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The Top 7 Trends for Mobile App Design in 2015

Just one month into the year and already the top trends for app design have begun to come forth. We feel that all seven of these trends are game-changers and will transform how mobile app design is done throughout the entire year of 2015.

Where do these trends come from? That is the most amazing thing – everywhere! Advances in technology last year resulted in some great phones and operating systems which allow designers to do more. Also more people than ever are using mobile apps, especially in the young adult segment which in turn means more people have turned to app design as a career choice. With fresh eyes and young minds come new ideas that benefit us all.


7 Design Trends for Mobile App Design


  • Hidden Menus – Old school design says you have to have everything out and available. New school designers are shaking things up with creative ideas like hidden menus that help conceal functionality until people need it. Just because screen are getting larger doesn’t mean that space still isn’t at a premium, because it is. We want to create apps that can do more and one way to add functionality on a small screen is to hide navigation options that slide out when needed based on a swipe or tilt. Using this style of design keeps the overall screen free of clutter while still offering lots of functions.
  • Cards Layout – This style of layout is fast becoming the next big thing. Simplicity and ease-of-use are hallmarks of this style because at a glance at the cards you can gather quick facts about services, products and more. For more detailed information simply tap the card to expand it.
  • Appearance of Depth – While 2013 and 2014 was all about flat design, the next generation of developers has added to that with a subtle adjustment; depth. By using transparency and layers depth can be added for more of a three-dimensional appearance to design. This allows symbols to have more presence which in turn allows symbols to be used as part of the interface. This adds more available space to the overall design and gives more options to how you design.
  • Single Color Schemes – Rather than using a wide range of colors in their designs, we will see more designs focused around a single dominant color and then a few shades for offset design. This singularity creates a more memorable experience that can create better brand awareness and also help emphasize areas and features on the screen.
  • Customized Experience – Devices are now more in-tune with us compared to ever before and that will only increase. Think about it…aside from GPS and Bluetooth we are adding wearable tech to the mix, all of which are gathering data about each user from location to times we are at certain places and doing certain things. We even choose to add more information to that cache when we ‘check-in’. What this means is that there is more raw personal data available to designers to allow an even more customized experience for users, including suggestions based on algorithms from our past actions, without being intrusive.
  • Adding Fun to the Mix – Culturally, people have shown that they respond much more favorably to fun. This is even apparent in how commercials approach devices such as the ads that depict Siri as sad that she can’t do the same thing other systems can do. By becoming more playful, cute and fun apps are tapping into the more conversational tone and relaxed attitude of the younger generation that tends to eschew rules. Rather than being boring or chatty, app design will feature fun options that get the job done while being entertaining.
  • Universal Design for Tablet and Smart Phone Apps – One of the major differences between tablets and smart phones is how they are held and interacted with by the user. Most people hold a smart phone upright while the tablet is horizontal. That makes for a difference in basic design if you are looking to maximize user experience. But, with 2014 came larger phones with the Galaxy and iPhone both selling large numbers of phones with 5 inch+ screen. These sales numbers are expected to double in 2015 which means more apps can be designed universally with the consideration that the larger smart phones will also more regularly used like a tablet in a horizontal position.

There you have it, the top seven trends for mobile app design in 2015 that will change the landscape for the apps you will be using by the end of the year.

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