While the mobile app economy is booming and the app ecosystem is expanding across all nooks and corners of daily life, it is the visual look and feels that still remained as one of the critical factors behind the success of the apps. This is why every once in a while we look back at the horizon of mobile app UI trends. Well, mobile app UI is responsible for communicating with the users through on-screen visual elements and interacting with them. Naturally, UI has a lot of bearings on the overall user experience of an app.
In spite of the ambitious objectives and business goals, a vast majority of mobile apps are simply not downloaded at all, let alone the question of engaging and retaining users and boosting business conversion. Most statistical reports agree that only a small percentage of app downloads actually lead to second-time or repeat use.
For many apps, an outdated user interface happens to be a key reason for the users to lose interest in them. Naturally, mobile developers are always in search of the latest mobile app design principles and trends and as the New Year is around the corner, we need to take a fresh look at the emerging UI design trends.
Here we explain the top UI trends to stand out in 2020 and beyond.
#1. Smarter Version of Material Design
The Material Design principle of Google has already become too popular and over the years it evolved to maturity. This design principle thanks to its ease of use, fluidity, and sophisticated look and feel is likely to remain popular for years to come. But the experiments apart, smarter implementation is what makes this design convention really stand out.
Material design helps to incorporate more depth in the design elements. This can further be augmented by using a 3D effect with on-screen buttons and other elements instead of using flat 2D buttons and other design elements. This can actually help to bring more life to the on-screen design elements.
Secondly, micro animations or small motion elements with visual elements can also prove to be highly effective. For instance, a dangling arrow or a button displaying moving text can be highly effective in communicating the audience. Apart from this, different types of blurring effects, opacity, and depth can be used to make the design stand out.
#2. Doing More with Animated Functions
Animation has been a key part of UI design throughout 2019 and so, in the years to come the trend can hardly go away into oblivion. Animated or moving on-screen UI elements can intuitively guide users to take actions or to navigate to another page or function.
As there has been a persistent focus on design simplicity, even micro-animation in UI design will not be left behind this trend. The simplicity of patterns and simple intuitive movement will hold the key to the success of these design elements.
#3. ChatBot as Part of UI
Live chat is increasingly becoming part of mobile apps of all niches, particularly the on-demand business apps that cater to specific customer needs. Chatbots have further become intuitive and context-aware thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies. In the years to come, more apps are likely to embrace chatbots for active communication with the users.
Conversational bots in mobile app UI are likely to appear with all forms and sizes satisfying a variety of requirements. Some apps also used chatbots to know the user preferences about the menu options so that the UI can be customized as per specific user needs.
#4. Mobile App Screen without Buttons
Throughout 2019 we not only gave come across a variety of UI design experiments but also some of the most accomplished designs with unique elements. The buttonless design has only emerged this year and became an instant success across several apps. In 2020, we can expect more number of apps to embrace this minimalist, clean, and no-nonsense design protocol.
#5. Bottom Navigation
Bottom navigation has also been a key design trend for many mobile apps in the recent past and it is continuing to make an appeal for all apps that needs grabbing attention in a whiz rather than offering options. Moreover, since mobile screens continue to get bigger, bottom navigation buttons just look perfect for the app UI. In 2020, we can expect a renewed emphasis on this design trend.
#6. Storytelling Through UI
These days customers are more social and they expect the brands to appear with human personality, gait, and stories. This is why the UI designers of branded apps are the focus so much on storytelling these days. Yes, this is going to be a robust trend all across apps used for branding and marketing. Besides creating a solid first impression, storytelling UI design actually helps in delivering engaging user experience.
#7. Custom Illustrations Replacing Explanations
Do you need to explain a feature or the on-page content? Do you need to guide users about how to navigate or get things done? Well, you don’t need to use text content for this at all. Simply by using custom illustrations you can easily guide them or refer to them the content or functions or any on-page element. There has been an upsurge in the use of these self-explanatory illustrations in the mobile app UIs. In 2020 and the years to come, we can expect more apps to use this design element to ensure a minimalist and better user experience.
#8. Voice Interactions
Voice interactions have become more common thanks to the AI-powered voice bots and personal assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. Mobile apps are also now using voice interactions as a UI element for the search function and other commands. Well, with the use of technologies such as Natural Language Processing (NLP) voice interactions are likely to be a more common UI element in the mobile apps of the future.
These trends just give a gross picture of the evolving mobile UI design. Obviously, there will be several more new and innovative design trends to be added to them.
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Review Top 8 UI Design Trends for Mobile Apps in 2020.