If you have not yet heard, you will soon: mobile is about to explode. 2015 will be the year that mobile dominates — everything. If you have not yet jumped on the mobile bandwagon, you are running out of time. Catch up and keep up with all the changes that will be taking place in our world.

What sort of changes and advancements can you expect? We will cover some of the major trends you will find in the coming year regarding all things mobile.

Mobile UX and UI: Why Simplicity is Key

Simplicity is the name of the game for mobile UX and mobile UI in 2015. What has been trending and will only continue to see growth in the coming year is the concept of keeping things as simple as possible. Minimal UI/Flat UI, with its soft colors and clean appearance, will continue to be popular. For UX, creating an easy, friendly user experience is the only way to go in today’s competitive app market. Get ahead by making your app simple-to-use; eliminate unnecessary steps in registration — or checkout for e-commerce — and make the screen and actions clear so using the app is a pleasant experience instead of a strain, thus improving user engagement and retention.

Flat UI Design — Image Source: dribbble

Mobile Analytics / Big Data: Dealing with the Data Influx Will Require Visual Mobile Analytics

Watch out because big data is coming for you! The Internet of Things — the concept that devices of all kinds will eventually be connected — is growing in popularity and contributing to the massive amount of data being produced in our world today. Sifting through this data and trying to make sense of it all via standard mobile analytics is proving to be an impossible task. Even if computers can retain it all, creating a story and understanding it is something only humans can do for now.

The solution? VISUAL mobile analytics, which can help you skip the massive amounts of numbers and figures and instead present you with visual evidence of what is taking place, giving you actionable insights for tackling what you need to improve through touch heatmaps, user recordings, and real-time, in-app solutions.

A heatmap indicates exactly where users press on the screen.

Mobile Payments: Big and Getting Bigger

Among the big announcements that came from Apple this year was news of their digital wallet, ApplePay. Unlike attempts in the past to popularize mobile payments, Apple’s plan was bigger and better than anything in the past, having come to the table with a long list of users already registered and many credit card companies, banks, and major retailers agreeing to work with the service. With the holiday shopping season underway, we see that people are already taking to the idea of mobile payments as a quick-and-easy solution to speeding up the shopping process. The concept of shopping with a phone rather than fumbling with a wallet appeals to many shoppers and retailers are catching on and installing systems for mobile payment.

Competition for ApplePay will appear in the year 2015 with the introduction of CurrentC, a company that has been working with many big-name companies for years, some of which have signed non-compete contracts. CurrentC plans on serving more than one function, helping with coupons and receipt tracking, in addition to serving as a mobile payment option.

Mobile Advertising: Prepare for a Location-Based Ad Explosion

The next big thing in mobile advertising is localized ads. Location-based advertising is expected to see a massive increase in the coming years, with predictions that it will account for 25% of all mobile ad spend in 2015. Projections indicate that mobile local-targeted ads will jump from $4.9 billion in 2014 to $15 billion by the year 2018, according to BIA/Kelsey, a media research firm.

Accounting for this increase is the popularity growth of wearables, which are an obvious target for location-based advertising since they are worn on the move.

Image Source: thenextweb.com

Another trend that is sure to grow is ads that reach out to users who have abandoned the app outside the app. These very targeted ads will serve as reminders to users that they still have this app downloaded on their device and will attempt to entice them into using it once more.

Mobile App Monetization: Profiting from In-App Ads and Freemium Models

When apps were first introduced, a paid model was more standard than it has been in the last few years. Users were more willing to dish out 99 cents for an app they truly wanted. Today, however, there is such a variety of apps available that paying seems almost senseless when it is inevitable that a free version of nearly the same thing exists. That trend should continue into 2015, for the most part. For apps that are very targeted towards specific, small audiences, it does make sense to monetize by charging for its use since there is not a large enough market to monetize otherwise, but for an app built for the masses, either a free model is the best option to grow your audience, which allows for monetization through in-app advertising or a freemium model, which profits by charging for virtual goods, proprietary features, or functionality.

Mobile Commerce (m-commerce): Gaining in Strength

How big has m-commerce become? Take a look at some stats from a few week ago, the busiest shopping time of the year:

  • On Black Friday, 1 in 4 online purchases was made on a mobile device.
  • IBM found that traffic from mobile devices outpaced PCs on Thanksgiving day. According to IBM, 52.1 percent of online traffic was from a mobile device.

2014 was a big year for m-commerce growth and things are seemingly getting bigger as we look ahead to 2015:

According to ABI Research, “mobile is going to get a lot bigger in the ecommerce market… In 2015, $119bn worth of goods and services will be purchased via a mobile phone.” They also note that in the US, “mobile-savvy consumers are using their internet-enabled phones to comparison shop while browsing brick and mortar stores.”

Mobile Overview: What to Expect

To review, apps are big and getting bigger. You are not only going to see more of them, you are going to see more of them in more places, starting with wearables and eventually moving into all sorts of devices, which will expand the Internet of Things, which will in turn produce much more data and play into the growth of Big Data. To deal with all of this data, expect to see visual mobile analytics a lot more, helping make sense of it all and producing actionable insights.

Because apps will be everywhere, app makers are going to fight for your attention and personalization is going to become huge. Expect to see local advertising grow since it yields greater results, and, in general, expect to spend even more time on your mobile device than previous years. App makers are making it easier for you to accomplish much more on mobile and are banking on the fact that you will.

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