The 2016 Trends In App Design: Clean, Fast, Usability First

App Design, Get Inspired, Mobile News Jerry Lieveld 26 Jan 2016

The 2016 trends for app design put a premium on usability with clean and clear being this years’ buzz words. But we also want our apps to stand out. Are you ready for a challenge in app design?

Online patience seems to decline every year, we want it all fast and convenient at our fingertips. Users want to know how to use your app effectively at first glance. So app design is all about usability in 2016.

Navigation is smooth and intuitive with a clean, almost serene interface and clear typography. Navicons and  easy drop down sub menus or menus sliding out from the side of the screen will lead us through the app. Using an app should be an enjoyment, not a hassle.

Although app designers have to keep it simple this year, we also want our apps to stand out visually. Apps should impress our audience and draw the attention of our users. But how do we mix the need for simplicity with our ideal of a unique and stunning app design?

Diffuse backgrounds and big bold fonts


Luckily there are plenty design features at your disposal. Do you want to be trendy? Start with a diffuse background for your app. A diffuse background works great on a the small screens of smartphones. It makes your app content readable and your buttons stand out. We offer quite a lot templates with diffuse backgrounds, or you can make your own background and upload it in our app designer.

In 2016, a diffuse background goes together with big bold fonts and plenty of whitespace. Don’t use too small fonts for body text, keep your paragraphs short and don’t skimp on subheadings.

Micro interactions draw attention


Micro interactions in apps will draw user attention. Micro interactions are tiny task-based engagements that require user action: read a message, open a push notification, like or share something or check navigation. With micro interactions you seduce users to do something, mostly tap the screen. It’s up to you to design your user engagement.

Images: svg and cinemagraphs


Apps have to be fast and visually pleasant, also on retina screens! This means scalable vector graphics (svg’s) will replace jpg’s and png’s. Bad quality pixels are no longer accepted in 2016.

We will also see more cinemagraphs: animated gifs that loop in a natural way so they look like video.

Adapt registration forms for mobile screens


Any registration process in an app should be childishly simple, or you just lose your user. Adapt your registration form for the mobile screen. Don’t depart from the logic people are used to, but reduce input to the minimum and skip all irrelevant fields. Remember people are typing with their thumbs. We still see forms with three fields for a name: First name, Middle Initial,  Last name. That’s not user friendly. Use just one field for Full Name. It also makes more sense to most people. How many times have you typed your full name in the First name field and then discovered that there was another field for your last name…

Light and simple color schemes


According to Pantone, this years’ colors are ‘roze quartz’ and ‘serenity’, colors that Pantone says “demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.” The colors are very light and soft indeed. Too soft for your taste? There are plenty of matching color pairings with greens, rich browns and purples.

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