Top 12 UX Trends for Mobile Apps

Dmitry Gaiduk
Jul 3 · 6 min read

Mobile design, typography, face id — here you’ll find the most important UX trends and tips on how to keep users engaged mobile app. Stay on top of the latest mobile app UX trends to make users happy with your mobile products.

An average American spends nearly three minutes on their smartphone. And 90 percent of the time is spent on apps.

That’s good news, especially if you have a mobile app for your business. However, to keep users engaged and on your app, you have to go above and beyond to provide excellent user experience plus great content.

Here’s where staying on top the latest mobile app UX trends come into play. You don’t want to be stuck in the 2000s while users and other apps have moved to the 2010s.

So, what UX trends are going to make the most impact in 2019 and moving forward?

1. Design for bigger screens

Smartphones are increasingly coming in bigger screens, and with the new models; app designers are facing a new challenge — how to position navigation elements comfortably within thumb-finger reach.

Take, for instance, iPhone Xs Max has a wider screen, where less than a fourth of the screen is within reach of the thumbs.

Source: by Purrweb

So, while more and more app developers design apps for a wider screen, the trend comes with its challenges.

2. Minimalist design

Minimalistic design continues its adoption as the preferred layout UX trend. The goal is to make the app interface as simple as possible.

Designers add only the essential elements that get the job done since too many items can confuse users.

Source: by Mizanur Rahman Remon

We’ve seen this trend also applied to the number of colors used for each design. It’s a commonplace now to see apps with just one color.

3. Full in-app gesticulation

We are already used to swiping either left or right as an intrinsic feature of our smartphones. However, the latest trend for the new generation smartphones is to go full in-app gesticulation.

This trend is driven by the increasing elimination of buttons from smartphones by manufacturers. Today, we are only left with just a home button on the screen and two buttons on the sides for power and volume.

The good thing though, is that app developers now have more screen space.

Source: by Vlad Fedoseyev

4. Full-screen experiences

The edgeless frame design is now a thing with the release of the latest Samsung S8 and iPhone X.

With the frameless screen, developers now have larger screen space to play with.

Source: by Dannniel for Marcato

5. Bold scalable typography

Typography is making a comeback as a crucial design element after taking the backseat for a while.

However, the trend is towards the adoption of scalable typography, especially with the launch of iOS 7 and the Helvetica Neue.

6. Increase video content adapted for mobile

As more and more developers try to boost user engagement with their apps, they will look toward integrating video content in their app.

So, look forward to seeing more video-based content and more platforms with live streaming capability.

Source: by Kévin Gautier for Hyper Lab

7. You’ll see more of material design

Material design will continue its comeback as a preferred design method displacing flat design.

And with this trend, expect to see more depths in apps. Little tricks like animation, drop shadows, color gradients were some of the ways designers use to create depth perception.

8. The emergence of Face ID

Face authentication might become the preferred mode of unlocking your phone as more and more smartphone manufacturers remove the last buttons from their devices.

Source: GoldWatch app by Bas Fikri

It’s not surprising to see forward-thinking designs begin to incorporate facial recognition into their apps. We believe this trend will continue and might even become a preferred feature to unlock your phone or login into an app.

9. The conversational design will continue its strong adoption

Facebook’s launch of chatbots for messenger in 2017 signaled the increasing trend to leverage artificial intelligence to drive in-app conversation and improved user experience.

Also, if you’re seeking for ways to convert your app users into customers, figuring out a way to integrate conversational design, in this case, chatbots into your app may be an effective way to achieve your objective.

10. Dynamic functional animation

Another popular app design trend from last year was creating and utilizing dynamic functional animation.

Source: by Sang Nguyen

Animation as the trend has shown no longer restricted to only games. It’s a great way to capture attention, engage users while improving UX.

11. Augmented reality

Remember, the once viral game Pokémon Go? That’s a mobile app that incorporated augmented reality to entertain and engage its users.

The trend is not slowing down any time soon; even we are beginning to see designers leveraging augmented reality to create apps that are functional, helpful, and solve everyday problems.

A great example of augmented reality is IKEA’s app that enables customers to test out a piece of furniture to see how it will look in their room before placing an order.

Source: IKEA

12. A strong case for Cards

Cards offer a neat granular way of organizing information in mobile apps. You can easily display videos, text, images, and so on.

A great example of cards in use is the latest switch by WordPress to use of cards to build pages and posts.

Source: by Oli Lisher

New trends are supposed to prepare you for the future. Hopefully, these UX trends listed above will help you plan and design your mobile app to meet current design practice.

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Dig deeper into the universe of UX insights to create an awesome digital experience on mobile. Join the community of UX experts, marketers and product owners who are curious about mobile UX findings, tips, best practices, tools, and tutorials.

Dmitry Gaiduk

Written by

Research Professional | CEO at CoolTool

UXReality Blog

Dig deeper into the universe of UX insights to create an awesome digital experience on mobile. Join the community of UX experts, marketers and product owners who are curious about mobile UX findings, tips, best practices, tools, and tutorials.