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Product Design
22.01.2019 | 5 min

How a modern app should look like?

With the vast majority of the world owning a smartphone, it’s easy to believe that apps are taking over. You can log your food, bank, record exercise, communicate, play games and so much more through the ease of a mobile application. Given their popularity, you may think that it’s a simple feat to have a successful mobile app. This idea is just not true.

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Table of Contents
  • #1: User Interface should be seamless
  • #2: Say Goodbye to Vectors and Stock Photos
  • #3: Use Characters to Tell Stories
  • #4: Background Images Are King
  • #5: Color is Making a Comeback
  • Let your brand be perfectly designed

As technology rapidly evolves and continuously changes, so do the needs of consumers. If you’re not keeping up with these trends, you’ll likely be left behind. Think about the apps you use—how often are there new updates? Pretty frequently, right? These updates not only enhance the security of the app and fix any bugs, but they also introduce important design updates that keep your app relevant and consumers interested.

To keep your app interesting enough to hold a loyal audience, you need to make sure it’s up to date with the latest and greatest innovations in terms of mobile application design. To make it easy on you, we’ve done the hard work. Here’s a list of the top five must-have design trends in mobile applications.

#1: User Interface should be seamless

Consumers today expect a lot from their technology, and apps are no exception. That’s why it’s no surprise that one of the top design trends is having a seamless user interface. This means that your application should be picture-perfect, load without any lag or transition, and layout the content on the first page. No one wants to scroll to find the navigation bar. If they have to, chances are they’ll look for a different app that has a simpler, more forward interface that doesn’t make them do the searching to find what they need.

Think about your personal experience interacting with both apps and websites. How long do you stay on the page if you can’t find exactly what you're looking for? The chances are that you click away after not much time at all and try your luck with a similar site. Your app users will follow the same mentality. If they can’t find how to contact you or your product page, they’re going to take their business elsewhere.

#2: Say Goodbye to Vectors and Stock Photos

Consumers today are pretty much over the generic vector banners and stale stock photos. To stay up to date with the trends, you’re going to have to incorporate creative digital illustrations on your page. This could include mascots, full illustrations, or even simple icons. Remember the old notion that a picture is worth a thousand words. And, also keep in mind that if your app isn’t unique, it most likely won’t keep the attention span (which is now less than that of a goldfish) of your audience.

How often do you visit an ill-designed website and leave because its colors are dreary or their imaging looks like it’s from the 90s? Incorporate new graphic design trends like digital illustrations to keep the attention of changing the audience's eye.

#3: Use Characters to Tell Stories

Everyone loves a good story. In today’s times, where consumers are inundated with sales messaging from everywhere, it’s especially true. If you only give your consumers and audience a sales pitch, they’ll turn you off faster than they’d click out of a website they shouldn’t be browsing at work. This makes it more difficult for you to market your services or products, but not impossible. Consumers are looking for a conversation, not a sales pitch. So, focus on telling a story about your product. You can accomplish this by using a character design to tell a story.

You can either illustrate a character or use a real-life person to serve as a character for your services or products. In addition to changing the narrative from a sales pitch to a conversation, using a character to tell your story is a great way to enhance your brand’s identification. Think of popular brands, many of them have recognizable characters. Consider Ronald McDonald, Tony the Tiger, or even the Verizon rep. These characters help consumers identify with and remember a brand.

#4: Background Images Are King

As you’ve probably picked up on, imaging is a huge trend. Adding a full-screen background image on your page that’s 1) appropriate and relevant and 2) emotion-triggering will intrigue consumers and encourage them to stay on your page for longer. Now, images can be stock photos, but if you go that route, make sure it’s a modern stock photo that relates to your services or products. Don’t pick a generic picture of a couple smiling if you're trying to sell construction services. Going back to the second trend in this blog, it might be more impactful to feature a unique mascot or digital illustration to pique a consumer’s interest.

#5: Color is Making a Comeback

Experimental colors and color palettes in apps and websites are a big trend. This doesn’t mean you can throw a bunch of bright colors together and expect it to work, though. Picking colors have a psychological component to them. If you’re selling spa services, opt for calming colors like muted blues and purples to communicate a relaxing atmosphere through your app. If you’re selling party products or services, feel free to get fun with the color scheme since you’re selling fun. Try using online color palette generators, which will provide you with a few different color combinations that work well together, to help come up with your app’s new aesthetically pleasing color combination.

Let your brand be perfectly designed

You may be wondering why you need even to consider implementing these hot trends into your app. As previously alluded to, the consumer is changing. They’re more conscious of brand design, and they want their experience to be as comfortable as possible. Sometimes, this means that even if you have the superior app, product or service, if they can't find it within mere minutes, they're going to kick you to the curb and find an inferior app, product, or service that gives them what they want quickly.

If you don’t want to be cast aside, it’s imperative that your business evaluates these top trends for mobile design and implements the ones that make the most sense for you. Choosing even just two of these top trends to focus on this year will help keep your app relevant and refreshed enough to stay on track with the other apps in your industry.

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