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App User Experience Trends in 2019

Himanshu Pal

In one of my earlier blogs, I wrote about everything that makes an app stand out. One major element which contributes to the success of the app is its User Interface.

App development is a rather dynamic field. It needs to evolve with the changing technologies continually. Hence, the user experience needs to be as updated as ever.

UI/UX designers, to build apps that are going to cater to the user in 2019, must be deeply informed of all that is happening in not just Android and iOS development but also in technology generally.

We bring you the latest trends that will define the UI/UX space for apps in 2019.

#1 Foldable Screens:

The last half of 2018 saw extended screen sizes with bezel-less phones. The average screen to body ratio has been hitting the higher notes with every new smartphone that launches in the market.The average phone screens ranging from 5.8-6.2 inches now and will increase further. We also saw phones make entries without a bezel (the frame around the displays) which don’t just make the phone seem futuristic but enhances the viewing capacities too. At the same time, it is a trick for the UI designer to make thumb friendly apps which can accommodate on such large displays.2019, however, brings a new thing to the table-foldable screens.With a lot of manufacturers like Samsung, Lenovo and Oppo testing out their foldable screen technologies this year, and Google confirmed its version too; foldable screens will mean a different approach to UX.

Foldable Screen

Image Courtesy: Samsung

#2 Emotion AI:

Having push notifications corresponding to geographical locations has been executed, what we might see in 2019 is apps which can personalize their functions according to human behaviors.Offering custom experience will be taken to the next level with apps becoming able to perceive and process complex human data like lifestyle choices, interests and opinions.This technology could provide a unique input into the UI systems making apps highly responsive to users.

I have separately covered Emotion AI and app development in my other blog.

#3 Demographic Variations in Apps:

In 2019, smartphone penetration will be higher than ever. That means apps will be used by not just millennials but people from every age group from most sections of the society.An app with a broader target audience will have to be sensitive to the demands of all segments. For example, an old person would not be comfortable with smaller fonts and would want more explicit and bigger pictures to perform functions.Thus, ease of use has to extend beyond the 18-35 age group alone. In markets like the US and UK with more people coming into the bracket of 25-50 years, no app development company can choose to lose this huge chunk of the market.

#4 Touch Free Actions:

Gestures like swiping across, or down, long swipes, etc. increased the simplicity of use. In the last few months, we have seen the rise of voice commands like the Google Assistant, Siri and Cortana take this ease to the next level.Apps of 2019 will have to incorporate voice commands into their input methods, and so the user interface has to be designed accordingly.As machine learning and AI grow, chatbots and other communication interfaces get smarter and offer an enhanced experience. So, it’s upon the UI/UX people to make the best of this wave of hands-free gestures.

#5 AR and VR:

The app experience is going to transcend screens. With Augmented Reality, apps will provide interaction with physical spaces and objects. Apple and Google have developed their AR kits, and we will see a lot of applications in 2019 and not just restricted to PokemonGo.Just a few days ago, I visited the Hettich showroom to look at options for revamping my kitchen, and the app they used made me visualize my kitchen, with all I selected to be a part and see how it would look like after all the fittings. It is impressive how AR can help you interact with your environment.While gaming makes intensive use of Virtual Reality, the technology can used in health based and education apps as well.UI designers will have to think out of the box and increase the utility of their apps through these advancements.

AR & VR apps

Image Courtesy: IKEA

#6 Material Design Replacing Flat Design:

Flat designs referred to 2D blocks with a minimalist touch and no gradients. It was contrary to the earlier popular skeuomorphism which had lifelike emulations of real objects into the design.In 2014, Google introduced Material design which could in a way mean an intersection of skeuomorphism and flat. Its layout is simple with a little animation and controlled shadows.Flat design being less intuitive got users mixed up due to an excessive flatness of objects like the confusion between clickable or not clickable items.Google Material countered this problem and had been paving the way for the future of apps. It can and should be used by UI designers to create enhanced experiences for 2019.

material-design vs flat design

Image Courtesy:

The role of UI/UX designers does not end with creating an aesthetically pleasing interface. The overall usability and functionality should be increased through creatively designed ideas.A combination of the trends as mentioned above can help lead the app to success.In the end, Design should be aimed at making life simpler. Apps of 2019 will rely heavily upon UI design for their progress.

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