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I’m Jacob Cass, the founder of JUST™ Creative. I’m a multi-disciplinary graphic designer, working with clients all around the world. My specialty is logo & brand identity design. JUST™ Get in touch.


Mobile App Design Trends for 2016

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This article was contributed by Jyoti Bhandari.

Let’s face it; every year brings to the fore more in the realm of business access via mobile apps. Today’s modern day discerning consumers increasingly demand more mobile accessibility from their favorite brands so that browsing on the go isn’t just the last minute option, but a regular occurrence.

In fact, a study conducted by app analytics company, Flurry reveals that the average time that people spend on smartphones and tablets each day is 158 minutes. Out of these 158 minutes, 127 minutes are spend browsing mobile apps and only 31 minutes are spent browsing or visiting websites. Businesses that don’t provide their consumers with a pleasing mobile app experience are losing out as consumers demand more each passing day.

From smartphones to tablets, the ways to look up products and research via mobile apps are increasing at an alarming pace and it’s better to stay ahead than be left in the dust. The rule of the game is simple: you’ve got to get—and hold—the attention of your consumers. And hold it long enough until they’ve paid for your product or services.

So, if you’re curious to foresee the mobile app trends of tomorrow to which ones will go the way of the dinosaurs and which ones will adapt, evolve and outlast the rest, here’s what the future might hold for the world of mobile apps in 2016 and beyond.

Focus on User Experience

Focus on User Experience

A report on Global Web Index reveals that 8 in 10 internet users now have a smartphone and 1 in every 10 people own a wearable device. Given that mobile usage is set to outpace desktop usage in the next few years, it could mean that, soon, custom user experience would be the norm, rather than the exception. It has long been a staple for website designs. In fact, an article published on Justcreative.com explains that UX is important for businesses, marketers and designers to distinguish themselves in the market.

And that realization is pushing a lot of app designers to building focused apps with fewer features overall and pushing out smaller, more frequent app updates. Reports suggest that there will be more focus on in-app advertising and easy navigation in the future. Analytics data is also set to play a major role in helping app developers create better user experiences.

Designer Rehanna Kumari reveals in one of her blogs that security remains one of the biggest challenges for app designers and developers. So, it is likely that designers will also include authentication strategies to repel intruders in the months to come.

Use of Diffuse Background 

Use of Diffuse Background

Last year, diffuse background was a big hit amongst website designers. The popularity was spurred on by Twitter. In no time at all, the web was crammed full of websites with diffused and blurred background and readily visible call to action buttons.

It is likely that diffused background will make waves in the world of mobile apps design in the future. The clean simple style we associate with it works especially on mobile devices. Eschewing elaborate, fussy trends, diffused background has enabled designers to make the call to action button easily viewable and accessible. Remember, it’s the call to action buttons that generate conversions for your business.

Power of Simple Navigation 

Power of Simple Navigation

Mobileshoppingapps.net reveals that websites with simple app navigation is loved by most mobile users. In addition, mobile apps with clear typography, clean interface, and visually pleasing aesthetics are popular with mobile users. Navicons and easy drop down sub menus or menus sliding out from the side of the screen will do it better than garish or gaudy elements.

While not all designers think the same, it won’t be long now before they do. Considering the rising number of users, that’s a lot of potential shoppers’ right there. So, do well to make it easy for your visitors and consumers to find the content, information or service they’re looking for. We’re sure with simple navigation will come smooth, uninterrupted, relaxing, and friendly end-user experience.

Magic of Innovative Scrolling 

This one is a pretty audacious bit of mobile apps design trends prediction. But given the rise of color, large images and strong, clean fonts, designers will soon want to find a way to distinguish themselves. And none will do it better than going with innovative scrolling. Remember, users get irritated when they aren’t able to navigate from one page to another and end up wasting too much time clicking on different links and pages. Innovative scrolling enables easy navigation for visitors and enhances the visual appeal of your mobile app. Inkbot design recently listed innovative scrolling as an emerging web design trend for 2015 and we’re sure this technique will work even better with mobile app designs in the years to come.

Big and Bold Fonts Will Be on the Rise

Big and Bold Fonts Will Be on the Rise

With so many mobile apps vying for visitor attention, app designers will have to see if they can resurrect a love for big and bold fonts this year. When it comes to mobile app designs, there’s visual hierarchy that works, big and bold fonts strong and plucky enough to make them memorable. It is likely that the designer community will now finally recognize that the use of big and bold fonts—when done tastefully—is a technique capable of breathing incredible life into even the most insipid of apps.

Simpler Color Schemes 

Simple Color Scheme Will Rule the Roost

This was a winner last year and it’s still here, the “simple is beautiful” trend. It’s more of a reclaiming, actually.  Red, neon and blazing green that ruled the roost in early 2013 have now become a story of the era gone by. Today’s modern day discerning users prefer a blend of subtle and simple colors. Though clutter-free colors are sure to win over the flashy or showy, it makes sense to use the colors of your brand. In one of his blogs published on Designhill.com, designer John Kash suggests you to pick up colors that define your brand and reflect your brand value.

Context Aware User Interface 

Context Aware User Interface

Do you believe your mobile app lacks the power to engage visitors? Why not make it smart? Confused? Don’t be! We’re talking about context aware user interface. Bigspaceship.com explains that context awareness is an element used in mobile apps to identify where the user is using an application and how that might affect what the user is doing. Such context based apps effectively distinguish between the context types such location, identity, activity and time. For insistence, context-aware applications can immediately present relevant content by detecting your location rather than you having to manually search for it. With the ever-changing dynamics of the market, the need for designers to come up with context aware mobile apps—won’t stop anytime soon.

Comeback of Skeuomorphism 

Comeback of Skeuomorphism

Yep, in the previous years, we saw major brands like Apple, Microsoft, and Hershey going flat and skeuomorphism dying a slow death. But it’s all set to return and this time more strongly than ever. We’re going to see more of it in the future. Skeuomorphism adds more life, and certainly more energy, a certain level of vintage appeal, to mobile app designs, a quality that wasn’t quite as strong or obvious in the past few years. No wonder, skeuomorphism is all set to become the next ‘Big Ticket Draw’ in the world of creative app designs.

Positive Appeal of Social Media Buttons

Positive Appeal of Social Media Buttons

In a blog post published on Designhill, writer Henna Ray reveals that 50% shoppers follow social media recommendations for purchases. That’s a huge fraction of world population and incudes almost all your clients, and perspective clients. This, in particular, integration of social media with your mobile app to enable users to log in or sign up using their favorite social media platform. We saw the rise of ‘Social Media Buttons’ in 2014. This is why we’re sure to see more app designers embracing ‘social media buttons’ in the future.

Wearable Gadgets are Here to Stay

 Wearable Gadgets are Finally Here

The launch of the Apple Watch has spurred a race amongst designers to create app designs that are fit for wearable technology. In fact, customization of mobile app designs to make it easy for users to navigate the app, access products and info and make purchases on the go seems to be the next big thing in the world of mobile app design and development. Technology is certainly driving the change, here.

The Grand Scheme of Interactive Designs 

The Grand Scheme of Interactive Designs

This one means we’ve started to see apps focused around users. The challenge to draw in more and more users has given birth to interaction designs. This, of course, entails the integration of interactive elements to lure consumers with an interesting, powerful and creative visual story. This kind of design’s got punch, we’ll give you that.

Wrapping it up!

So there you have it, our big list of mobile app design trends of tomorrow. With 2016 nearly underway, it’ll be really exciting to see how many of these trends will eventually die out, how many will continue to change, shift and evolve—and how many of these will stay ever the same.

Image Courtesy: Designhill.com

11 JUST™ Creative Comments

  • Anand Mishra

    I appreciate everything you have added to my knowledge base.Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer.

  • Nidhi

    Very Informative post Thank you so Much..Jacob

  • Ashutosh

    Great information. .Thanks for sharing.

  • vivek gururani

    Liked this article.
    As we know that users now have a smartphone and many of them own a wearable device. The mobile usage is set to outpace desktop usage in the next few years, so trendy mobile app designs will rule the digital world.

  • Sani Abdul Jabar

    These are awesome points to list. Surely we will be seeing each and every point mentioned here. I just want to add how the concept of element placement is still a challenge for most mobile app designers. I was just discussing some tips to deciding what comes before the fold, with the guys at http://www.veztekusa.com

    Learned how its suppose to be aligned and how it needs a lot of creative thinking into it!

  • anand mishra

    Excellent post.I want to thank you for this informative read, I really appreciate sharing this great post. Keep up your work.

  • Patricia

    Mobile app development is growing very fast and the number of business owners is increasing everyday very quickly to develop their mobile apps. So you should know the latest trends of mobile app design to develop fully functional mobile apps.

  • Hitesh Unavane

    Great post, the diffused design is one of my favorite with social media button for login.

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