Mobile applications have evolved from the rudimentary designs that they were built on earlier. They now play an important role in the way the way the current digital world communicates.
There are apps for just about everything; ordering food, booking tickets, healthcare, travel, you name it. Organisations and developers have recognized the potential that lies in the world of app development, as well as the fierce competition that now exists in the market.
According to statista, there are over 3.8 million Android apps and 2 million apps currently available on their respective platforms, and these figures are bound to increase. Entire teams are now dedicated to creating fast and easy to use apps in order to stay ahead of the curve.
As with every business, customer satisfaction is one of the biggest things that determine if a consumer uses your product. How do you ensure that a customer not only has a good experience but is convinced enough to keep using the app? This is where UI/UX developers come into the picture.
The past few years have seen an exponential increase in demand for creative and proficient designers, in order to create apps that are user-friendly and engaging.
In the past, user experience was not a major player, but it would be a mistake to ignore its relevance in the current scenario.
2018 poses to be a good year for UI/UX design; take a look at some of the inspiring trends of the year.
Top UI trends of 2018:
The user interface is going to determine whether a consumer comes back to your app, and you run the risk of losing a potential customer if they don’t like the UI of your app on their first try.
According to a Google report, 26% of installed apps are not used more than once. Keep in mind some of these UI trends when navigating the app development world.
User engagement is one of the primary targets for designers. A good app interacts with the users and responds to their actions. A seamless exchange of information between the user and the application, without any challenges, will improve your chances of retaining a user.
2. Soothing colors:
Bright colors are a definite no; the current trend seems to indicate that pastels are the preferred palette. They make the application look good, and determine the mood of the user; multiple studies show that colors affect our mental and emotional state. A clean design is one that not only promotes user engagement but retains their attention as well.
3. Strong focus on UX:
UI and UX are two sides of the same coin. A good mobile application is one that combines a good interface and easy usage. A good experience is determined not only by an effective interface but a pleasing one as well.
Top UX trends of 2018:
Mobile app development has grown by leaps and bounds. UX is now at the forefront of the app development world, as it often determines the user engagement rate. Designers should keep track of the latest UX trends, in order to foresee challenges and improve the user experience.
Read Also: Principles of Modern User Experience Design
1. Smooth operations:
The objective of any application is to perform a certain task or function. Developers have understood that the fewer steps a user has to take, the better his experience. To achieve this, one must incorporate a smooth flow to their application.
By focusing on a linear design experience- a specific beginning, middle and end- and progressive disclosure- providing information or directions only when the user needs it- the journey through the app becomes a lot more effective.
GIFs have taken the internet by storm over the past couple of years. Developers have recognized the potential that they have for improving user experience and are now incorporating animations into their design.
They have the ability to bring a dynamic aspect to messaging or communication, and the advantage of not being as heavy as videos. They can be used to draw attention to the essential elements of the app, and give a fresh look to the design.
3. Full-screen experience:
The entry of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the iPhone X has given rise to the frameless design. Greater screen space means users have access to full-screen experiences. When creating applications, the quality of the experience is important as well; most phones now come with HD screens that support high resolution. Pixelated images and videos will negatively impact the user experience on your mobile application.
These are just a few of the things that people are currently incorporating into the world of mobile app development. It is in constant flux- the app development world- and as the demand for apps increase, the user experience is being given greater importance.
Best tools for UI/UX designers:
So how do designers and developers ensure that the app retains users and adds new ones? We’ve put together a list of resources that are currently available; these UI/UX tools facilitate better interaction and improve user experience and serve a design, developing and web creation function. Let’s take a look.
Read Also: Best Web Design Tools For 2018
Tools to use:
Sketch is a lightweight MacOS based tool. It has prompted designers to make the shift from Photoshop because it has the same feel but is more inclined towards UI/UX design.
It boasts an array of features and delivers professional results; Sketch supports infinite zooming, 2x export as well as styled vector shapes. Furthermore, it is compatible with popular tools like Omnigraffe, Photoshop, and Illustrator.
It is an easy-to-use tool and has become popular in the app development world because it allows you to accomplish all your design tasks, in one place.
It improves the wireframing process and optimizes communication with the rest of the design team.
2. Invision Studio:
Another popular prototyping tool, Invision Studio allows designers the opportunity to design and preview as well as share and collaborate with other team members.
It can also be used in sync with the Sketch app. The best feature of this app is the way it facilitates collaboration; share feedback, take notes and view changes in real time!
It is an all-purpose mobile development app and is effective in previewing the digital product.
3. Axure RP:
Axure RP is a useful tool for mobile app development for professionals. It is a complete start to finish solution and its functionalities include prototyping, creating wireframes and storyboards, designing mockups and flowcharts, mapping out a user journey and various other features.
It also gives you the opportunity to code; you can add existing components, and create a smooth design.
An easy-to-use and powerful tool, MockPlus is cleaner and faster than most other software out there. You can create links and between pages on your application, all with a simple drag and drop feature.
It comes packed with over 3000 UI icons and 200 components that are compatible with Android, iOS and PC programs.
It is a clear winner in the efficiency department: in addition to the drag-and-drop feature, you can preview, share and export your prototypes, without remote publishing.
Collaborate with your team on a group project, create collaborative designs and preview changes in real time, all in one place.
5. Origami Studio:
Origami Studio is a standalone software that was developed by the Facebook team and has been used to create apps like Messenger and Instagram.
It is available online as a free software. Origami gives you the option of integrating with Sketch to layer your design and preview the prototype.
It has a couple of cool features as well; record your prototype and share it with your client through the app, or even connect it to your Android and iOS device to preview the changes in real time!
UXPin is a comprehensive tool for all your app development needs. You can wireframe and create prototypes with ease by assimilating designs from Sketch and Photoshop, with a simple drag-and-drop.
It brings an added efficiency to the design, and testing process by giving you access to designs from the library which boasts several ready-made options to create beautiful products.
These designs are compatible with devices across various platforms and screen sizes. Other useful features include a feedback sharing system, real-time preview and easy sharing of your prototype.
Proto gives you access to several prototyping and design templates, making your work easier. The platform doesn’t require you to code and can be integrated with Sketch or Photoshop.
The timeline feature of the app lets you understand the journey that the user would take on the app.
Add animations as well! It features a UI design library, where you can take inspiration from existing templates, and later customize for your needs. As an added bonus, it also supports offline work.
A tool to help you design, create prototypes and collaborate with your team, Marvel is an easy to use and powerful platform.
You can integrate it with Sketch or Photoshop to make the designing process easier, and use it in tandem with Dropbox or Google Drive!
Once you’ve created a static design, Marvel gives you the opportunity to add animations, giving it a more dynamic feel.
Jacob John is a Mobile App developer at one of the topmost Mobile App Development Company by professional and writer by hobby. He specializes in App development like Andriod, iOS, UX/UI designs and more.