Mobile software design as a process is under constant refinement, which makes it tough to keep up with current aesthetic trends. That being said, it’s always crucial for developers and designers to stay abreast of new UI elements that will help them release products at a high level of visual fidelity. Here are five of the biggest UI trends that you may want to start implementing in your own design—if you haven’t already.
Google’s latest design language is called “Material,” and very soon this is the aesthetic that we’ll be seeing in a whole host of Google apps to come. We love the bold minimalism of Material, and are especially fond of the way it provides a more approachable, vague brand of skeuomorphism with its refined, paper-based design metaphor.
As wearables continue their rollout into the consumer space, their interfaces will continue to evolve. They’ll start awkwardly, in a struggle to find the perfect balance between fashion and functionality. Eventually, however, developers and designers will begin to find the sweet spot of interaction that makes wearables helpful without being annoying. Features like RFID and NFC will also become a larger part of our lives, taking advantage of wearables in ways that transform the way we interact with our physical surroundings.
Swiping for Action
Swipe right if you like what you see, swipe left if it’s a pass. It’s a simple basis for interaction, and yet has proven compelling enough to propel Tinder into the very heart of the app world. Simplicity is one of the most common virtues of good UX design, but the swipe has taken the concept to its extreme. As the creators of Tinder told Fast Company in a recent interview, we often approach new ideas with a binary mindset. While our thoughts develop more complexity from that point, the swipe has proven effective because it confronts us with a simple decision: Yes or No?
While cards are a crucial design element of Google’s Material Design language, they carry some major UI implications that are sure to show their faces in many apps to come. “Cards” are exactly what they sound like – small interactive cards that house small bite-size functions and comprise the larger app. Like Microsoft’s Windows, these are meant to define a new kind of interaction. We can’t wait to see where designers take them.
Parallax Scrolling isn’t exactly a new trend. We’ve seen it used in long-form visual journalism, as well as product websites. We included it in our own site redesign, and we love it. While many have already discovered the visual possibilities of parallax scrolling, we’re excited to see the design element grow in both utility and execution.