14+ Mobile UX and UI Trends for 2017

In the era of ‘mobile first’ approach, it’s important to track the trends happening in the mobile landscape in order to keep up with the fast changing mobile web and with some revolutionary changes like chat-oriented interfaces, AI, augmented reality, virtual reality etc. unfolding now and gaining momentum gradually, mobile UX and UI trends for 2017 sound interesting. Here we go....

         1) Conversational UI

Given the popularity of messaging apps and also considering the buzz happening about conversational interfaces, we can safely predict that use of conversational interfaces in mobile apps and mobile websites will increase – AI powered chat bots and voice-based communication features will rule the roost in 2017 – there will probably a rise in standalone apps and also platforms with these features incorporated into them.

Image source: smashingmagazine.com


2) Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality ( VR and AR )

Use of VR and AR technologies has been increasing rapidly – with the advancement in mobile technology powered by high quality displays and cameras, faster processors and communication speeds, VR and AR technologies will take the mobile app world by storm and are likely to make a significant impact on the mobile industry in 2017. The use of advanced AR and VR technologies in mobile devices will hugely impact UX.

Image source: augmentedrealitytrends.com


3) Personalizing Mobile Experience

There is a growing trend of providing users a great in-app experience by delivering personalized information through push notifications based on user preferences – user gets to customize his/her preferences in-app. 

4) Minimalistic Interface

Speed is an uncompromising success factor when it comes to mobile app or mobile website. Fast loading, easy to use apps clearly have the edge over apps with complicated navigation. As minimal app UI design has proven to be a great way to optimize user experience, it will be in trend in 2017 for sure.

Image source: uxplanet.org


5) User On-boarding and Off-boarding

As the saying goes ‘first impression is the best impression’ – what user experiences once he lands on your app or website page and the impression he gets as soon as he comes on board matters a lot. A pleasant on-boarding experience goes a long way to convince the user to try the app or explore it further.

Image source: thenextweb.com

Ensuring the best on-boarding experience involves making the user feel comfortable once he lands on the app/website and also enabling him to understand the app or website effortlessly.  Clear and crisp communication, better navigation, encouraging, welcoming & positive messaging and last but not the least, an easy to understand walkthrough of the app/website/service features or user guide/video will go a long way to make your app/mobile website interesting and user-friendly.

Image source: business2community.com


Similarly, a pleasant off-boarding experience will ensure revisits and will also result in positive word-of-mouth. Examples – showing congratulatory, thanks or a motivational message, displaying the points they have accumulated or display a message about the exciting offers, contest or discounts that you are going to announce shortly etc. 

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6) Touch ID

Touch ID technology which is commonly used to unlock devices is now being used in various online verification processes –being a safer and easier option, use of touch ID will continue to increase and will be in trend in 2017. Some of the popular brands that use touch id technology are Apple Pay, Amazon, eBay, Citibank, Dropbox etc.

Image source: frostbank.com 

7) Material Design in Trend but Be Prepared to Embrace Textile Design

Material Design, which was introduced by Google in 2014, has been gaining popularity and it is evident from the fact that a lot of web/mobile designers choose material design as it is not only simple and visually appealing with the use of gradients, layering and animation but it also provides a fast-loading experience. Material design is expected to remain in trend in 2017.


Image source: phonearena.com

 But the gradual shift to Textile Design from Material Design has already begun. Textile Design involves blending of technologies, aesthetics/visual elements, dimensions and multiple design metaphors – a concept that is expected to shape the future web.


Image source: jurassicworld.com

Going forward, with the increased application of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, material design will be gradually replaced with ‘textile design’. As Chase Buckley puts it “Material Design’s fundamental architecture is totally unequipped to handle the robust and multi-dimensional web of tomorrow”

8) Diffused Background

Using diffused images for background to draw users’ attention to website or app’s features has recently been a growing trend and this trend is likely to continue in 2017.


Image source: superdevresources.com


9) (App ) UX design for Internet of Things ( IOT )

As IOT has been gaining popularity, there will be emergence of more IOT apps and designing an IOT app comes with its own challenges.  The app designer has to ensure that precise information is provided in a clear manner. The biggest UX challenge will be the level of customization that needs to be done for different user groups. For example – UX requirements of a personal user will be different from that of the business user.


Image source:  keenhome.io


10) Gestures in Mobile App Design

Use of touch in the form of gestures like scrolls, swipes, taps, double-taps, drag etc. in mobile app design has become a standard practice and creative mobile designers have been coming up with more innovative gestures lately – more experiments with gestures are likely to happen in 2017.


Image source: doublemesh.com


11) Motion-based Design and Animation Experiments

Use of motions to highlight important content or functions is a highly effective way to draw users’ attention and use of animation is, no doubt, a great way to story-tell. Animated and motion-based design has been gaining popularity and will be in trend in 2017.


Image source: icons8.com


12) Revival of Bottom Navigation

Bottom navigation is likely to be back into trend in 2017 as Google recently added bottom navigation guidelines to its Material Design Guide . The bottom navigation style that will likely to be adopted widely is the one that facilitates user to organically discover it – bottom navigation appears and disappears depending on direction of scrolling. It appears when the user scrolls down and disappears when the user scrolls up.


Image source: uxplanet.org


13) Replacement of Hamburger Menu Icon with Tab Bar

It has been predicted that hamburger menu which was in trend in 2015 will gradually be replaced with tab bars and other innovative ways of navigation – the process has already begun with many popular apps like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube etc have switched to tab bars and have reduced the prominence of hamburger menu. Though Hamburger menu helped a lot to de-clutter the screen, UX observations show that hiding tabs that showed important navigational/interactive elements did not turn to be a good user experience in case of these apps.


Image source: designwoop.com


Image source: smashingmagazine.com


14) Long Screens

As users are more comfortable using scrolling and other interactive options like expanding/collapsing content that enhance user experience, designers are getting bolder enough to try out designing long pages. Long screens are extremely useful when it comes to storytelling or presentation of reports, tables and comparative data etc.

Image source: vox.com

There are few other mobile design trends that will rule the roost in 2017 - namely Micro Mini interactions, Reducing Interstitial Anxiety, Haptic Feedback, Hidden/Smart Navigation, Card-based UI Design, Custom-made illustrations, Rapid Protyping Tools, Mobile First Approach, Responsive Design, Wide use of Typography and Photos, Age-based Adaptive Design, Wearable Optimized Design – all these trends have been covered in detail in this article titled ‘The Ultimate List - 31 Web & Mobile Design Trends and Predictions for 2017’ – this article covers both web design and mobile design trends for 2017 but focuses more on web design trends 2017.

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