Like every other area of design, mobile app design is always changing. Arguably, given how quickly the technology and its platforms are developing, mobile app design is, in fact, changing more quickly than is average. But exactly what are the trends this year, and why? Fortunately, we’ve been keeping our eye on the app design trends for 2017 so that you don’t have to …
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are both trends which have long been predicted to take over app design. 2017 may be the year they begin to influence the mainstream, however. With devices like Samsung’s S7 Edge and Google’s Pixel handset VR-ready, and AR an ever more present aspect in dominant apps such as Facebook and Snapchat, designing mobile applications which are ready to make the most of these technologies is key – even if they’re not part of V1.0 of your app, they’re likely to be required down the road.
More vibrant & eye-catching user interface design is one of the key app trends for 2017. Previous design orthodoxy favoured simplicity and clean lines, but as screens become bigger and apps slicker, colour no longer seems distracting – but attractive. This is not a hard and fast rule, however, but more the absence of one: previously designers agreed that colours should be simple and from an agreed family of hues; now apps can adopt whatever palettes suit them best. That’s key for branding – and branding is important.
Alongside trends elsewhere in design, a “flatter” feel is en vogue in app design. This means fewer bevels and “skeuomorphic” elements which appear to ape objects in real life. Icons and design are becoming cleaner to allow space for the wider colour palettes and greater functionality of which apps are now capable. Icons will appear more as a set of outlines – although this simplification can also offer room for subtle animation, and thus enhance rather than detract from the visual interest of your app.
Google finishes your searches for you; Amazon recommends products. This is anticipatory design in action, and mobile apps in 2017 are making it an integral part of the user experience. An app which remembers user behaviour helps reduce repetitive decision-making – and that will mean the app is easier and more pleasurable to return to again and again.
Beautiful apps are also more fun to use – and custom graphics make mobile better. Why? Because users are now so familiar with digital tools that stock imagery or cliched design simply bore them. Custom graphics help make your app’s environment more interesting and engaging, but also offer you the opportunity to reinforce your brand – encouraging customer loyalty and familiar experiences for users already familiar with your products or services.
Of course, these just scratch the surface of the ways in which mobile app design in 2017 is shifting and changing. The good news is that our knowledge is a great deal deeper – so drop us a line to find out more about what your app could – and maybe should – look like.
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