The growing number of mobile users and their constant demand for advanced features and frequent updates puts an added pressure on designers and developers to continue innovating to meet those ever-growing demands. However, it appears that it’s not always that something new is required. Some of the most hyped trends like conversational interfaces, motion design and the like have actually been implemented in several different ways rather than creating something new itself. User experience takes the center stage where user engagement and customer retention are concerned.
Smartphone usage has grown exponentially in the past few years and it has been especially fast in developing countries. Though desktop computers and laptops are still not obsolete, their use has definitely been sidelined by the growing smartphone, tablet, and mobile device usage. Customers are predominantly using mobile as their preferred method of fetching content or information and engaging with brands, therefore, performance and mobile user satisfaction need to be a top priority for any operator to stay in business and look for future profits.
Here we look at 3 mobile trends to understand the reason for their popularity, the problems they solve, and why they’ll continue to shape the future of mobile UX:
1. Motion and Subtle Animations: One of the leading UX trends is animations and transitions. Motion animation works wonders because it engages the audience and offers a dynamic and interactive experience. What makes a motion so effective is that it can be as subtle as you want it to be since users like small details that fascinate them or visual hints that ease their viewing experience. Gone are the days when animation was all about being flashy. Today, it is all about user experience which is why flash-style animations no longer exist, and subtle transitions are everywhere and will continue to be for a long time.
2. Virtual and Augmented Reality: Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences are growing like never before due to faster processors, more RAM, superior cameras, better communication speeds and higher-quality graphics available in mobile devices. What makes VR and AR so captivating is the provision to immerse into a multi-sensory environment and experience something first hand.
Creating an enthralling VR and AR experience requires a lot of thought and innovation so as to be able to create a life-like experience without requiring too much physical movement or interaction from the users. App developers need to work closely with 3D architects to ensure they are designing with the end-user in mind and developing an enticing adventure that will leave a lasting impression on the users.
3. Conversational Interfaces: Conversational interfaces are an incredible means to offer a superior mobile experience to users without the use of physical agents and resources. Native virtual assistants are now present in the majority of the smartphones (for example Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana) and mobile users are surprisingly comfortable talking to a bot on their phone. User expectations to have some sort of voice functionality or conversational capabilities in all applications has resulted in such conversational technologies to spill over into app design as well.
Another highly effective way of using natural language to engage users and provide a comfortable and interactive environment is plugging an interactive chatbot into your mobile messaging app (or customer support feature) since millennials prefer texting over talking anytime. Many applications related to buying and selling are using these features and they are proving highly effective in increasing user engagement.
To conclude, it is essential to know and understand what your users want and develop related solutions. Increasingly requirements of mobile users have shifted from basic functionalities to faster, smoother, aesthetically pleasing and continually engaging experiences. If you can capitalize on these demands, you will be able to design mobile experiences that will keep users satisfied for months and years to come.