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10 Design Trends 2015 - UX & UI Trends for Mobile Solutions

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Do you create or provide a mobile app or web solution? Even if you already have the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) nailed down to a T, you're never quite finished. With different design elements and solutions going in and out of fashion, you constantly have to ensure that your solution doesn't start to feel dated.

Here's our shortlist of the most exciting things going on in UX/UI Design right now and what we can expect to see in this space in a not too distant future!

Published in: Design, Mobile
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10 Design Trends 2015 - UX & UI Trends for Mobile Solutions

  1. 1. (Replace with full screen background image) 10 DESIGN TRENDS 2015 UX & UI TRENDS FOR MOBILE SOLUTIONS
  2. 2. DID WE SAY MOBILE FIRST? WE MEANT MOBILE ONLY! Our last mobile UX/UI trends report reached over 100,000 readers and we hope that this year, you will find it even more interesting and exciting. It’s our ambition to help guide business developers, project managers, developers and of course designers to understand and implement better UX/UI design for mobile. Last year we spoke about “Mobile First”, this year we dare to talk about “Mobile Only”. What we mean by that is to reach your users, a strong mobile presence is more important than ever and for many of our customers it’s the only interface towards users. Examples of this include consumer services such as Über and HotelTonight as well as enterprise applications such as the 3M WaterDealer and Warburtons Red Insight. At the same time Google is elevating the importance of mobile in search by giving priority to websites that are properly optimized for mobile from April 2015. It is indisputable that this type of action from one of the biggest players in the industry sends out the unmistakable message that the threshold to mobile only has been crossed. Enjoy!
  3. 3. (Replace with full screen background image) 1. OMNICHANNEL There are so many ways and possibilities to engage with users today, mobile being the primary interface. The expectation from customers is a seamless experience across web, mobile and in-store. Some examples are in-store experiences using tablets, beacons, NFC, personalised touch screens and of course the customers’ smartphone through an app or mobile web.
  4. 4. WHY DO IT? An app or mobile web is a great start, but what is there beyond that? With research and customer experience mapping we can understand both business and user needs. Our job as UX/UI designers and Business Strategists is to then make sure that the needs are met. With all these possibilities to ensure a seamless experience, bear in mind it’s not only about your customers or your competitors’ customers, it’s about all users.
  5. 5. (Replace with full screen background image) 2. PHABLETS - ADAPTIVE DESIGN Most mobile apps or webs have the same layouts applied for both Phablets and Smartphones. However, the layout for a Phablet and Smartphone should ideally take full advantage of different screen sizes. Phablets frequently replace tablets and therefore the design is expected to be as rich as tablets. For Landscape mode we should also consider displaying a different layout if it adds value to the service.
  6. 6. WHY DO IT? The introduction of phablets has opened another door for adaptive design. Whereas before we could have considered the smartphone as more of an on-the-go device, and tablets perhaps more for leisure or home use, the widespread adoption of the phablet has blurred this line. This puts more challenges on UX/UI Designers, Developers and budgets as we now need to consider the multiple use cases for the new larger screen size, and ensure the best user experience can be created. In reality, it’s about making the most of the new opportunities presented by this in-between device, so always keep in mind how a phablet is actually used.
  7. 7. (Replace with full screen background image) 3. DESIGN FOR A 3D SPACE & MATERIAL DESIGN Last year we discussed layered interfaces and the importance of well- made animations and transitions. With Material Design, Android have taken many of these design principles on board and created a great concept of their own. ‘Meaning with motion’ and layered interfaces are a big part of Material Design and are excellent ways to guide users through the experience. We still need to highlight that ‘Meaning with motion’, if not well-executed, can end up being ‘Annoying with motion’.
  8. 8. WHY DO IT? Designing for a 3D space and using layers in the z-axis gives the user a very clear idea of the app’s hierarchy and is a great way to guide the user throughout the experience. An example of guiding the user is the highlighted Floating Action Button which clearly indicates where the user needs to tap for the next step. When applying ‘Meaning with motion’ we guide and clarify navigation to the user, which actions the user has performed and which actions are expected next. When implemented as part of the flow, the user learns while using the app rather than from a tutorial meaning that app use becomes intuitive.
  9. 9. (Replace with full screen background image) 4. GEOMETRIC ELEMENTS & DYNAMIC LAYOUT Using geometric elements such as a diagonal lines as dividers to separate between sections, images or texts creates a dynamic layout and also nicely lead the user forward from one section to the next. We will see more geometric elements such as hexagons or triangles as background patterns or to highlight information in addition to more traditional circles and boxes used. This trend is simply the next step in the UX evolution, and with content being so dynamic it is only natural that this is reflected in the User Interface.
  10. 10. WHY DO IT? It is natural for designers to try and break the mold and experiment with new visual solutions. These trends appear frequently and while many are adopted as they strike an aesthetic chord, not all have been devised with improved functionality in mind. However, dynamic layouts are something that have emerged recently to break standard layout patterns and as a way to guide the user through the experience. This approach needs to fit well with the brand and may not be suitable for all solutions, nevertheless it is an interesting approach to consider.
  11. 11. (Replace with full screen background image) 5. FONTS WITH A PURPOSE We love fonts and to use the right font or style for the right purpose is a big part of the UX/UI Design. Headlines should stand out and longer paragraphs should be easy to read. Sans Serif typefaces (Helvetica, Open Sans, Roboto, Avenir) are in general more legible than Serif typefaces (Playfair, Garamond, Times New Roman) on a digital screen. Kerning, leading, styles and sizes are all important factors to take into account when creating and implementing your designs.
  12. 12. WHY DO IT? The right use of fonts is as important as the right use of images, colours, and icons to create hierarchy and contrast between headlines and paragraphs, to organize the content and most importantly, for readability and call to action. Serif fonts for paragraphs are more readable for print and are used almost “by default” for newspapers, magazines and books. However, in digital the legibility when using Serif fonts decreases depending on the screen resolutions. Even though many of the latest devices have high screen resolutions, Sans Serif fonts are still often used and recommended for digital formats.
  13. 13. (Replace with full screen background image) 6. BIOMETRICS There is a world out there for biometric mobile integrations. Fingerprint, heartbeat and voice authentication, retina and face scan, brain activity measurements, physiological values indicating health read by skin- like patches and many more. Even though many are still in Beta phase, we expect to see a huge rise in the number of biometric mobile integrations this year. There has been a great deal of focus in Research and Development within this sphere, and exciting use cases in both mHealth as well as Security are being investigated.
  14. 14. WHY DO IT? Biometric mobile integrations make us more efficient. Even though fingerprint authentication is no longer 100% safe (Apple’s Touch ID was hacked by photographing a user’s fingerprint from a glass surface and using the captured image to verify the login credentials), it is still a very efficient authentication method for mobile. Heartbeat authentication is in Beta phase and seems to be 100% safe and just as efficient. This has the ability to change the UX for any action which needs authentication, such as payments, mobile banking or even as simple as a private log in. Biometrics used for controlling your health is another step in the right direction and is indicative of how technology is now becoming such an integral part of our daily lives, that it becomes invisible. The constant monitoring of health and fitness values will not impact on our daily activities, but the the results and findings will allow us to address them by changing our habits or take other measures. In the long-run, we are looking at a future where the wide-ranging benefits will mean healthier lives.
  15. 15. (Replace with full screen background image) 7. CARDS Cards are an intuitive, efficient and attractive way to group information in an outlined box. It makes it clear what information is related to the card and what actions you can take. Most frequent card types are Records (Apple Passbook), Teasers (Pinterest) and Alerts (Tinder). Most common layouts are Boards (Pinterest), Feeds (Social networks) or Stacks (Apple Passbook)
  16. 16. WHY DO IT? Cards are used to group together information in a very intuitive way and permits for a very fast UX, meaning users can easily scan through a lot of content and pinpoint information that is relevant to them. Cards should be used where it makes sense and once a card has been selected by the user, the information should be highlighted and become a point of focus. Pinterest is an example of a great Card solution due to the simplicity of it and how intuitive it is to use. Having removed the navbar, the app utilizes the full screen for displaying content/cards. Navigation is thumb-focused: swipe and scroll to browse through content, bottom tab bar to select categories, and also the hidden but genious long press for action accessible throughout the whole app. Simply a very well-made Teaser Card App.
  17. 17. (Replace with full screen background image) 8. WITH LESS PATIENCE, SIMPLICITY IS MORE EFFICIENT. As mobile app users we are getting less and less patient and if the concept or functionalities are not clear and straight-forward we will most probably not use the app and uninstall it from the device. It is important to always focus on the essence of UX/UI elements included in an app or web. Rather remove functionalities and features than add something that does not bring any real value for your business and your users. Less...
  18. 18. WHY DO IT? ...is more. Solutions should be simple to use. Communicate with an image, a short headline or video instead of long, often-ignored copy, Use motions and hints to guide the user and always focus on few but meaningful features that bring value to your business and to your users. There is a lot of psychology involved in why it is important to keep it simple. Here is an example. If you are given the option to choose 1 of 10 things you will probably have a harder time deciding which to select than if you were only presented with three choices. You would also probably not feel as comfortable after having made the choice as you would have preferred choosing from fewer options. When choosing from only three things you would probably feel more convinced you had made the right choice as well as generally feeling better with yourself about the decision.
  19. 19. (Replace with full screen background image) 9. THUMB-FOCUSED NAVIGATION. TREND OR STANDARD? Thumb-focused navigation for standard-sized smartphones includes so many great UX principles so we like to call it a standard rather than a trend. A solution that lets you navigate through the app using only one hand a often a well-made thumb-focused navigation solution. Even though Phablet users do not mind using two hands, thumb-focused navigation is simply a great UX approach to keep in mind when creating any mobile solution.
  20. 20. WHY DO IT? Since we all have different sized hands, with this approach we can create a similar experience for all users. This great UX approach includes user interaction principles such as: 1. Swipe to left and right to navigate through the app. 2. Scroll up and down to navigate, to close articles or to reload a page. 3. Different length swiping to access multiple options such as delete, save, share or mark as read. 4. Bottom tab bar to switch between categories. 5. Long press to activate options such as share, like or access menu and with a continued movement of the finger pressed, select the option.
  21. 21. (Replace with full screen background image) 10. PRIVACY How do you feel when an app wants to access your private content such as photos, location or contacts? We are in general very protective of our private information and it’s crucial to build trust in this step of the process. We believe in transparency. When asking for private information explain to the user the reasons why it is needed and what value this brings. Rather than slowing down the experience we believe this can create trust and make the user feel comfortable about sharing private information.
  22. 22. WHY DO IT? We believe that honesty and transparency are key in showing users they can trust a solution. App users that feel comfortable sharing private information and understand what they gain by sharing this information will feel better about their experience and most likely stick with the app and keep using it. When requesting a credit card number for an in-app payment feature, explain the reasons why this data is required and what the user gains by allowing access to their personal information.
  23. 23. BONUS SECTION WHAT’S COMING! To this year’s trends deck we have added a quick preview of what we hope and believe we will see in the market this decade. Exciting times!
  24. 24. (Replace with full screen background image) FLEXIBLE BRACELET We are very much looking forward to seeing this wearable device and believe it will be a revolutionary product. The idea is to manipulate the shape of the bracelet to either wear on the wrist or use as a regular phone. With the sim card integrated in the bracelet there are no dependencies on other mobile devices. Usability, size and comfort are all critical factors that need to be solved to ensure the success of this product.
  25. 25. (Replace with full screen background image) INVISIBLES Invisibles are wearables that in a near future will be discretely integrated onto, or into, our bodies such as MIT’s contraceptive chip or Google’s contact lenses. Invisibles can be used for health and fitness but we also see big possibilities for other areas as well such as security and payments. Invisibles will be a key element in making the User Experience as seamless and unobtrusive as possible. Technology will simply be an integral part of ourselves and our daily lives.
  26. 26. (Replace with full screen background image) PROJECTIONS & HOLOGRAMS Cicret is now developing a prototype that reflects the device display on your arm. We think the approach is very interesting however visibility, contrast as well as interaction are variables that still need a lot of work if this device is to become commercially viable and successful. It would also be interesting to see a UX/UI for this device without any dependencies on other devices.
  27. 27. (Replace with full screen background image) KITS & MOBILE MULTI USE The most common Kits today are HomeKit, HealthKit, CarPlay and similar. The list of what can be done with these kits is long but currently it is difficult to find hardware to use them with. However this will change as the market gradually catches up. Imagine controlling your TV, Doors, Lightning, Heating with your mobile device. Monitor your health to manage long-term ailments or improve fitness, with tracking data shared directly with your doctor. Or with CarPlay that assists you throughout the whole driving experience for a safer and more efficient drive.
  28. 28. (Replace with full screen background image) AUTODRIVEN CAR Autodriven cars are being tested in different parts of the world and it is inevitable this will become a part of our daily lives in a not so distant future. Since your mobile device and the car can be connected there are a lot of UX/UI possibilities, both for your mobile device and for the car dashboard or windshield. Call on your car to come and pick you up or set the mood inside of the car controlling lightning, music, engine settings etc.
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