Posted in Design
Mobile iOS app design trends are constantly evolving to reflect the improvements introduced in each new iOS release, as well as the new features that next-generation iPhone, iPad, and iWatch devices bring with them. While some trends are specific to iOS, many affect the mobile design world at large, including the Android and Windows Phone platforms.
People spend on average 127 minutes every day using mobile apps on smartphones and tablets. Whether you’ve already launched an iOS app or are planning to develop one, taking note of the most important UX and UI iOS trends this year is essential to offering users an up-to-date, engaging interface and a great user experience that will make it hard for them to put down your app. Discover the top 10 UX/UI trends for mobile iOS app designs this year.
Hidden navigation helps create a cleaner and more immersive user experience. It works by hiding away navigational elements after the app has been opened or when certain features of it are used, freeing up more screen space for the content. Hidden navigation can be partial or total, and it can be adapted to many different types of apps. To be effective, hidden navigation has to be carefully implemented, otherwise it can leave app users feeling lost or confused.
More and more iOS app developers are making their apps cleaner and more readable by removing shadows, textures, and gradients. The result is flat designs that do away with 3-dimensional design elements to create a simple and effective interface. To make flat designs fresh and exciting, developers are enhancing them with bold and vibrant colors, beautiful typography, and large buttons. Flat designs look great on the iPhone’s and iPad’s bright screen.
While by no means a new mobile iOS trend, infinite scrolling is now being widely used by more and more apps across categories. Providing a continuous, more fluent user experience, infinite scrolling facilitates the effective presentation of content. It empowers designers to keep the design and layout of apps with a lot of content clean while providing a focused experience and improving the overall performance of the design. For a great example of infinite scrolling within an app, check the official Instagram app for iOS.
Fullscreen User Interfaces
The fullscreen UI makes the best possible use of the limited screen space of most mobile devices, and especially of smartphones, to improve visibility within the app and provide a more immersive user experience. Fullscreen UIs call for an intuitive and smooth navigation that doesn’t slow down the user journey at any of its stages. A fullscreen UI can go hand in hand with hidden navigation to create a beautifully minimalistic app design.
Overlays On Blurred Backgrounds
Unlike the often annoying overlays or pop-ups that computer users have to put up with while browsing websites, the overlays that are making their way into mobile iOS app designs are being used like road signs to highlight important information or encourage a more focused interaction with specific app features. Overlays on blurred backgrounds can be used to highlight in-app achievements, remind users to rate the app, or present hard to resist calls to action. Overlays have to be carefully placed, though, else they can break the flow of the app.
Contextually Aware Interfaces
Smart, context-aware UIs rely on triggers such as time, location, or activity to present relevant content or design elements within the app, allowing users to access features and content with fewer taps. A context-aware UI can, for example, automatically adjust the app theme or background image based on the time of day when the app is being used, or present specific content when the user is launching the app in a specific location, such as at work or at home. Context-aware interfaces will likely become smarter and smarter, with developers coming up with new creative ways to use them to enhance the user experience on both iPhones and iPads.
Created with smartphone, tablet, as well as smartwatch users in mind, synchronous UIs are easily adaptable to different screen sizes, so that they can be accessed not only on the user’s main mobile device, but also on secondary ones and wearables. To create synchronous UIs, developers are focusing on flat, minimalist designs and fullscreen user interfaces, doing away with complicated menus or superfluous design elements. Creating synchronous UIs not only requires extensive UI testing on multiple devices, but also poses the challenge of how to best organize design elements so that they are equally accessible on all devices.
Tiles For an Improved Navigation
Popularized by the Windows 8 operating system, tiles are making their appearance in iOS apps as convenient replacements for menus and content elements. Aesthetically pleasing and easy to understand, tiles can improve visibility as well as usability, helping to streamline the user experience. Tiles seem to work especially well with highly visual apps that aim for an intuitive user experience.
Following a popular web design trend, diffuse backgrounds are now being adopted by elegant iOS apps, helping draw attention to call to action buttons in a subtle way that works with many different interface styles. Diffuse backgrounds go well with the clean and minimalistic designs that iOS app developers have generally favored, which is why they are probably going to be one of the major mobile iOS UI trends in the near future.
Big fonts are a simple and effective way for developers to draw attention to specific buttons or elements within an app. While not all developers will likely adopt big fonts this year, many will, if only to keep up with the slow but steady enlargement of the iPhone screen size – think especially of iPhone 6s Plus. The bigger iOS devices are getting, the bigger the fonts.
While keeping up with the latest UX/UI mobile iOS app design trends can help you build a great iOS app for your company this year or improve your existing app, it’s important to understand that some trends are more appropriate for some app categories than others. Working with a professional iOS mobile app development company is the most effective way to understand which mobile design trends are the most relevant for your app and effectively integrate them into it.
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