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DESIGN

7min read

3 Mobile UI Design Trends for 2019

Design trends are fleeting, ever-changing and constantly advancing, particularly in the world of mobile app design. So when new technologies emerge, it’s not just great functionality that’s important. In all honesty, if users don’t like the way your mobile app works and looks, no matter what amazing features it has, it’s not likely to see success.

Consumers are forever being exposed to a huge volume and variety of visuals on a daily basis, online and offline. So it’s clear to see why designers work hard and strive to differentiate their content and app architecture to keep users contented, and stop them from wandering off with competitors. Did you know that 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed user interface? And with technology in 2019 being so advanced already, who could blame them? People have simply come to expect apps to be innovative, have immaculate design and flawless UI and UX.

Why are UI and UX important?

User experience wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the interface, and the interface would be meaningless without the user experience. The combination of both UX and UI should ensure that consumers are provided with meaningful, relevant, valuable and personalised experiences, which in turn offer the brand improved brand affinity and (hopefully) ROI.

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So what does all of this have to do with mobile apps? Well, for an app to even get a whiff of a download in 2019, it’s got to break through the noise of digital competition by offering flawless, on-trend UX and UI features. That’s why we’ve compiled our top 3 mobile app design trends that you can expect to see over the coming year!

First up we have Overlapping Visuals

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Overlapping visuals basically involves layering images, graphics, illustrations, and/or text in order to provide the user with a specific and captivating visual experience. It’s a style that is currently favoured by designers, websites and apps as it seamlessly enhances UI designs, gives UX a good boost, delivers brand messages with precision and is ultimately there to make interfaces more delightful.

Here’s a great example of overlapping visuals from e-commerce beauty brand, Carbon Beauty. image3 Source: Carbon Beauty

This technique of overlapping visuals is used throughout the brand’s content, and is adopted by a huge number of other apps and sites. Their use of overlapping, with the large text, main image, smaller images and small text box, paired with the bold colours, provides a really aesthetically pleasing 3D effect, and allows the brand to become strikingly memorable. These design techniques are put in place with the goal of instantly engaging and alluring the user, encouraging them to linger on your app or page.

Now, overlapping is one of those trends that has been picking up over the years, but it’s expected to be used increasingly more as the quality of colour gradients and digital devices escalates. The inevitable evolution of the quality of smartphones and apps means that effects such as overlapping are able to evolve, adjust to current visual trends, and flourish.

image4 Source: Mad Studio

Founding member and author at Inspired Mag, Bogdan Rancea, mentions that the significance of overlapping will influence further design trends, such as transparency, in UI.

“We’ll see increased use of “glass-like” textures on UIs as designers capitalize on transparency to bring out both primary and secondary graphics simultaneously”

Basically, as a subject, overlapping is so multifaceted that designers can play with it in loads of different ways. This then ensures that each page of an app is creatively enhanced and optimised in its own unique and vibrant way.

Next, we have Functional Animation

Animation has always been a central part of design, and animation in app and web design has continued to increase over the years. It should come as no surprise then, that functional animations are becoming an essential part of the UI design process for apps this year.

So what exactly is functional animation?

Functional Animation is a subtle feature embedded in UI design. The functional design, usually has some kind of graphic, generally moves, or has moving elements surrounding it, and all with the aim of drawing attention to a brand logo, image, icon, app function or area.

Just like this… Source: Dribbble

You can see that the user is drawn to the ‘plus’ button which, once hovered over, reveals 4 options, which spring out from the centre. The functional animations here show the user that the ‘plus’ button means more options, and will hopefully help them find what they’re looking for, or at least convince them to explore the page further.

That makes sense, right? So functional animations have a number of uses: They can make the user feel like they’re getting feedback—as if the app or button is interacting with them They help the user navigate the app by offering visual hints to available features If they operate well, functional animations can certainly influence and promote app usage

In a more aesthetically-focused way, functional animations almost energise an app, making it eye-catching and bringing the graphic, page or function button to life.

Not only are functional animations, well.. functional. But they have a clear purpose and logical reason for being a part of UI design. If you want to provide your lovely consumers with amazing user experiences, then functional animations are one way of ensuring that they don’t lose interest, that they feel a want to interact and engage with the app, and that they have the ability to navigate it with ease. And it’s now more important than ever, as 52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company, so it’s not surprising that 84% of companies are currently expecting to increase their focus on customer experience measurements and metrics.

Finally, we have Full-screen backgrounds

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When it comes to app design, visually pleasing images are key to optimising UX. So when we talk about full-screen backgrounds for apps, what exactly do we mean, anyway? Essentially, this just means that when you visit an app, its background and graphics completely fill your mobile screen. In a highly visually-focused society, it’s clear to see why we’re drawn to large, high-resolution images. However, using full-screen backgrounds for the whole graphical screen has been debated among the UI/UX design community for some time now—some love it and others… not so much.

Nevertheless, going along with the age old saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, it’s no surprise that an aesthetically compelling background can be more impressionable, and certainly more astounding, than a background crowded with written content or ineffective images. Long-gone are the days of dreary, amateur mobile app graphics. Full-screen background images in 2019 are enticing, satisfying and skillfully designed. Just like this…

image10 Source: GDBlogs

Whether it’s photos, videos or specially rendered visualizations, full-screen backgrounds have the potential to make an app so much more captivating and user-friendly. Full-screen app backgrounds give the user a feeling of complete immersion. If the user’s entire screen is filled with a brilliant, high-res image, the user’s experience is going to be streamlined, with a distinct lack of distractions (provided no ads pop-up!). That’s why this UI design component has recently come to the forefront of mobile app design, and is a favoured trend of 2019.

So what’s the key to optimising your full-screen background app design? For full-screen backgrounds, using striking images is essential. Put simply, most mobile phones are a lot larger than they were, say, 10 years ago, meaning there’s more screen space for designers to experiment with. Also, the increase in screen size means that users actually expect their experiences to be full-screen, and this expectation undoubtedly impacts UX.

Along with the advancement screen sizes comes the revolution of high-resolution. That’s a bit of a tongue twister. But it’s true—the quality of mobile images now is incredible, even better than some of the best digital cameras. And UI designers are fully taking advantage of this generation’s rapid digital enhancements.

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Conclusion

UI designers now have a clear focus and understanding of the importance of incorporating designs, especially on-trend designs, into their apps. The three trends that have been noted (Overlapping Visuals; Functional Animations and Full-screen Backgrounds) optimise user experiences by facilitating browsing satisfaction, motivating lingering time, smoothing navigation and encouraging a feeling of interaction. And by optimising UX, you can expect to see an improvement of conversion rates, motivation of loyalty among consumers and an increase in ROI (along with so many other things!).

So what are you waiting for? Get on these design trends as soon as you can because 2019, and your competitors, already are.

Read more on how to improve your UX here.

Author’s bio: Stevie is a Content Marketing Executive at Hurree. Hurree is a marketing automation platform for apps that help engage your users and keep them active at a time that suits them. If you would like to learn more, please visit www.hurree.co

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Stevie-Rose LangfordContent Marketing Executive at Hurree