5 Mobile App Design Trends to Watch in 2016

Like all digital design trends, mobile app design trends change rapidly. Here are 5 app design trends that app designers should know for the year ahead.

Like all digital design trends, mobile app design trends change rapidly. Since the first apps hit the market, the technology that powers them and the apps themselves have changed a lot. Today’s trends mirror web design trends, as the two often go hand in hand. Today we see a huge shift in app design, making use of the highest levels of power that devices are offering. Today’s smartphones are as powerful as computers were just a few years ago, and for this reason apps have become increasingly powerful to keep up with the more advanced options this power provides. This has led to the rise of several mobile app design trends that have come into prominence today.

Pastel Color Palettes
In the last few years we have seen a shift toward pastel color palettes. Browns, dark reds, blues and beige are prominently seen in the backgrounds of some of the most popular apps today. Even apps that don’t use pastel color palettes still use other subtle palettes. These types of colors allow for the interfaces within the app to stand out, and are great at not drawing attention away from important app features.

Animation-Heavy Designs
In the early smartphone days, apps were much more static than they are today. As smartphones have become increasingly powerful, apps have made use of this with increasing use of animation in their design. Although animations do improve the experience visually, they also serve a functional user experience purpose. They can provide insight into what certain features are doing. In example, an app that scans your phone for malware that includes a 0%-100% animated bar meter will catch the eye of the user and help them understand how far along in the scanning process they are.

In the last few months we have seen a heavy trend shift toward wearables. The Apple Watch is the most obvious of these new devices, but many companies have released their own smartwatches and other competitors in the wearable space. Google has gone as far as to test out Google Glass, a pair of glasses that includes small screens within the lens of the glasses. With many mobile app design companies predicting the rise in mobile wearables in the future, apps have slowly started to accommodate these devices with less-busy screens and quicker, one-tap actions.

Quirky and Playful
Oftentimes, the biggest factor in whether or not a user comes back to your app after their first use is whether or not they enjoyed it. Did it provide them with some value? Was it simple to understand? How did using the app make them feel? This had led to apps targeting a full experience for the user with many designers opting for a quirky and playful feel to their app designs. Try to make your app fun for the user and they will be more likely to come back and use it again.

More Swiping and Side-Scrolling
Another recent trend in mobile app design is the increased usage in swiping and side-scrolling. Extremely popular apps like Tinder have built swiping into the main functionality of their entire app, and other apps have followed suit as well. Creative use of the swiping and side-scrolling features can make your app very user-friendly and give your users more control over the experience. Other gestures, such as Peek and Pop with iPhone & iPad’s new 3D Touch, are also becoming more popular as major app platforms like Apple and Android continue to improve and add to the ways we can interact with apps too. App designers have to stay on top of these trends so they know how to design an app with a UX that is intuitive and works the way users will expect it to.

If you want to work with a custom mobile app company and app designers that understand the current mobile environment and can help your company release an app that is in line with the current trends, contact us today to schedule your initial, 100% risk-free consultation. We’ll take your idea for a company app, make suggestions on how its design could be improved, and outline a general design for the app before moving forward. Mobile is the future, and with the proper steps you can ensure that your company is at the forefront of that future.

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