Trends in Mobile App Design
Over the past few months, we have seen many major mobile applications make drastic changes to their look and feel. Google +, LinkedIn, and Twitter have all revamped their design to enhance user experience. Below are a few trends and successful elements are seen with these new and improved applications.
Less Obtrusive Navigation
With many of the major application redesigns we are seeing a shift to less obtrusive fly-out navigation. This method of navigation provides users with easy access to all the major sections of the application while staying out of the way to allow for more screen space for relevant content. The menu can expand to show links to different sections, account information, and article and data feeds without making the user leave the section or screen they are viewing. The USA Today app is a great example of how this fly-out menu can work well. With several sections and subsections integrated into the application, users need an easy way to see what’s available without leaving their current section or article.
USA Today, Google+, and Facebook all utilize a flyout style menu that is less obtrusive and easier to use.
Many applications are shying away from highly stylized and colorful interfaces and keeping things more simplified. A great example of this is the redesigned LinkedIn app. LinkedIn decided to change its stylized leather-like background and stylized icons and color options and keep the new app clean and simple. The new app places more focus on the article graphics and user profile content. The new application utilizes good design without going over the top and making things difficult to find or sluggish.
Some example screens from LinkedIn's new and cleaner mobile app.
Images and Content are Front and Center
With many of these apps, we are seeing less emphasis on the user or interaction and more space dedicated to the content. Many applications, like Vine, Facebook and Pinterest feature streamlined grid layouts focused on a single image or other posted content. With many of these mobile applications, this layout pulls the posts into one column that allows users to quickly scroll through hundreds of posts at a time.
Google+, Vine and Pinterest all utilize a layout that prioritizes the image.
Mobile App Experience Can Be Unique
In the past, a mobile application was only used when the desktop version was not available. As mobile app interfaces are redesigned to be easier to use and navigate, users are finding the mobile app experience to be unique and even better than the desktop experience.