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The 5 Most Impactful Mobile UX Trends for 2017

Judging by the amount of buzz created at the end of 2016, this year will be all about chat-oriented interfaces, artificial intelligence, responsive designs, along with virtual and augmented reality in the mobile app universe. To be successful and create applications that are useful and functional, it is necessary to prepare for new challenges. Therefore, it becomes important that we identify the most important trends of the time.

The following are five of the most impactful mobile UX trends for this year:

1) Conversational interfaces

According to a recent study, an average user only uses about three apps frequently and one of them is usually a messaging app. People like to chat, so everyone wants to take advantage and take advantage of the trend. But, in doing so, it’s also important to create features that are unique. For example, the Luka app, which allows you to chat with bots on a number of topics ranging from restaurants, to daily news, to thermonuclear physics.

This is why AI-powered, voice-activated communication platforms will become more popular, both as stand-alone applications and with built-in features.

We’ve already seen what virtual assistants like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Echo, and Microsoft’s Cortana are capable of. As this technology advances, we can expect conversational interfaces to become the big hits of 2017.

2) User experience analysis

Mobile apps have been around long enough for everyone to know their potential. We can safely conclude that they are no longer only used by young people and techies, but by everyone. And, users are aware that they can get the best, so it makes them more demanding.

For the best user experience, it’s important to keep in mind that sometimes people don’t use apps as intended. This makes them frustrated and consequently leave a negative review about the app. Therefore, it is crucial to have proper communication and analyze individual user experience to improve applications.

Analysis of user experiences in applications can be done through qualitative analysis tools, such as user session recordings and touch heat maps. With the help of these tools, developers can eliminate bugs, identify weak areas, and design a more intuitive interface. Qualitative Analytics allows developers to ensure that their applications are used correctly. This trend is sure to increase significantly and will have a huge effect on the user experience.

3) Customization in user interface design

UI design customization is similar to ‘responsive design’. The difference between them is that responsive design is about a website adapting to the design of a wide range of devices, such as a 4K TV, HD monitor, or phone. And, customization in user interface design (or age-responsive design), can be compared to a design that fits a person’s design.

This can be done with the help of already available metadata, ie leveraging information already provided by a user via the device, the app or across different platforms/apps. They can provide information on whether to increase the font size, reduce the brightness level, or remove flashing images and sounds. Mobile app UI design can be expected to move further away from being device-centric and more user-centric.

4) VR/AR

Augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) technology is another promising direction to completely change the way we see and use applications. The concept of AR and VR has started to make an impact in the mobile industry.

This concept has become a possibility as mobile devices can now offer a huge amount of processing power. Galaxy S7 Edge, Google Pixel and Xiaomi Mi 5 have VR-ready screens and are available in the market.

VR and AR have huge potential in areas such as tourism, construction, shopping, education, and communication. For example, ‘visiting’ a tourist spot before visiting the place, a ‘walk’ through the new house before renovation, trying on clothes before buying, learning anatomy in ways that couldn’t be imagined ten years ago, or having a living room of virtual meetings meeting.

A good example of this technology is a Fabric Rendering application designed by Tailwebs that allows customers to try design plates on textiles and furniture, helping them to finalize products conveniently.

Additionally, Textronic has launched an interactive platform called Tailor – I, which can be used to select custom garments. It’s like your online clothing and tailoring stylist that allows you to choose collars, cuffs, lapels, plackets and much more. Selected items can be combined and the garment is instantly displayed.

With the right infrastructure, mobile AR and VR technology will soon come into greater focus.

5) Navigation

Another trend that is surely picking up is to provide users with different alternatives to move around an app. Currently, there are three navigation issues that are prevalent in apps: linear navigation, hamburger menu, and one-hand navigation (apps cannot be used with one hand on large smartphones).

Linear navigation allows users to navigate the application in the same way. Uber is a good example, as users must follow a similar path: 1) Set a pickup location, 2) Set the destination, 3) Press ‘request’, 4) Rate the driver. What is now expected are new and creative navigation solutions that allow users to freely move around an application. A good example is Amazon Shopping, where users can browse through a series of categories without having to travel a certain path to reach them.

Problems with one-handed navigation are also expected to gradually disappear. These days, most smartphones are quite large and people cannot reach corners with just one hand. A good solution to this will be to implement a smarter navigation system that takes into account how people use smartphones.

Also, the hamburger menu is not liked by most people and is considered to be the main reason for the lack of user engagement.

All of this means that this year will be very much about parallax scrolling (like Google Maps has), non-linear navigation, and the removal of the hamburger menu.

The user experience can be completely renewed with new navigation solutions. As mobile devices get better and faster, apps need to do the same and become more robust and personalized.

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