With more than 2.5 billion active smartphones running worldwide, the mobile industry is registering an exponential growth. The case with mobile app designs is no different.
Around 180 billion apps were downloaded from the App Store in 2017 alone. Hence, the growth opportunity in the industry is immense. This takes us to the realization that app UI designs are quite significant in calculating the overall worth and cost of the mobile application.
A quick refresher on why UI designs are so important to work on: the designs focus on usability and user experience, and the content, information architecture, interactivity, and other relevant minutiae that proves decisive in make or break a relationship with the target audience.
As for this discussion, let’s examine some powerful mobile app design trends that are going to rule in 2020 and beyond.
Illustrations front and center
App illustrations are getting bigger with each passing day. Besides graphics, genuine illustrations that showcase quality artwork in the applications are more preferred now.
We’re seeing more flat and semi-flat designs in contrasting, aesthetically pleasing palettes, for example, the Rent a boat app by Outcrowd. Illustrations provide a more organic, personalized feel over a picture or graphic.
In doing so, illustrations offer a user-friendly, comfortable experience to the app users.
Let’s be honest, how many times have we opened an app or navigated beyond the landing page, welcomed with a screen of text, then said “efsdfgd” and moved away?
Illustrations front and center aims to capture the users’ attention long enough to ensure that they have acquired all the needed information. Consider any top weather app, the design will show you what’s happening outside to assist users in planning their wardrobe and commute.
Even since the dawn of apps, the sans serif fonts have been in them, and aren’t fading out anytime soon. However, demoting them to a more support role and filling their void by serif fonts is becoming the trend.
Applying two different types of fonts creates a visual hierarchy, makes it easy to separate headlines from the main body text. See how Martin Zagawa expresses the concept design in a social app.
In this design, the serif fonts are for more glaring, concrete text such as the user’s name, upcoming events reminders, etc., while the sans serif fonts are used for the changeable, temporary text like the names and other details of specific parties.
Yes, apps like Angry Birds, Subway Surfer, etc. were in the thick of most of the attention, but now people have started using apps for more serious business like handling their investments, booking a slot at a physician, and related activities. Therefore, serif fonts have started gaining more attention they rightly deserve.
Futuristic color overload
Maxed out colors is another top trend that mobile UI designs are striving for. Although designers tend to experiment their creativity by using every known color every now and then, but some colors like blue, pink, purple, and neon colors, have a special preference due to their futuristic potential.
These colors of the future, in comparison to the more nature friendly colors like brown and green, are used as they are created by designers, and not something we commonly see in nature. Also because these app-focused colors easily protrude against dark backgrounds, creating a somewhat cyberpunk ambience.
Besides the techy feel, purple and blue are also the first choice for app designers because they allow mobile phones to display vibrant, bold colors to their best self.
Consider the example of Entrain, a meditation app. The tool employs a bold purple on the user’s personal log, and distinguishes various sessions with pink, purple, and peach gradients.
The use of gradients is still running strong in the app UI design trends in 2020. However, in the app development industry it’s more about how designers are working with gradients to create top designs.
This year, gradients, color pops, and overlays will start to come further transparent and semi-transparent on the smartphone screens.
Putting it simply, it feels quite lightweight and relaxed when we see through an image, feels like our gaze can pass right through it. This is what app designers are trying to master in 2020.
Just inquire the Meetup app, the transparent red UI keeps the app’s branding intact without confusing the users what the app is all about: discovering events, going places, and meeting new people.
By making some elements transparent in an app UI, it gets much easier for the designer to stuff in a lot of content without forcing it to show a heavy and overwhelming outlook. Apparently important as you don’t have a wide screen space while working through a smartphone.
Rounded, natural shapes
Rounded, natural shapes are making a great breakthrough in the app UI design trends. These somewhat faulty, soft shapes are catching attention as they tend to make cold, sterile tech ambiences easier to indulge with.
For example, in finance related apps, such round, organic shapes oust unpleasant expectations. Consider the example of Oversight, rather using typical blue and grey concrete, geometrical squares and rectangles, as anyone would expect to see in a finance app, the designer has used improper, tender pink shapes to depict the areas where the user is spending money with a nightingale plot graph.
Understandably, seeing the cash out figures and lines in a graph is rarely a comfortable sight. Albeit, the use of soft, organic, irregular shapes alleviates the stress and fear of expenditures in our personal finance, and replace it with a congenial, friendly experience.
The habit of our eyes glued to our smartphone for 4 to 5 hours a day isn’t going out of fashion anytime soon. So why not focus on tweaking the UI design for a user-friendly, less eye-exhausting experience?
In 2020, designers are more compelled than ever to work on dark mode, putting light text against a dark background. Apart from putting less strain on your eyes, viewing content in a dark mode also saves your phone from quick battery drain.
Now, the dark mode app designs are incorporating neons and glowing gradients to make essential content and elements come out on dark backgrounds. See how the A.D.S. app uses bold colors in a compelling way in their music data analytics UI. The best thing is that each music genre comes with its own color, which helps the users remember which genre they listened to throughout the day.
He is an experienced digital marketer and a search engine marketing specialist who is currently associated with Mobile App Design Companies, as an Assistant Manager digital marketer and brand strategist.