01 Jul Trends That Will Take Your App Into the Next Decade
Make your app design accessible to your users over a variety of devices.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
By Ian Barclay
The app world is exploding with innovation and creativity, and one of the most important elements for a successful app is a design that makes the app easily accessible for users of all devices. Here are 3 current app design trends that will likely keep your app current now and through the rest of this decade:
Swiping vs. Tapping
Remember when we had to double click on an icon to make anything happen? This translated to apps in the form of clicking or tapping, which has evolved into the most current trend of swiping. Swiping makes things easier for users in a number of ways. First, it’s faster than tapping. Secondly, it replaces the frustration that can accompany attempting to tap a teeny tiny icon. The most popular example of the success of swiping is Tinder, but you can apply the swipe method to any number of apps including restaurants. A “swipe to pay” option, for instance, can simplify the process of food ordering for the busy professional who wants to place her usual Tuesday night dinner order.
Once a design idea of science fiction, wearable technology is going to become big by the end of this decade. The International Data Corporation estimates that up to 45.7 million wearable devices will be shipped this year. That number might not seem significant considering that eMarketer estimated in 2014 that by 2016, 2 billion people worldwide will own smartphones, but considering that the iPhone sold 17 million handsets during 2007, the year that it was released, it’s safe to assume that the market for wearable devices will only continue to grow in the next five years.
All of these numbers mean that you should already be thinking about how your app can be designed for wearable devices such as watches. App design for watches should be focused on what can be done at a glance since users will be on the go when they turn on an app, and will only have a moment to take care of whatever business they are trying to do. Ordering food with a quick swipe will be much more reasonable than trying to scroll through a menu and input credit card information on a watch. When you roll out a new app design for wearable devices, make sure to keep a close eye on user feedback. With such a new technology, you need to rely more than ever on your users to tell you what is and isn’t working with your design.
Simple Colour Schemes
Users have decided they just don’t like a lot of bold and bright colours getting in the way of their apps’ accessibility. This might be due to the fact that apps themselves are no longer new and surprising. Users don’t need to be impressed with the level of skill you have creating different colour combinations. They are interested instead in being able to use an app without thinking about it. Keep things simple with your design by attempting a layout with one colour in a variety of shades, or by incorporating white typography and contrasting elements. You could also design a layout that only uses two cool and muted shades. For inspiration, think of the design of apps like Uber or even Pinterest. Both of these apps utilise a simple colour scheme and make it easy for users to figure out how to use the apps without the distractions of loud colours getting in the way.
Like anything technology related, app design trends will come and go. The ones listed above are current trends that are likely to last for the rest of this decade, so it is worth your while to take them into consideration when you design your app. The basic rule of thumb is to make your app design accessible to your users from a variety of devices including mobile phones, tablets, and wearables. Replacing tapping with swiping and keeping your colour scheme muted and simple will make your users more efficient and make it more likely that they turn to your app over a competitor’s when they are trying to get a simple task done.