In the interconnected world, dominated by endless types of internet-powered devices, there are as many consumers personas, behaviours and needs as number of ideas when it comes to how to offer them the ultimate, most satisfying UX mobile experience. A tricky task for sure!
“In the User Experience for Mobile Applications and Website, Raluca Budiu and Jakob Nielsen emphasise the increasing difficulty of achieving optimal user satisfaction in the mobile context.
What works in a given context will not work elsewhere, which is why any design of a mobile UX must be based on accurate knowledge of needs, expectations and behaviors of potential users.”, Benoît DROUILLAT, Head of User eXperience, WordAppeal
As a digital content and app software company we were curious to find out if today’s tech experts see certain commonalities of mobile user experience design or whether they differ in their opinions. That’s why we decided to reach out to designers, speakers, UX directors, industry experts asking about: key predictions and trends in mobile user experience design.
The response we received was overwhelming (what a hot topic!) and the findings really fascinating. Thank you all! Although we were surprised not to see many commonalities we spotted four key repeated themes:
- Images, animations and videos
- Multiscreen, multipurpose
- Designing for different needs
Trends in mobile user experience design – experts views
Animated, responsive image drives traffic making app attractive and shareable
“While it needs to be used in a timely and relevant manor, animation is something that can make an mobile app’s UI stand out, I’m looking forward to seeing how designers implement useful animations across app interfaces that really benefit the mobile users’ experience.”, Rob WHITING, Product Design & Research Manager, Electronic Press
“One of the principles that is close to my heart and that I see used more frequently, is an app design and functions that ‘follow’ users and that change during certain actions e.g. icons that fit the size of smartphones and tablets. Also Pull Down features that are also illustrated by an animation, everything that will make the user want to stay in an application but also to share it around.”, Aymeric BARANOWSKI, Creative Technologist, Rakuten Aquafadas
“With the rise in technology and a more visual push for data UI I think we’re going to start to see more conventions put in place to represent certain elements. E.g. Dials, pie charts, bar charts etc.. We’re also restricted to certain languages used for multi-OS’ which can be down to budget or resource such as react native and ruby over native OS languages.”, Kurt HENDERSON, Chief Product Officer (CPO), Startup Kompas
Interconnected world requires automation
“Smart home technology means that more and more people have always-on, internet connected devices in their homes for everything from essentials like heating through to checking sports scores or listening to their favourite streaming music provider. I’d like to see App Designers make more of the potential around automation for this, learning what people do and when they do it and pre-empting them having to always request their apps or devices to perform these actions.“, Rob WHITING, Product Design & Research Manager
Omnipresent multiscreen shaping mobile UX
“Nowadays principles of users interaction have changed. People no longer use a single device, they interact on the go, using the device best suited to the situation: smartphone, PC in the office, tablet in the living room etc. As a result design of a digital service can no longer rely on a single device. We don’t design with device in mind, we design a global experience that will be installed on different devices according to the context. This is one of the main changes of the UX of recent years: the arrival of omnipresent applications called “multi-screens”. Therefore it is the experience that is key and not the device. The device has become a support to the user experience, adapting to the context of use. It is no longer the focus of the user experience.”, Jean-François Nogier, President/Founder, Usabilis
Different age, ability, needs, usage habits and attention span – UX needs to meet all the needs
“One of the mobile UX trends I’m most pleased to see is an increased focus in designing for age and ability. We can amass enough data about mobile user behavior to tailor experiences for the very young, seniors, those with various types of color-blindness and many other segments who encounter challenges in having the expected experience when using digital products. These considerations will affect how we customize navigation, layout, color palettes, and font treatments making experiences unique to each user category and eventually to each individual.”, Lisa BASKETT, Senior UX Designer, RevUnit
“Time. Don’t waste peoples by writing overly-wordy copy or having to scroll too much to find what they are looking for. Keep it simple, focus on what makes you stand out from your competition and give each page a clear next step.”, Paul RANDALL, Senior UX Architect, Evosite
“When designing mobile applications, it’s important to take into account “micro-moments”, which means how to transform a moment of rest into a potential moment of purchase? This is new. Today users want to be able to buy, review websites and apps while sipping coffee, on the train or in the waiting room. We need to keep them as much time as we can and accompany them in these choices.” Aymeric BARANOWSKI, Creative Technologist, Rakuten Aquafadas
And the future?
Apple’s ARKit is here!
“Pokémon Go was a huge hit in the AR (augmented reality) area, but the release of Apple’s ARKit with iOS11 will bring this into more mainstream use. How well people accept these AR apps will be down to how easily Designers allow them to be experienced and used.”, Rob WHITING, Product Design & Research Manager
Security, data and emotions
“Key trends that will shape the feature I observed are:
- Security of mobile banking transactions via biometrics (including voice recognition)
- Artificial intelligence as a lever for an improved customer experience
- Data-centric interfaces that depict a true design of information
- Emotional design meaning mobile services able to empathise to create a pleasant and memorable user experience.”, Benoît DROUILLAT, Head of User eXperience, WordAppeal
If you liked our article about trends in mobile user experience design, you can check our column about expert predictions about digital in 2017.