We have been using mobile apps for quite a long time. In 1997, Nokia created a built-in version of the game Snake, considered the first mobile application. Today, we tap our smartphones whenever we book tickets, order food, catch a taxi, watch videos, and many other things.
In 2021, people spent 92% of mobile time on apps. A year later, this time has increased to 227 minutes per day. Still, the platform’s popularity doesn’t mean the product will be in demand too. People expect to see something familiar but delivered in an improved manner. This fact relates both to features and interface. By sticking to the upcoming trends, you can create a convenient mobile app with a high chance of being loved by users.
What mobile UI trends should we expect in 2023?
3D interactive objects
The designers have been using three-dimensional elements for a while now. Placed as static images or background embellishments, they are meant to please the users’ eyes. The new tendency suggests turning 3D illustrations into interactive elements, so people can rotate, zoom, and drag them. In this case, these elements have more power in storytelling and onboarding. Even with the animations, such images don’t overload the mobile app. Thanks to the developers’ efforts, 3D interactions are lightweight and work smoothly on low-performance smartphones.
Three-dimensional pictures don’t have to be something abstract. They can represent any idea or serve as placeholders for users’ images. In both cases, such renders act as additional elements that complement the overall composition.
Why use 3D interactive images in UI/UX?
- More attractive for users that got used to static 2D images;
- Have greater storytelling power;
- Lightweight and not performance craving;
- Universal in terms of style
Illustration by neural networks
AI and machine learning are quite popular in software development. 65% of businesses that adopted ML technologies have experienced a quality improvement in their processes. However, artificial intelligence can also be used in art creation to speed up the workflow. For example, when your team is making a project presentation, and you need a pair of images to accompany the idea. You can ask a neural network to generate a unique picture for you quickly. It won’t be as flawless as human art, but it will be impressive.
Neural networks are not a new technology, but they have only recently become a trend in mobile UI. Midjourney is one of the most popular algorithms since it’s available for everyone and provides impressive results. The AI generates images based on a short text description, chosen style, aesthetics, and period. For instance, you can quickly switch between realism and abstractionism just by changing a word or two.
Reasons why you should consider using neural networks:
- Require less time and effort;
- Allow your illustrators to do more crucial tasks;
- Cheaper than hiring another artist;
- Able to re-create any style or object.
AR and VR
Alternative and virtual realities have a significant impact on the game industry. They allow people to interact with digital objects placed in the real world using a smartphone. However, this feature is a great opportunity to promote company products worldwide when users don’t have to visit shops or offices physically. That’s why 91% of businesses are already adopting VR or AR technologies.
Travelling, retail, or makeup mobile applications can really benefit from this trend. For example, with virtual fitting based on AR, people can check if snickers match their outfits right at home with the help of a smartphone camera. While selecting shoes, one can rotate a realistic 3D model and check every little detail, just like in a shop.
Why alternative and virtual realities are UI trends?
- Powerful promotion tool;
- Keeps users attracted by a high level of interaction;
- Suitable for a variety of products.
In summer 2021, Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Facebook, launched a metaverse — he began transferring the social network into a virtual world.
The metaverse is a digital three-dimensional universe where people can fully interact with an environment using a special kit. In other words, a digital world mixes AR and VR technologies, offering an immersive experience.
In terms of design, the metaverse is closely connected to 3D. Platforms like Gravity Sketch already allow people to collaborate and create objects or characters for virtual realities. That’s why photos or digital avatars have high chances of vanishing too, since people will be able to shape whatever appearance they like in VR. Therefore, two-dimensional forms and software to work with them may soon become undemanded.
Metaverse is based on Web 3.0, NFT, and blockchain; that’s why mobile apps related to these technologies will be most trending. It’ll be a perfect place to sell unique art, 3D objects, services, etc., using cryptocurrencies.
The only downside here is that developers should be skilled at handling frameworks required for metaverse technology and obtain compatible VR kits. They are not cheap, so it’s not ideal for startups or small businesses.
Reasons to consider implementing the metaverse into your application:
- Connected with the top-notch technologies of Web 3.0;
- Offers a high level of interaction with the products and users;
- Provides personalization to some extent.
Integration with wearables and beacons
Most people have wearable devices on them: smartwatches, tablets, smartphones, fitness bands, and others. We use them daily, and it’s a lucrative field for developing various applications. And that’s why they are becoming a mobile app trend.
In this case, the UI/UX designers should consider the screen size. It’s smaller, so they have to find a new way of delivering content. It should be natural looking, non-intrusive, and fit perfectly. At the same time, there is a rising tendency for mirror design. The companies create similar or similar applications on multiple devices, like a wristband and fitness app for Android.
However, context still plays a vital role in this type of design. For instance, when people want to record an exercise using a smartwatch paired with an application, they will most likely also listen to music. So, the mobile UI on the wristband and smartphone should be aware of possible scenarios.
Wearable devices make designers create quick and lightweight interactions, like giving a response without opening a messenger. The same goes for in-app and cross-app interactions.
In the upcoming years, mobile applications connected with various devices will be on top, especially those related to the healthcare sector. Such apps will be able to track a person’s health and help diagnose an early disease and alert when the condition gets risky. Not just physical but mental too. In terms of other businesses, they can assist in transmitting information and improving customer service.
Beacons are small wireless devices that connect via Bluetooth and transfer specific signals. They are usually used in retail. When a customer enters a shop, the device connects with the app installed on their smartphone. Then it recommends certain products according to the settings provided by the person.
With the rise of wearable devices and the Internet of Things, this tandem will become a powerful tool in advertising campaigns, encouraging people to buy selected products, and apply in-app coupons and rewards.
Reasons to consider linking the product to wearable devices:
- Such devices are extremely popular;
- High utility for potential customers;
- Improvement in customer service.
Micro-interactions are minor reactions people see when performing a particular action in a mobile app. A perfect example of this trendy app design is an animation for various elements like switches, stickers, buttons, bars, etc. They encourage users to take action, reward people with a result, and provide feedback. Moreover, micro-interactions improve user experience without leading a person astray.
Advanced micro-interactions are on a different level. These include gestures, hands-free tools, VUI, or Voice User Interface. In the faster rhythm of modern life, such technologies have become increasingly popular. According to Microsoft, around 25% of people use voice search on their mobile devices daily, for example, Google Assistant and Alexa. Apart from shorting the user’s path towards the goal, advanced micro-interactions help people stay safe in different work environments.
Adding various gestures and voice features into a mobile app ensures that your creation stays in demand for the upcoming years.
Why add such interactions to your product?
- Increases the overall convenience;
- Boosts accessibility and safety;
- Shortens the path towards the user goal.
A new level of personalization
Personalization has always been an essential part of UI/UX. It establishes a strong connection with the user and strives to provide valuable features based on particular tastes.
With time, personalization got to a different level. From custom themes and icons, we now come to in-app recommendations for likes and dislikes. They are set by AI and machine-learning algorithms that track people’s actions. Most are based on geolocation, Internet searches, and “thumb-ups” on social media. It sounds intrusive, however, 72% of people interact only with personalized messages and recommendations. 90% of users are willing to share their preferences and behavior in exchange for a better shopping experience.
Why is in-depth personalization considered a mobile UI trend?
- Establishes a strong connection with a user;
- Increases user retention;
- Boosts customer loyalty;
- Gives the app a pinch of individuality
Simplification of large data amounts
The screen space is still limited while the data amount keeps growing. Intelligent sensors, recommendations, dashboards – all of this should squeeze in and still look pixel-perfect. Now the designers suggest simplifying and removing all distracting elements.
This option is not just in-depth work with white space on a wireframing stage. It also involves well-thought typography, graphics, and data management. Some additional info can be placed into sheets, navigation drawers, or tabs. This way, you will have more space for crucial numbers on the main screen. If necessary, the user will tap and read the details.
Pros for simplifying the enormous data amounts:
- Better-looking design with lots of ‘air’;
- Improved user experience;
- Makes the path towards the goal easier.
Emotional feedback for users
Together with personalization, emotional feedback is another powerful feature of establishing a close connection with a client. It usually appears in healthcare apps; however, now this feature pops out in other spheres, like fitness, retail, e-learning, etc. Designers prefer to add emotional feedback as achievements, splash screens with inspirational quotes, daily statistics, or banners. This shape gives enough context and encourages people to keep doing the chosen activity, which is crucial for healthcare.
“You have been meditating for two days!”. “Well done!”. Such little praises also serve as friendly care and increase customer loyalty to the mobile application and company.
Why showing such feedback is important?
- Helps retain customers and increases their loyalty;
- Assist people in reaching their goals;
- Turns the product into a ‘pocket’ friend.
Solving identification issues
We use lots of apps, websites, and services every day, so it’s natural we need to enter passwords here and there. However, it’s not convenient: combinations are easy to forget, steal or hack.
The UI trends offer other ways to login into an application, like drawing lines, face recognition, fingerprint, or retina scanning. They are not widespread, yet the designers see potential problems. With COVID-19, using a Face ID while wearing a mask is impossible. Sometimes, you can’t switch on a camera because it’s crowdy or you’re at a business meeting.
These questions also bring up security issues. Some of them are solved by displaying a placeholder cover and not the real ID with a photo. Alternatively, some apps allow cross-identification. That is, when a person is logged in on a website, they can just push a button there or scan a QR code to enter on their mobile phone.
Why is improved security important?
- Few chances to damage your company’s reputation;
- Safer ways for people to handle their private data;
- Hacks and breaches are less possible.
Summing up the mobile UI design trends for 2023
As you can see, the rising tendencies are related to a variety of questions: user retention and experience, security and identification, entertainment and self-development, etc. By implementing them into your future project, you can make it stay on top of the food chain for a longer time. This may be costly, but such investments are worth the money and effort. At the same time, the trendy app design should correspond to the intention, target audience needs, and your brand in general. Otherwise, the whole picture might look odd.
If you are looking for a team of mobile app developers that are up to date with the latest trends, then get in touch with us. We have enormous experience creating applications that users really like.