UI was a little known acronym not too long ago, and now it is at the centre of the conversation, and the anchor with which we deliver an experience to the intended users. UI stands for user interface and a UI designer is tasked with engineering the interface for appliances, software, computers and really any interface that users will interact with. Today we are going to talk about mobile UI design trends, as this has to be the fastest moving vehicle and one that we all have context with.
Now, the trouble with mobile UI is that it is so specialized that you need to be keeping up with the current UI design trends to take advantage of them as they enter the scene, or engage a designer that is deep in the industry and abreast of these changes. If you are about to embark on a project and want to get a sense of what sort of features and functionalities are the current expectation, let’s review what trends we have seen for 2020.
It can’t be too surprising that voice interaction is going to be seen across even more interfaces going forward, as Apple and Amazon have paved the way and shown that this is viable for better user experience. With attention spans shortening and users doing more things at once, voice commands have the power to save time and in some cases be safer to use than using a phone manually, so it will be interesting to see how new and existing interfaces incorporate this into their experience going forward.
Less manual passwords
It’s hard to believe that we no longer have time to enter a four-digit password, but it’s more about security that has seen the huge trend of biometric authentication spike in 2020. Data handling and security are growing themes in our media and social culture, and user interfaces need to be in step with these concerns and deliver a secure and functional solution. In fact, there are even apps you can download that apply biometric authentication to the apps you have without it! By investing in this space, you might find that your users interact with your system more readily and have a better experience, even if it is placebic.
Dark, battery-conserving themes
It doesn’t matter what iteration you have of any phone, battery saving is always something valuable to the user. We are seeing a trend of dark interfaces and themes that use less battery to illuminate the screen, while ultimately delivering the same offering exactly. We’re not just seeing this in mobile phone apps and interfaces either, but security systems and appliances that require staying on all day and night. Consider the interface you are creating and the intended usage time and think about whether this would be a valuable addition for your mobile design scope.
Chatbots aren’t new, there is no doubt about it, although their functionality has significantly improved and 2020 will see even more growth in this space. They feel a lot more ‘real-time’ than what they did when first rolled out, which is no small feat as they are more visually advanced now with animation and even voice command part of the experience. Some brands have actually established an avatar for their chatbots, and have implemented conversational language and a range of feedback measures that are easy to administer.
Mobile UI trends are fascinating to watch, and even more so when they are embraced so positively by the intended user. Do your best to keep an eye on what is trending and what users are expecting from their interfaces so that you can keep up with the market and always be improving your own offering.