Did you know that more than three-quarters of all users will open a specific app once and never come back to it again? Today’s mobile user has high expectations from a mobile app, whether it’s ease of use, short loading times and a fun and interactive user experience that limits the number of individual actions needed to complete a particular task.
Considering that the mobile web browsing has already overcome the use of desktop machines a couple of years ago, accurately predicting trends in mobile design is no longer a choice, but a real inevitability for companies trying to stay afloat and above the competition. So, what are the mobile design trends to look out for in 2018?
1. The evolution of gestures
Apple may not be the first manufacturer to release an “all-screen” phone, but its latest flagship, the iPhone X has certainly had the greatest impact on the general public. Apple’s decision to remove the physical Home button marks a crucial step towards gesture-based interactions. Google has also acknowledged and implemented a gesture-based way of navigating through the Android P. Gestures are, in fact, hidden controls and as such, they create issues in regards to discoverability and subsequent learnability. However, experienced developers can easily circumvent this problem by using animated hints to help the users get familiarized with the gesture-based UI.
2. Anticipatory design
Decision fatigue has become a real problem for today’s average user. Having to make hundreds of minute choices each and every day has had a severe impact on the effectiveness of our decision-making process. A good mobile design is one that limits the number of choices the user has to make. Interacting with apps that offer far too many options can only lead to friction and result in users abandoning the app for a simpler alternative. One of the ways of improving user experience is the adoption of anticipatory design in order to predict what the user needs and circumvent the need for making any kind of decisions.
3. Progressive disclosure
Progressive disclosure is one of many techniques developers use to provide their users with a couple of important options, with the larger set of options being available only upon request. Mobile apps have become complex products used to provide users with a lot of features and large amounts of information. Presenting said large amounts of info all at once is a sure-proof way of confusing and overwhelming the end user.
Progressive disclosure combats this problem by reducing the cognitive load and allowing users to only spend time using features they actually need and find useful. The only real issue with progressive disclosure is that developers need to find just the right balance between the initial and secondary features while making the progress from one to the other obvious to the user.
Considering that this technique can and is used both in mobile apps and websites, this is hardly a task for novice developers. If this is a feature you’d want to implement in your UI design, then you might want to consider going through the top web development companies and leaving all the important work in the hands of industry professionals.
4. Unified UX across all channels
The use of mobile apps is no longer an isolated experience. The vast majority of apps today span across different channels, devices, and platforms, forcing designers to rethink the way they approach user-experience and work on creating an experience that is completely seamless and uniform across all the different product iterations. This will allow users to switch between mediums without interrupting their journey. It’s important for developers to be able to synchronize user progress, regardless of whether they’re using a mobile app or an e-commerce store.
5. Voice-powered interfaces
Graphical interfaces are not the only way for users to interact with their smartphones. Namely, 30% of all interactions with technology in 2018 will happen using vice-based systems. What makes VUI so appealing is the fact that users don’t have to learn complicated gestures or new languages in order to interact with their tech, but rather use a system that they already know by heart, and that is talking. As the VUI continues to evolve, developers will not only have to focus on what users say but rather how they say it. We use completely different tonalities when asking a question or giving an answer, which is yet another aspect of VUI that we’ll likely see gaining even more attention in the future.
As the mobile industry continues to evolve, so will the boundaries and limitations in the way we envision and develop digital experiences. But as much as our understanding of mobile design transforms, developers need to keep in mind that their main mission is and will continue to be the same as it ever was – using well-thought-out design to make user’s lives better and constantly improve the way we use our hand-held windows to the world.
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