to enhance functional user experience.
- Animation is the intuitive way of suggesting features, functional aspects and menu of contents.
- Animation can make people visually engaged and reduce the boredom while something like download, scanning or page loading is taking time.
2. Going beyond flat design with more depth and weight
Flat design in web and mobile apps has been phenomenally successful and it still continues. But being the most adopted design principle for two consecutive years, we can assume that the heyday of flat design is over. Google tweaked it with material design by incorporating more depth. Even most ardent followers of flat design are now keen on incorporating a little bit of weight and depth to give a lively feel. So, in 2016 flat design is not going to be absolutely flat.
- The minimalistic approach of flat design is still uncontested but designers will continue to add new elements to it.
- On the so called flat screens by creating depth around objects more of a physical visual experience can be created.
- By use of transparency and layers a sense of depth can be incorporated to the visuals.
- Creating moveable objects within flat grids the design can offer life to it.
3. Introducing force touch
Force touch after being introduced as a latest touch input technology in iPhone 6s and 6s plus has rapidly took the attention of app designers. With force touch being incorporated into active design elements an app user can provide input with any button and control by pressing any region on the screen just with different degree of pressure. Stronger press and normal touch will fetch can fetch different responses from the app. Obviously in 2016 this device feature will be used in more number of apps for higher responsiveness.
- A stronger press or force touch can help the user access a shortcut to a function or say the home page.
- Force touch in future will help apps and devices to avoid a dedicated home button.
- It will add more sensitivity and usability of the apps.
4. Swipe sideways in scrolling will be more popular
Swiping and scrolling sideways has become popular with a whole range of apps and responsive websites these days. Actually this adds to the ease of navigation as people holding mobile devices in their palm feels it more convenient to scroll sideways.
- It can make the app more user-friendly by offering users more control on the user experience.
- Latest design trends like the slideshows and storytelling goes well with this type scrolling.
- It offers a new twist by breaking the convention of vertical scrolling.
5. Enjoyable and playful design
The fun element in many apps make users come back to your app. A simple, eye catchy design with some playful elements make the app enjoyable rather than only useful. In 2016, we are going to see more focus on these quirky elements in app design.
- Simplicity, ease of use and clarity are the basic factors to make a design enjoyable.
- Secondly, design elements should draw attention at a glance and enjoy higher user engagement.
Juned Ahmed is a founder and digital marketing lead at IndianAppDevelopers Company, a pioneer and leading global provider of android app developers for hire. Juned specializes in social media content, community engagement and lead management strategy.