Whether you’re part of a well-established development team or you’re just looking into becoming part of mobile app design, it’s important to look to the biggest success stories for ideas on what should come next. This includes looking at both the trends dominating apps in recent months but also practices being employed by the best app development agencies. Each of these can be great windows into the future, and combining the most successful practices with evolutions of the most successful products should be extremely lucrative. The following are some of the biggest concepts that will continue to dominate in the mobile market.
It doesn’t matter what kind of app you’re making—you need to get the user to their end goal as quickly as possible. Your ability to do this will be a major factor in whether your app is judged as successful or not. Simple interactions are a great way to accomplish this. Get your app to work in as few steps as possible, and make each step a brief, logical progression from the previous one.
The concept of Zero UI has become popular in recent years as a means of putting content before the interface. Steps are completed through voice commands and simple swipes rather than more cumbersome inputs. The idea is to eliminate the amount of time spent on our devices while still accomplishing the same goals. This concept easily has the ability to alter the entire digital landscape, so expect to see more advances soon.
A possible disadvantage of the Zero UI approach is that it makes interfaces look similar, which can make it difficult to establish one’s brand in the eyes of the user. However, the more clever developers are looking for ways around this. One way to conquer this problem is by using unique typography and animations in apps. Create a consistent art style across each of your apps, and users will recognize your brand. Just because the macro-design of the Zero UI approach looks similar across the board doesn’t mean you can’t include unique identifiers within the display itself.
Of course, developers can learn from plenty of alternative sources to discover ways to differentiate a brand. While it’s great to focus on the unique aspects of each product, the way the company interacts with the world and how they target their audience can be just as important.
It’s pretty hard to deny that mobile gaming is addicting. It should be no surprise, then, to see that savvy app developers have come up with ways to make their apps more like games. People are naturally competitive, and it’s possible to turn something as mundane as a productivity app into a competitive game where people can share their “karma points” for meeting deadlines. The concept has some interesting possibilities for fitness and education; competitive drive may be just the thing some people need to improve. Regardless, it’s been found that “gamification” can increase app activity by a third, so it looks like the developers are on to something.
Considering the wild success of Pokémon GO, it’s essentially a sure thing that we’ll be seeing more advances in augmented reality in the near future. This could have huge implications for the digital landscape in general and how we interact with our entertainment. More interesting are the possibilities for how this could affect us physically and socially. Augmented reality may well affect where we go and potentially how we interact with the environment and others.
Whether the effects of these trends ultimately turn out to be as grand as some are expecting remains to be seen. Still, you can expect them to continue for the near future at least.