What Are Mobile App UX Design Trends in 2024?

Last Updated: 

July 17, 2024

Mobile app UX design is entering the era of contradictions. Interfaces are expected to be uncluttered and, at the same time, adopt the best of the incredible opportunities of 3D and AR. They need to cater to a myriad of formats and sizes and, with this, satisfy the demands of people with various kinds of physical limitations. They also increasingly leverage colour play to engage users. On top of this, they must remain functional to be a good ambassador of your values and product and yield ROI. In this piece, our UX Design Consultants share insights on how to overstep the boundaries and envision truly groundbreaking screens.

Key Takeaways on Trends in Mobile User Interfaces:

  1. Responsive UX Design Remains Essential: The prevalence of various device sizes demands a commitment to responsive design, as showcased by industry leaders like Dropbox, Slack, and Netflix, ensuring a seamless experience for users across diverse parameters.
  2. Mobile-First Design for High Performance: Prioritise mobile device characteristics when creating mockups, adopting a Mobile First Design approach. This ensures optimal performance, responsiveness, and a clear content hierarchy, addressing the limitations of smaller screen spaces.
  3. Voice Interaction is the New Normal: The integration of voice interfaces, as seen in products like Alexa and Siri, revolutionises user interaction. This trend enhances accessibility and aligns with the evolving capabilities of AI, offering a novel way for users to engage with mobile applications.
  4. 3D Design and Minimalism Integration: The combination of 3D design and minimalism creates visually appealing and user-friendly mobile interfaces. Adobe XD, Etsy, and Zillow exemplify this trend, enhancing user experience across diverse industries.
  5. Gradients Elevate Colour Play: Dynamic colour gradients are gaining traction, allowing designers to convey ideas dynamically. This trend, applied in forecasting algorithms and fitness trackers, offers a broader spectrum for expression and brand philosophy in limited spaces.
  6. Dynamic Typography Evokes Emotion: Using dynamic typography through motion and colour transitions adds an emotional dimension to mobile app UX design. Brands leverage these effects to intensify their messages and create visual associations, contributing to a richer user experience.
  7. Unique Fonts Set Brands Apart: Choosing distinctive fonts that harmonise readability, accessibility, and creativity becomes a movement in UX design for mobile. Unique typographic options like UltraSolar Normal and Grind Grotesque help brands stand out and evoke specific associations.
  8. Dark Mode Endures in Popularity: Dark mode, recognised by about 82% of consumers, remains a sought-after feature for its eye-friendly and battery-saving benefits. Implementing dark interfaces requires careful consideration of brand colours to ensure visibility against dark backgrounds.
  9. Creative Custom Drawings Increase Engagement: Infuse uniqueness into mobile app UX design through hand-drawn sketches and custom illustrations. Visual content, especially graphics, plays a crucial role in attracting and retaining user attention, offering a personal touch.
  10. Storytelling Enhances User Engagement: In a media landscape dominated by reels, storytelling adds freshness to mobile app UX design. Blogs, science-oriented sites, and news channels leverage storytelling, complemented by smooth navigation and dynamic artwork.
  11. Surefire Animations for Enhanced User Journeys: Well-planned animations, including overlapping, staging, and hover effects, contribute to more engaging user journeys. User-friendly transitions of colours and forms guide users through screens without overwhelming them.
  12. Soft UI for Elegance and Practicality: Neumorphic design, as embraced by Apple, Tesla, and Nike, prioritises monochromatic palettes and mild contrasts. Soft UI seamlessly integrates elements into backdrops with subtle shadows, enhancing elegance, creativity, and practicality.
  13. Glassmorphism for Depth and Volume: The latest trend, glassmorphism, mimics opaque glass, offering depth and volume to UI elements. Applied in login forms, media players, and weather forecasting solutions, it brings an unconventional aesthetic with a balanced use of the blur() background filter.
  14. Personalised UX Design with AI Integration: The era of personalised content extends to UX design, with AI algorithms driving tailored features. Users can fine-tune preferences, switch themes based on geolocation, and receive personalised messages, enhancing overall user satisfaction.
Discover Real-World Success Stories

Trend #1: Responsive UX design for mobile is still in fashion

Taking into account the abundance of foldable and unfoldable models of all sizes with curved, straight, etc. edges, providing for responsibility is a matter of surviving in a cutting-throat market. Perhaps the most compelling and famous brands who think beyond the desktop in their aspiration to meet their audiences’ needs are Dropbox, Slack, Netflix, and other loud names. Their solutions clearly show their care for users who avail themselves of the same seamless experience regardless of available parameters.

Responsive UX Design

Trend #2: Give preference to mobile device characteristics when drawing up mockups  

In continuation to the above, a proven way to guarantee high-performance parameters and responsiveness in mobile app UX design is to apply Mobile First Design. This means that all the essential mockups and clickable prototypes are envisioned and crafted for hand-held smartphones before scaling the screens and suggesting additional options for, say, tablets and laptops. This means that all the features, navigation, and transitions need to be smoothly provided for strictly defined and limited spaces prior to enhancing them for larger dimensions.

The ABC of this approach is balancing uncluttered and seamlessly navigable screens optimised for SEO, in spite of all the limitations, with a clearly structured hierarchy of content.

Trend #3: Giving instructions to apps out loud has become a new normal 

Alexa and Siri, Netflix and Tesla, Spotify and Waze, and dozens of other influencers have already been leveraging the impressive possibilities of the UX design for mobile with its product and action selection enabled by the instructions given out loud. This technology has been developing by leaps and bounds, especially since the recent groundbreaking evolution made by AI developers. Voice user interfaces open up a whole new way of interacting and add to your solution’s correspondence with accessibility norms.

voice comand and control with phone icon

Trend #4: The bond between 3D design and minimalism becomes stronger

The more complex the product is, the easier and more pleasant it becomes to navigate it if the mobile app UX design remains uncluttered and intuitive, with intervals that are big enough and unostentatious hues. The latest breakthrough, though, is that these plain peculiarities interweave with the immersive 3D design features. This combination enhances the effect of UX design for mobile as it’s fairly uncomplicated and captivating at the same time. Thus, users both reach their goals and satisfy their aesthetic tastes and are drawn to return to the app.

3d UX designs

The fusion of these two techniques has been exploited in Adobe XD, Etsy, Zillow, and other products that mark the transition to dynamic screens and interactions. Perhaps their obvious spheres of application are gaming, care, construction, fashion, and eCommerce. Another fascinating effect is reached when the three-dimensionality is expressed with instruments that are actually intended for working with two-dimensionality, a technique increasingly seen in professional workstations like Renderboxes. This visual deception is referred to as Faux-3D. It especially fits the limited performance and screen space of mobile-first solutions without overwhelming the viewers.

Trend #5: Playing with colours now transits to the level of gradients

Techniques that imply bringing dynamic colour gradients to fruition when devising page elements and backgrounds are on the rise. They refer to combining several hues in one element that smoothly flow from one to another to convey a certain idea in a dynamic way. This mobile app UX design is leveraged in forecasting algorithms, product rankings, fitness activity trackers, and other platforms where progress of a certain kind is reflected. 

This playing with the colour side opens up an opportunity for designers to express more meanings across limited forms and spaces and to convey the brand's philosophy. Along with that, it also poses challenges to specialists as they now need to step from plain color options to the more complex ones.

Trend #6: Dynamic typography is used to cause an emotional response

Today’s social media, sites with advertisements, educational platforms, and games resort to various ways of grabbing their audiences’ attention and evoking emotions to increase the time spent in the app and link these feelings to their services. This response can be achieved not only through lines and colours but also through text, precisely speaking, through visual effects in the display of letters and words.

These consist in applying motion and transition of colours and sizes to texts. Through this step in UX design for mobile, brands can intensify their message and improve their perception by creating additional visual associations.

Trend #7: Take one step further and go for a one-of-a-kind font

When crafting UX design for mobile, namely, picking the best-matching fonts, harmonising the practical size, convenience of use, readability, and, finally, accessibility, with originality and creativity, has grown into a new movement. It’s no longer that weird to come across letters with missing edges or with the ones where the lowercase intersperses with capital characters unexpectedly. This creative approach sets firms apart from the crowd and also acts on the emotional perception of consumers, evoking the necessary associations.

unique font

The illustrative examples of these cutting-edge typographic options are UltraSolar Normal, Grind Grotesque, Euphoria, and others.

Trend #8: It is not something new, but the dark mode remains in vogue

The availability of the dark mode option in mobile app UX design is obvious for about 82% of consumers, studies say. About 65% of web surfers expect that this feature will be provided when they browse various sites. Its prominent perks are a sparing effect on eyes and economical battery consumption. These advantages are largely implemented by the developers of all trendy ebook viewers, coding and streaming platforms, games, etc.

Dark mode on mobile interface

To create dark interfaces by all the canons, it’s crucial to make sure that the brand’s colours look as good against the black background as they do against the light, the elements and colours remain distinctly visible and don’t merge with the backdrop. Consider customising individual elements, especially for the night theme.

Trend #9: Attract the audience by being creative and offering one-of-a-kind custom drawings

To avoid your UX design for mobile looking like a cheap one-size-fits-all copy, all its aspects must be unique. In particular, it applies to graphics and illustrations, as these elements are, as a rule, the first thing that catches your audience’s eye on a page. Needless to say, we live at a time when visual content becomes more prevalent than text. This is partly because we, self-evidently, comprehend and access visuals faster than canvases of text several times. Therefore, by interviewing infographics and pictures into the content, product owners dramatically increase the likelihood of conversions.

Hand-drawn sketches, caricatures, and so on have a special spot in this process. They’re leveraged by acclaimed news sources, charities, and other sites for a good reason. They draw attention and win over thanks to their ingenuousness, which conveys humour and deeper meaning in simple lines.

Trend #10: Instead of generalising, tell fascinating stories

In today’s reels-driven media, it becomes increasingly challenging to grab viewers’ attention by presenting information in blocks of text. Resorting to such time-proved techniques as storytelling adds freshness to a piece of material, prompting readers to scroll further in anticipation of the long-coveted conclusion of the story. This scheme is often brought to fruition by blogs, science-oriented sites, and news channels. To get the most out of your mobile app UX design, support it with smooth and logical navigational transitions and dynamic artwork.  

Trend #11: Captivate your audience with surefire animations

Overlapping, staging, hover effects, and other tricks in the UX design for mobile brighten up the screens and guarantee smoother, more pleasant journeys. Swapping items in a product line on a site or sliding models and variants of products brings dynamics to pages and allows business owners to express more in limited spaces. Minute alterations in the behaviour of basic elements like buttons and icons indicate and mark user journeys, making them self-explanatory thanks to the unobtrusive transition of colours and forms. The vital aspect when planning for these transitions, though, is to bring them to the service of usability and ensure that they don’t overwhelm your consumers but rather help them through the screens and enhance their journeys.  

Trend #12: Consider expressing your values through soft UI

Apple, Tesla, and Nike act as faithful proponents of this neumorphic design. What are its cornerstone principles?

expressing values through UI
  • Giving preference to monochromatic palettes and mild contrasts to mimic physical objects as closely as possible,
  • Softly and unobtrusively incorporate buttons, status bars, etc., into the backdrop to make them one, and indicate them with no more than pastel and smooth shadows that add soft depth to the picture. In contrast with the animations that we discussed above, these seamless shadows are the core indicators that the elements can be interacted with. They also softly frame cards and pop-ups, naturally setting them apart from the main backdrop.
  • Softly distinguishing site objects from the real ones to convey and reinforce elegance and creativity while advocating for practicality.

Trend #13: Turn to the latest fad in mobile app UX design to stand out — glassmorphism

The newest thing of UX design for mobile is simply a similarity to an opaque glass through which we can see dim backdrops. An unusual, unconventional aesthetic brings along profundity and volume. This Glassmorphism technique first changed our understanding of classical backdrops after the sensational release of the macOS Big Sur several years ago. The elements where it can be brought to fruition are login forms, media players, and weather forecasting solutions. To achieve the dimmed glass effect, designers apply the blur() background filter in CSS. At this, just as with any other parameter, it must be implemented moderately so that the usability isn’t compromised.

glassmorphism design in mobile UI UX

Trend #14: Offers are tailor-fitted to individuals, so must UX design for mobile be

You have surely heard of — and even experienced — the perks of skyrocketed AI algorithms that offer highly personalised content. Well, UX design for mobile must be tailored to this breakthrough, too. We’ve already touched upon animation and explained how it should seamlessly shift the content, e.g. at eCommerce sites of news feeds. Consumers should also have an expanded choice of features that they can fine-tune according to their tastes and preferences, e.g. light and night themes, icon sizes, muted and unmuted notifications, sound effects, and more. Features also replace one another automatically with regard to geolocation, activity, etc. It also pays off to greet newly registered users with personalised messages and recommendations based on their parameters.

The bottom line

Although mobile app UX design isn’t undergoing any dramatic and frenetic changes at the moment, there are certainly advancements in tech that make it alter irreversibly to cater to rising consumer expectations and breakthrough possibilities. The sheer number of newly arising interactive elements delivered with the continually developing capabilities of AR, AI, and 3D are counterweighted by the ongoing and somewhat intensifying trends towards conciseness, monochromy, and minimalism. The universal recommendation here is to be guided by your industry peculiarities and limitations and turn to accomplished designers who have mastered the range of techniques pertaining to mobile-first solutions for assistance.

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