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App Design

The biggest mobile design trends in 2019

Amine Bellakrid
Amine Bellakrid
The biggest mobile design trends in 2019
May 7, 2019
min read

To hamburger menu, or not to hamburger menu?

That is the question.

Sure, the mobile design community has made some questionable decisions over the years. But so far, 2019 has seen a lot of exciting mobile app releases and significant mobile app design updates and complete overhauls.

From Snapchat and Instagram, to the very recent and much talked about Facebook redesign (!)–mobile designers are going at it. Let’s take a closer look at the biggest mobile design trends we’ve seen so far this year.

Personalization is king

Last week, Facebook announced an overhaul of its mobile app. The reason behind the redesign? Putting emphasis on the way users engage with the app in a way that’s most meaningful to them. (Imagine that!) The redesign steps away from the classic News Feed and gives users easy access to two of its most critical features: events and groups. The redesign will provide them with personalized updates based on their interests and what they care about.

As mobile users increasingly crave higher relevance and more personalized experiences, no doubt we’ll see more apps follow suit this year.

Purposeful animations

Better browsers initially paved the way for a new era of motion design. You’ve seen it already, contextual animations and playful transitions are taking over the internet. This trend has slowly but securely moved over to mobile.

Motion and transition can provide a lot of information and context that still images can’t. From animated onboarding screens to progress and activity indicators, designers are bringing forward more ideas to help users make the most of mobile apps. Loading animations can even be a great distraction to help load time appear shorter than it is.

Image: Bella Bibleva on Dribble

From flat to deep flat

Flat design has been around since the 1920’s (who knew!), but it wasn’t until the early 2010’s that it got the attention it deserved. But today, rumor has it “deep flat” is the new flat.

Deep flat is exactly what it sounds like. Flat design with the appropriate amount of depth to bring the design to life.

Image: instantShift

Gradients are back (but better)

Gradients made their way back to mobile design just like the tie-dye made its way back to the fashion world. Who could believe it?

But the difference is that today’s gradient is pleasant and subtle rather than overpowering and eye-wrenching.

Image: Mockplus

Color me mad

Color has re-entered the design scene with a bang. While whitespace and minimalism are as appreciated as always, a strong preference for bold colors has emerged.

This is partially as a result of bigger and better screens that almost beg for a deep and vibrant palette. We are sure to see even bolder colors and daring combinations than ever before.

Helpful UX writing

No one’s interested in pompous nothing-saying marketing messages and technical bla-ha. Good UX writing is about being useful and helping the user achieve what they want to achieve.

Putting your UX copy through rigorous rounds of editing will help you help your users. Copy should never be an afterthought, but rather a part of the design thinking throughout the process.

Image: CollectUI

What’s next?

Mobile design trends in 2019 can be summarized in four words: Less clutter, more context. Mobile user’s attention spans are very limited (as we noted in our last blog post), giving mobile designers both the opportunity and challenge to design an experience that both engages and enables users throughout the process.

As it’s the very first impression of an app that sets the standard for the rest of our relationship with an app, design and all that it entails–motion, color, copy–is of utmost importance. And while we’re excited to see more purposeful design, less clutter and more context, it’s the gradual shift toward more sincere and personalized design that has us the most pumped up.

Will this perhaps be the year we’re done with all the BS and trickery once and for all?

Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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