Mobile Design Trends in 2019

Web design and development

The landscape of user experience is continuously changing—new advancements emerge all the time. Mobile design is one of the most changing industries of digital product design, influencing many other areas of digital design and transforming the world around us.

A year ago, we published Top 10 Trends in Mobile Design, predicting what 2018 had in store. With half of 2019 already over, we’re looking again at how mobile development and website designing company in Bangalore have changed in the past year. Here are 14 trends that are having a substantial impact on mobile UX design.

1. Buttonless design

Modern mobile devices are bezel-less—they no longer have physical buttons on the front face and are instead all screen. Device makers are freeing up screen real estate, in turn allowing product designers to provide more information on the screen.

mobile design trends: buttonless design
Less chrome means more space for content. iPhone X marked the beginning of the era of bezel-less phones.

This trend also influences the way product designers create mobile apps, as they now strive to create buttonless designs. In a buttonless design, digital buttons are replaced with gestures, putting content at the center of the user’s attention.

mobile design trends: onboarding
MasterClass onboarding. Image: Pontus Wellgraf.

Along with the benefits, gesture-based interactions have a built in risk— since gestures are hidden, the interactions may not be intuitive for users. The design industry is still in the process of creating a shared language for gestures. As more gestures come into practice, they will be adopted by various mobile apps. Buttonless UI is an integral step towards a future where virtual interfaces rely entirely on gestures.

2. Bottom navigation 2.0

The original iPhone had a 3.5-inch screen. The 2018 iPhone XS has a 6.1-inch screen. Gone are the days of mobile phones with small screens. Modern mobile phones with large displays hold more content on the screen and are better for multitasking. But with a larger display comes complications: big screens move the interactive elements of a design further away from the natural movement of the thumb. As it gets harder to reach the top area of the screen, more apps are placing key navigation elements at the bottom. The bottom navigation bar therefore became an industry standard for mobile developers, helping users access core features of the app in one tap.

mobile design trends: bottom navigation
The Twitter app for iOS uses bottom navigation.

In 2019, mobile app designers continue to value the lower half a mobile screen but follow more creative approaches for navigation. For example, instead of using a bottom tab bar, some mobile apps now use the concept of bottom sheets, where the user sees a sheet with a few options at the bottom of the screen and relies on a swipe-up gesture to reveal more options.

Bottom sheets are quite a versatile concept that can be used in many different cases. They can be a good replacement for a bottom navigation bar:

mobile design trends: bottom sheet navigation
Bottom sheet navigation. Image: Ghani Pradita.

Or as an accompaniment to the bottom navigation bar:

mobile design trends: bottom sheet
Yelp users can swipe up the bottom sheet to see places.

Using cards as navigation elements is another interesting technique. Every option is provided as a card, and users use swipe right or left to reveal more options.

mobile design trends: card navigation
Cards are great for organizing information in mobile apps. They allow for the grouping of different types of data (photos, text, ratings, etc.), making the information look like part of one object. Image: Daniel Prokopiuk.

3. Better personalization

The ideology of “one-size-fits-all” does not work for 2019 mobile users. Brands are looking for ways to fine-tune the user experience as meticulously as possible, and a personalized experience has quickly moved from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have.”

With the rise of machine learning and artificial intelligence, it’s becoming much easier to make user experience more personal. Take SoundCloud as an example. The service leverages data analytics and AI to suggest songs you might like.

mobile design trends: soundcloud customization
SoundCloud customizes the content it delivers to users based on their past activity.

Good personalization is a result of using the right tactic for data that you collect on your users. A list of the popular personalization tactics includes geo-location, geo-fencing, behavioral profiling, SIC/NAICS codes, and machine learning. It’s essential to select the tactic(s) based on your audience and how they interact with your product.

In simple terms, it’s possible to rely on two basic metrics—the number of visitors and session time—to find the tactic that will be relevant to your user behavior. For example, if you have a large number of users who spend a significant amount of time on your platform, you can use machine learning to provide useful personalized product recommendations.

mobile design trends: personalization methods
Popular personalization tactics. Image: Colin Eagan.

You might also like: The AI-Empowered Marketer: How Artificial Intelligence Can Help You and Your Clients Increase Sales.

4. Round corners

Round corners are another trend that emerged from modern mobile devices. Both iOS and Android flagships have rounded corners—take a look at the iPhone XS or Samsung Galaxy S10, and you will see it.

mobile design trends: samsung
The Samsung Galaxy S10.

The curved corners of the physical device are mirrored in the UI design. As a result, mobile websites and apps get the same rounded look and feel.

mobile design trends: rounded corners
All content containers on have rounded corners.

Unlike many other visual trends, this trend is not purely aesthetic; it also has a positive impact on user experience. Rounded corners are easier on the human eye and make information easier to process.

5. Password-less experience

Working with passwords introduces a lot of friction into user interactions. Every time we sign up for a new service, we have to spend time creating a new, easy-to-forget password. According to one study, 37 per cent of people forget a password at least once a week.

Fortunately, a few password-less login methods are available for mobile app developers. Password-less login can be in the form of biometric authentication (fingerprint or facial recognition features):

mobile design trends: biometrics
Many mobile apps offer biometric security by default. Image: Tesco Bank.

One-time temporary passwords:

mobile design trends: temporary password
eBay has used temporary passwords for a few years.

Or a sign-in link:

mobile design trends: sign in password
Medium is among the first companies who have adopted a password-less login mechanism. Example of email you get from Medium when you try to sign in to your account using your email address.

With the rise of new products and digital services, the password-less approach of authentication is the only right solution for the password problem. Not only does this approach make things easier for a user, but also more secure—for example, a temporary one-time password mechanism also verifies the user’s contact details like their mobile phone number.

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