Trends are changing at a rapid pace. What is a trend today might be horribly outdated in a matter of few months. Designers often have a hard time keeping pace with trends. In a bid to look cool, designers often blindly emulate trends without applying any thought or analyzing business objectives.
So what should you do?
As interactive designers, we should focus on improving user experience and engagement levels, and ultimately improving bottom-line results.
With that said, here are top three Mobile App UX and UI trends that will define the year 2015.
1. Material Design
Gone are those primitive days of less screen space, frustratingly slow internet connection, and isolated features. Fast forward today, everything boils down to user experience.
Smartphones and mobile devices today epitomize speed and power. Just like smartphones have evolved—approach to mobile app design has also witnessed a paradigm shift.
Google’s new Material design is a natural progression of Apple’s flat design. With this new concept Google adopts the idea of a reduced design, but manages to create visual hints. In Google’s material design, surface and shadow establish a physical structure to explain what can be touched and what can move.
There is a shift in focus with greater attention to typography which is gaining prominence in UX. The presence of shadows and parallax scrolling provide a refreshing change from the overused flat design.
Apple went overboard with the goal of minimalism and knocked off actionable elements in its entirety.
2. Cards Layout
With hundreds and hundreds of mobile apps releasing every day, very few apps stand tall among the crowd and attract our attention. While some apps represent information in a new way, some apps reinvent the wheel.
One such existing layout that is gaining popularity is the Cards layout. Be it simplicity, ease-of-use, or brevity, cards are soon becoming a buzzword.
Today’s savvy mobile users do not like to navigate through layers of information and need information at a tap. These cards provide quick facts and figures at a glance about services, news, products and more.
What is weather today? Is my train running late? — With cards, you get answer to these questions with simple visual cues rather than complex and difficult to digest visual interfaces.
These cards come to quick rescue in weather apps where some apps have animations, visuals, and throw more information. If the user wants detailed information, they can simply tap/click on the card for more information regarding the selected card. Definitely a trend for 2015!
Many experts in the design world went loggerheads about flat design vs. skeuomorphism. Battle between the two styles is rather complex and refuses to die.
The all-new flat approach seems a conservative swing away from gradients, glossy, candy coated buttons and drop shadows– often blatantly boring for designer. While 2014 witnessed flattening of Internet and mobile apps, skeuomorphic design is far from dead.
However, stereotype ‘Apple Skeuomorph’ design using complicated elements with textures to create that illusionary real-world feel is certainly a passé.
Though skeuomorphism seems heavily outdated, it still holds many benefits unique to its philosophy. And is very much alive and kicking.
But it has changed a lot.
The year 2015 will see designers giving a new spin to skeuomorphism with skeuominimalism. It is combining minimalism of flat design with the instinctiveness of skeuomorph. This end result is flat, minimalist icons conveying information in easy to understand manner using real world objects.
Probably skeuomorphism is just waiting for the flat design bubble to bust. Who knows, 2015 could be the year.
2015 will be a helluva year for mobile app design, as a few seemingly conflicting concepts that have gained impetus during 2014 will have to coexist. It is all about giving a spin and intelligently combining contradictory concepts to provide an enjoyable experience for users across diverse platforms. Designers should aspire to embrace differences to ultimately strengthen application.
Most of the design trends discussed above are inspired by the fact that designers are becoming more aware of the strengths and limitations of mobile devices and how their users interact with them.
Good design will help you stand out in the sea of apps, so think carefully about what fits your needs the best. What other design trends do you think we will be seeing often in 2015? Let’s discuss in the message box below.