Most companies around the world are aware that design is a very important factor that influences the potential success of their products and services. Therefore, modern websites offer unique clean designs that not only attract users but makes them return to the website. When it comes to mobile operating systems and applications, the situation is very similar. Big companies are following the latest trends in order to create an impeccable user experience. Different principles are followed for different platforms, but the underlying goal is the same. The point is to make it easy for customers or users to easily navigate through your application, while also making it aesthetically pleasing and visually engaging. The average person spends over two hours a day on their mobile device, so it’s important to provide them with something worth their time. The key features when it comes to design are the UI (user interface) and UX (user experience). These two elements are combined to create a pleasurable experience for the user. There are some key evergreen UI and UX principles that should always be followed, but we will be taking a closer look at some new trends that are going to dominate in 2016.
What are the current basic UI design principles?
Currently, the direction of design is to make it easy for the user to navigate by making everything as transparent as possible. The following principles are the most important in modern UI design.
Stress on content
This is a very important factor that many designers are aware of. It is very important to make everything clear for the user. For example, running a mobile store is a good business venture, but it heavily relies on the design, that is, the way the user is going to be able to see the product being sold. Creating a great design that makes the content easily accessible and clear for the customer will improve conversion rates, and it will create a stable base of returning customers.
Making an interactive design is an essential way of keeping the user longer in the application. Leaving the navigation elements on screen is important, so the user knows what options are at his or her disposal. Numerous hidden menus can become forgotten and it is important to make all the app options easily accessible.
Making the app intuitive is sometimes hard, but following the preset operating systems design elements, can be done easily. Making the user wonder about inside the application indicates that not much thought had been put into making the design easy to navigate. On the other hand, optimizing the design so that every step the user takes is logical and easy to comprehend is the key element that will keep the users come back to the application.
This is a rather important part of the whole design process. What makes everything hard is that you should respect various principles, while making everything use as simple as possible. There is no need to clutter the screen with unnecessary information, which can only be a distraction for the user. Cluttering the UI with unnecessary buttons will certainly create a bad user experience, which will deter the user from using the application. Minimalism also applies to the choice of colours. Using simple colours is preferable in modern design, as everything is made to look as natural as possible. These UI methods are currently used in mobile design, but the following UX elements are equally important.
What are the current UX design principles?
UX is focused on identifying application features that are going to additionally increase the user experience. There are several popular methods, which are used by the most successful application creators around the world.
What is meant by layers is that not everything the app has to offer should be put on one screen. There are layers of design that the user should experience as he or she is exploring the app. Creating a lot of interesting layers will let the user discover new things, which is essential for keeping the user interested.
Animations are a big part of all the major mobile systems. They are one of the most important things in UX design. The iOS decided to go for animations from its early builds, and we can safely say that Android OS has caught up with this trend. As animations are incorporated and supported by these two systems, it is essential to include them in your application UX design. These little features add to the whole “wow” effect.
Tables have big screens, however, the smartphones are quite smaller. One of the core UX design elements is making the application take up the whole screen. This can severely increase the user experience as the whole screen is taken up with your application. Fullscreen makes it easier for the user to see all the elements that your application has to offer.
If you are creating an application that requires a login, it is necessary to do all you can to make this process as short as possible. Some apps are quite good to use, but their poor login design directly causes users to walk away. Complicating the login process creates tension in the user, as he or she is eager to access the content of the application. By making the login process fast and easy, you will make things better for both the user and yourself. These are the UX principles based on which developers are constantly improving mobile design elements.
Prominent mobile design trends for 2016
Every year is dominated by a certain design trend based on a feature that promises to make apps more user friendly. In 2016 there will be several prominent trends to look out for.
Clean UI design
In the past several years, there were some design elements that were created to showcase the power of the hardware found in the new generation of mobile phones. Now that the novelty has worn off, things have changed – everything looks much more simplified without all the shadows creating the 3D feel. Detailed textures are avoided, as well as anything that looks overly complicated. The year 2016 is definitely going to be the year of simplistic design, which turns the user’s focus to the content found in apps.
Consistent UI design
As the variety of devices has greatly increased in the past couple of years, each application created for mobile devices is now available on several operating systems. Consistency is what makes a certain app design recognizable on different platforms. Even though each of the systems has a different set of features, the designers strive to offer a very similar experience across all devices, especially now that wearables are becoming more popular around the world. The consistent design ensures that the user will always know how to use your application, no matter which operating system the user decides to run it on. This trend was popular during 2015 and is something that is going to be followed for many years, as it is also an important part of growing a brand.
Tiles Tiles Tiles
When the Windows phone came out, many people were struggling with their concept of Tile design. However, as years passed, designers and people around the world have realized the power behind this concept. Tiles are very good for increasing the visibility of content and are very important for easier navigation through the application. Many people have realized the power of tiles and are incorporating this UI design in their mobile applications.
It is important to mention that full-screen design was something that was first used for games. As the years passed, application designers have adopted this concept in the creation of regular apps. Full-screen view has become much appreciated among users and this trend is going to become more prevalent in 2016, as it simply offers a better overview of the content in your app.
This is a trend that was introduced with Android and iOS operating systems. It was accepted by millions of smartphone users as it gives your direct focus on the element you are currently seeing on the screen. This trend will only become even more popular in 2016.
Device interactive UI
As all smartphones are equipped with numerous sensors, this creates a lot of room for design features based on the location and position of the device. This trend is becoming more popular, especially with VR development, and we can expect this sort of interactive design to blossom in 2016. It will be interesting to see the average user’s reaction to it. From the beginning of operating system, web and game development, design has been one of the key elements that could make or break a piece of software. This is why good design is important even today – it simply creates the ultimate user experience, which may be a determining factor when it comes to making your users come back to the application.