The rapid proliferation of mobile apps have made them an important part of the modern life and culture. The indispensable combination of the smartphones and mobile apps have given rise to a new digital space that has tremendous potential and keeps on growing in the years ahead. Mobile apps will continue to dominate our life and will have an important role to play to enhance our quality of life and the way we function.
Mobile app market is moving so fast, it becomes difficult to keep oneself updated of the latest trends. In this blog post, we have highlighted the trends that will most likely dominate the app world in 2016 in the specific fields of mobile app development, design and marketing.
PREDICTIONS FOR APP MARKETING
Google App Indexing and the concept of ‘deep linking’
Few years back, Google started to give importance to mobile optimized websites. Due to this, websites that had a responsive design got a major boost in their search rankings. Currently, the same search results updates are happening for the mobile apps. Nearly 40 percent of Android searches are displayed with app indexed results, a number that will definitely increase in 2016.
Nearly 40 percent of Android searches are displayed with app indexed results, a number that will definitely increase in 2016.
Even Bing and Apple are approaching positively this game of app search. So, this trend of app indexing is going to be beneficial for mobile apps. Here, an important point to take note of is the concept of deep linking. Due to deep linking, the search results, instead of just coming up with the home page of the apps, can now display the deeper links related to the apps. So, by this capability, the customer can get want they want, with the specific search results due to deep linking contributing a major deal.
Also in the major trend for 2016, the search capabilities within the social media will be much improved. This is of significance, as more mobile users get information about various brands and products through the social media. Due to this, companies will be adding more searchable information such as their location, hours of operation, price range they offer, specific services being offered by them, etc. All this enriched information in their social profiles will lead more customers to their websites and eventually will increase their business.
Video ads on mobile will become important
Video ads on social media will become more popular. This will become especially true for such videos those are under the 15 second sweet spot. Such type of videos are long enough to convey a specific message to the users and short enough not to let the viewers to get bored. Google is going to include video ads in its search results, a move that will make sponsored results more pulsating and attractive.
Facebook, not to be left behind, is going to open up its in-feed, auto play video spots to apps that are in its audience network. So users of Facebook will see those ads in other apps as well. On the other hand, Twitter is betting on the video bandwagon as well. By letting users to reply to tweets and make new tweets GIF enabled, it has made the game even more interactive and interesting for the users.
Domination of mobile over Desktop
The year 2015 was an important milestone for mobiles, as Google announced that their mobile traffic was more than desktop traffic in more than ten countries. Also, in the year 2015, Google introduced the ‘Mobilegeddon’ algorithm update, that punished websites not optimized for the mobile.
In 2016, things are going to become more exciting on the mobile front. The good news is that you don’t even need an optimized desktop site in addition to a mobile version. As per Google, only a mobile site can do and it is not necessary to have a desktop version of the same website. Even though this may not be enough to dramatically down the desktop traffic, such policies clearly indicate on what technologies Google is betting upon. Google has recognized the trend that desktop traffic will slow down, and this will lead to the investments in mobile focused online marketing soar.
Wearable Technology will become popular
Apple watch started the trend in wearable tech in the year 2015. By far, most of the apps being developed for Apple watch have been the fitness apps. But in the year 2016, this technology is all set to spread and evolve. To make a beginning, there is a wider variety of apps being developed for the Apple watch, example being of the productivity apps. In addition to this, there is an increasing variety in the way this tech is worn. In such a scenario, both the fashion and textile industries are finding ways to integrate wearable tech in their products.
In such a scenario, both the fashion and textile industries are finding ways to integrate wearable tech in their products.
As per the current trends, wearables are all set to become more popular and they will be high on people’s wish list. Brands will get more opportunity to use smartwatch apps and use wearable optimized ads as early as the beginning of 2016. This will open another type of ad revenue for the developers of wearable tech.
Internet of Things (IoT) will evolve further
The Internet of Things is all set to take the center stage in the development of apps. This idea is ripening now, and increasingly with new innovations like that wearable tech, are expected to enable the internet of things and people to such levels of connectivity as never seen before. It’ll will lead to more development in technology, new standards, increased automation and much more. This will also give rise to new security challenges and privacy concerns.
‘Buy Now’ Buttons will spread as wildfire
As social media apps adopt the ‘buy’ button on their pages, we can expect that this trend will continue to grow in 2016. This will make these established app players and new apps focus on making mobile and social commerce seamless. New innovation in the realm of social apps, mostly on the subject of online shopping, will be the hot trend in 2016 and will occupy the mind of most of social marketers.
New innovation in the realm of social apps, mostly on the subject of online shopping, will be the hot trend in 2016 and will occupy the mind of most of social marketers.
Virtual reality tech will mature
In 2016, there will be the rise of Google Cardboard, which enables the Android and iPhone users have the virtual reality experience in an easy manner, and that too in a relatively inexpensive way. People no longer have to invest in the complicated and expensive VR headsets to get the virtual reality experience and this is a big step forward. If the Google cardboard develops as expected, brands will be able to blend in virtual reality into their apps and mobile marketing will get revolutionized.
If the Google cardboard develops as expected, brands will be able to blend in virtual reality into their apps and mobile marketing will get revolutionized.
Now, brands will be able to let consumers experience their products or the lifestyle they promise before they actually buy the product.
In-app advertising will grow
There is a huge growth that consumers spend in using mobile apps and going through digital media content. Hence, it was just a matter of time before in-app advertising will explode as well. In addition to this, with the development of Apple’s ad blockers, more and more advertisers will turn to in-app advertising and other new formats in order to reach the consumers. However, even with this transition, digital advertisers will have to keep in mind the user experience even more.
Mobile apps have a huge potential for earning money and so the expenditure on in-app purchases are expected to get a big boost in 2016. App developers will now focus on pushing the limits of mobile app advertising, and shifting away from the model of paid downloads.
With the development of new tools, algorithms will now be used to find out the perfect time to interact with the users, and this will be used to deliver push notifications, emails and in-app messages at those particular times.
User Experience and App Analytics will rise heavy
With a huge wealth of information available due to the advent of smartphones, businesses are now using big data to determine how users are interacting with the technology. Such type of user analytics will lead to the development of new personalized technology in the future, influencing important decisions in the realm of app development process to create a first class user experience.
Due to the fact that mobile users are having a very less attention span and take very less times, probably just a few seconds, in deciding what they like and what they dislike, it will become important to lay new emphasis on developing quality user experience so that users continue to use the apps that provide a good UX.
PREDICTIONS FOR APP DESIGN
Pastel Color Palettes will rule
During the past few years, we have witnessed the preferences change in favor of pastel color palettes. So, colors like brown, dark red, blue and their other variations are being used more and more in the backgrounds of some of the most popular apps. Even the apps that don’t use primarily pastel colors still use other colors that are subtle. This is because of the fact that such type of colors allow the interface to stand out within the app. Pastel colors are also helpful in attracting the attention of the users and keeping them interested in the other important features of the app.
UI animation is going to be the next big thing
The year 2015 saw the proliferation of video, animated GIF’s and simple icon animation. Due to this, we are witnessing more UI and connection driven movement. The year 2016 will witness a rapid spread of UI animation and as a result, there will a sharp rise in the tools for making such type of animations.
The year 2016 will witness a rapid spread of UI animation and as a result, there will a sharp rise in the tools for making such type of animations.
Activities like scrolling, swiping and other forms of interactive animations capture the imagination of the users in a major way. App developers are getting wonderful responses with such type of animations. New type of apps are providing amazing experiences from the start page till the end page.
These apps are more responsive and users are simply getting hooked by the way these apps guide them. New and new tools are getting developed to develop such type of apps and this is one of the biggest trends in 2016 for the app design.
Wearables are the next in thing
Since early 2015, the trend in design is shifting towards the wearables. The Apple watch is one of the most prominent examples of such kind of new devices, but many other companies have released their own smartwatches and there has been an emergence of other competitors in the wearable tech space. Most prominent among these is the Google glass.
With the popularity in such kind of gadgets on the rise, in the year 2016 we will see the app slowly starting to integrate these devices with clean screens with less clutter and quicker, one tap actions.
Due to the popularity of smartwatches, wearables brands, especially local marketers have recognized the important of these devices. Now, they will be able to more accurately pinpoint the location of users and deliver highly targeted and personalized messaging.
In addition to this, operating systems within the wearables will be able to interact with the beacons. This will enable them to alter the apps when the users approach or leave certain locations where beacons are installed. Such type of technology will not only provide marketers with a huge amount of data on their customers, but will also give them the opportunity of sending their customers relevant, personalized and real time messages.
Large typography will be the key in 2016
Typography is always talk of the town when you predict the trend of the year. In 2016, larger headings and typography will be used in the website designs. This is all set to enhance the visual hierarchy of the page and this will enable the users to read the big fonts on the landing page first and that grabs the attention about the particular brand.
With the trend of big sized smartphones setting in, as exemplified with a larger iPhone, and iWatch, in the same time, we would need fonts that are able to scale themselves to fit to every screen size and be perfectly readable.
Micro interaction in apps will get enhanced
There are a vast range of micro interactions that include right from simple graphical notifications to complex visual feedback. It is expected that in the year 2016, micro interactions will take the app designs to a whole new level. Micro interactions will not only be more customizable, but they will also possess the ability to change depending on the preferences of the users and locations.
Swiping and Side-Scrolling will gain in importance
Popular apps have incorporated swiping as the main functionality of their entire app, and this trend is catching up. If you can use it creatively and efficiently, swiping and side scrolling will give an enhanced experience to the users of your app and can make your app user friendly.
Besides swiping, there are other gestures such as peek and pop and the new feature introduced in iPhones like 3D touch are also becoming popular. Major smartphone platforms like Android and Apple continue to devise novel ways in which users can interact with the apps and get enhanced UX. App designers are expected to stay on top of such designing trends so that they know how to design an app with top quality UX and guides the user intuitively and also works the way users expect it to function.
Flat Design will be the norm
We have already witnessed how flat design has influenced the mobile app design space and has become the top trend in UI/UX design. In the present, it has changed a lot now and is in parallel with skeuomorphism, akin to almost flat design. The features in design are highlighted by showing in shadows, layers and volumes. Flat design also draws inspiration from the material design guidelines from Google and takes a departure from the minimalistic design guidelines that were a norm in the past and in the nascent stages of mobile app design.
Gestures will be an important part of app design
The advent of gesture technology is the next big thing in the mobile app designing. By employing gestures, the interaction of the users with the mobile apps will become more personal and interesting. Gesture technology will also make the interaction with the apps easier as they will act in an intuitive way to control the various functionalities given in the app. App control gestures with animation will be the norm in 2016. As gesture technology continues to develop, we will see more of this being incorporated in the app designing process and more gesture related controls will come into being in the near future, giving rise to a more personal experience while interacting with the apps.
Layered and card app design will come into prominence
Just as the page with the true unit of substance for the internet, the card will become the unit of substance for mobile and app design. While card design began to take root as an important feature of app designing a few years back, in 2016 it is felt that we would be hitting a tipping point for this straightforward and yet rich medium. All the major players, like Twitter, Pinterest, Google Now, Apple Glances and Facebook’s open graph are taking huge strides in card design methodologies.
All the major players, like Twitter, Pinterest, Google Now, Apple Glances and Facebook’s open graph are taking huge strides in card design methodologies.
Google is even using card design to enhance promoting email. So, layered and card app design will get more support from the app development community. As layered and card design begin to mature, we will witness more and more of it being used by the app designers in 2016.
Performance will take center stage
No doubt, with the increased concentration on the performance of mobile apps, app design trends have been motivated by factors such as faster loading times and designs that consume less bandwidth.Every designer and developer should be concerned with the weight of their app and how the users interact with their apps.
Cloud based apps will rise in use
There are many advantages of using cloud based apps. Prominent among them are that using cloud based designs help in keep the size of the apps small, which in turn affects positively the performance of the app. The second most distinct advantage is that by using cloud based designs, data syncing is made simpler. So, there will be a further push with regards to cloud based apps in 2016.
PREDICTIONS FOR APP DEVELOPMENT
Integration with Cloud Technology will make cross platform use easier
Cloud based mobile applications will receive a major boost in 2016. Cloud based technologies will make the app developer more focused on the ability to synchronize and integration of apps developed for multiple devices. In addition to this, the cloud approach will help the developers in making outstanding apps that are easily compatible on different mobile platforms such as Android, iOS and Windows. In making this feature a reality, a number of firms have started working on cloud based app development platforms.
App Security will come into prominence
App security is going to remain a major concern in the future. Both in 2014 and 2015, app security has witnessed a large number of issues. For the future it is predicted that 75 percent of mobile apps will fail a basic security test. In the year 2014, more than one billion personal data records were breached by cyber-attacks.
So, it is very important that developers take effective steps to curtail these cyber attackers.
Wearable tech will touch new horizons
As discussed earlier, the Apple watch started the trend of wearable tech in 2014, and as a consequence of this, a number of apps have been developed that are mostly fitness apps which complement the Apple watch ecosystem. However, now we are witnessing a major spread and evolution of this wearable technology. Most of all, there is an increasing variety in the type of apps developers are developing for smart watches, and productivity apps are the pertinent examples of this. In addition to this, there is an increasing diversity in in how wearable technology is being worn. Also, both the textile and fashion industry are exploring new vistas that integrate wearable tech into their projects.
Beacon technology will come of age
Thanks to the beacon technology, the differences between online and offline have been merged be it a retail sector, event management or finance. The beacon technology is already advanced in iOS and is expected to mature for the Android platform in the future. Diverse kind of industries have received huge benefits from the beacon technology. This technology is expected to generate $44 billion in retail sales by 2016.
This technology is expected to generate $44 billion in retail sales by 2016.
With the help of beacon technology, mobile devices can alert apps or websites when users are in a certain location. Using this information, businesses can communicate with the consumers through their apps or websites, sending personalized messages and promotion offers. The beacon technology will help the users to have a top of the line UX and this will in turn boost the use of the apps using such kind of technologies.
Enterprise Apps will witness major growth
In both App Store and Play Store, there are more than 1 million apps, but amongst all, enterprise apps have been the most popular with consumer apps lying far behind. It is estimated that around 20% of the developers are now targeting the development of enterprise apps.
It is estimated that around 20% of the developers are now targeting the development of enterprise apps.
In addition to this, the developers of enterprise apps are more profitable as compared to the developers of consumer apps. So, the development of enterprise apps is increasingly becoming lucrative for the developers and this trend is going to strengthen in 2016.
M-commerce will develop majorly
It is estimated that mobile commerce will account for 24.4% of overall ecommerce revenue by the year 2017. Several analysts expected this to be a strengthening trend, as increasing number of people get used to purchasing online through their smartphones.
In 2016, we will witness developers focusing on the enhancement of the UX of the m-commerce apps and developing a much safer and faster checkout process.
Mobile Wallet and Social Payments will also fare strongly
Due to the technologies like Google Wallet and Apple Pay, people now prefer to use their smartphones instead of their credit cards. But this is just the beginning. Many innovative means are now being developed by which users can now transfer money, and we are seeing them flourishing in different kinds of apps. Developers of Snapchat have developed Snapcash, which allows users to send money to each other by typing a dollar sign followed by an amount in the chat. M-commerce is a rapidly developing field and will witness major growth in the coming year.