The weekend. Celebrity marriages. The flavor in your gum. Let’s face it – all last longer than trends in mobile app design. And with the new year comes a new wave of UX design practices sure to improve the performance and profitability of your mobile app. We’ve vetted 2019’s top trends and compiled four that promise to help you deliver an optimal user experience.
1.Thumbs Up for Navigation
Humans have opposable thumbs for a reason—to scroll and swipe on their mobile devices (duh). With this universal truth in mind, and user preference favoring bottom navigation, it’s no wonder that swipe-up gestures and bottom sheets will dominate design for both your iOS and Android apps in 2019.
Thanks to swipe-up gestures, the home button is facing extinction. With users’ propensity for swiping to close out apps or revisit a drawer, buttons in general are becoming passé as a UX/UI element. Additionally, due to their flexibility, Bottom sheets have run drop-downs and pop-up dialogues out of town. Allowing for both vertical and horizontal scrolling while preserving content, the bottom sheet has emerged as the go-to surface for designing sub-flows this year.
2. Say What? Designing for Different Markets
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. But what if all geese don’t speak the same language or hail from the same zip code? A major UX design trend in 2019 is centered on localization and your app’s ability to meet the cultural, linguistic, and other communication-based requirements of your target user market.
Strong UX design goes beyond basic language translation tools (think Facebook) if you want your mobile app to have mass appeal. Customization can (and in some cases, should) extend to include colors, icons, symbols, and graphics to avoid misinterpretation of product messaging or functionality. To connect your app with a broader base of markets and users in 2019, you may have to wholly rethink visual design and logic to accommodate different groups’ cultural values, norms, and learning styles.
3. VUI and GUI: Duet of the Year
Teamwork makes the dream work. Once regarded as mutually exclusive entities, the voice user interface (VUI) and the graphical user interface (GUI) will collaborate in 2019. Effective interaction will hopefully debunk the misconception that VUI is the functionally superior element and will ultimately replace GUI altogether in UX/UI design.
While VUIs are suitable for simple commands and allow for immediacy of action, GUIs are the more cerebral counterpart—the interface equipped to return complex information. Mobile app design will give rise to seamless integration of the duo this year in the form of transparent speak-into-action modality. For example, you’re hangry and don’t feel like scrolling through your favorite restaurant’s novel-length menu. You can instead say “show me all vegetarian options” and BAM—you’re that much closer to inhaling a kale salad.
4. Adapt Your App: Tailor-made Design Systems
Mobile app designers have long relied on the prescriptive guidance of system giants HIG (iOS) and Material (Android) when considering UX and UI design elements. With code libraries and other resources available, sticking to the blueprint is design protocol. Until now. From brick and mortar start-ups to large companies, you can expect to see an increase in customization of both systems.
From tailoring minor components to incorporating bottom sheets a la Uber, customization allows for more flexibility and the option to adapt your app to relevant industry trends. Additionally, customization of HIG and/or Material provides an opportunity to reach a broader user base, namely populations who may not be dialed-in to default systems. While mobile app designers aren’t setting out to reinvent the wheel, tweaks to design systems will be on the rise—and so will better UX.