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Mobile user interface trends are rapidly evolving. With the introduction of new technology, like facial recognition and altered reality, app developers need to stay ahead of the trend curve. Here are the top app design trends to consider while developing an app.
A Rise in Altered Reality
Augmented and virtual reality apps have seen increasing popularity in recent years. Pokémon Go was among the first widely received and used, allowing users to see Pokémon creatures in “real life” through a smartphone camera. For many, this game changed the ways in which apps can serve as an intermediary between digital and lived experience. Now, app creators are looking for new and innovative ways to use augmented reality to enhance the user experience. Established companies, like Snapchat, have utilized augmented reality, but consumer brands like IKEA, Sephora, and Warby Parker are adopting the technology to help customers make more informed purchases.
Augmented reality in UI design will become an important app design in the coming years. In 2019, only 44 million people worldwide used augmented reality mobile apps. With technological developments and widespread adoption of platforms like Metaverse, that number is expected to reach 1.73 billion by 2024.
Hyper-Specific Audience and In-App Engagement
Hyper-targeting will become an essential piece of the user experience for smartphone applications. For years, industries like boutique marketing have helped companies define and target an audience. To this point, however, hyper-specific marketing has remained in the physical and limited digital world. It lives in magazine pages and in targeted Facebook advertisements. However, businesses now have more access to consumer data than at any time in the past. App developers are leveraging that data to build platforms and features that target these hyper-specific audiences. This allows them to increase sales and better connect with users.
Hyper-specific targeting will be a boon for in-app features and gestures. The more a developer knows about their users, the better they can tailor the product to meet user needs. For example, if a fitness app understands that its users primarily interact with the platform while in the process of exercising, simplifying interaction will improve the user experience. Rather than using a drop-down menu to access different app features, the visual interface might include a more minimal design.
The Importance of Dark Mode
Dark Mode is among the most popular non-default app interfaces in most smartphone applications. It is available on a huge range of platforms and works with everything from social media to online retail. On most platforms, dark text on a white background is the standard. With the introduction of Dark Mode, users have access to a version of the app that includes a dark background with white text. Those in the process of learning how to create an app should prioritize this function, as it is a simple yet effective customization tool you can offer.
Dark Mode is an already-popular app trend, but it will become more important in the coming months and years. Increased screen time during the novel coronavirus pandemic has caused many users to reduce blue light exposure. Dark Mode gives users the opportunity to limit the eye strain often experienced with prolonged screen time. Over time, this allows the user to spend more time in the application.
Additionally, Dark Mode helps users mitigate battery drain on a device. This may be important for users concerned about climate change and personal energy use. Including a Dark Mode option gives users the feeling that they are reducing their carbon footprint, even if that reduction is negligible. This contributes to a positive experience with an app, which can increase use over time.
The above app trends encompass a wide range of difficulties in their application. Dark Mode, for example, is a relatively simple addition to existing apps. By contrast, something like altered reality may take a heavier lift to implement, potentially requiring a more skilled engineer or creative architect. However, no matter how new or experienced you are in app development, these will be among the top trends to deploy in the coming years. Get a head start by incorporating them now.