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5 TOP UX Mobile App Design Trends for 2020. What’s in them for you? Tips and practices

SSA Design team
SSA Design team

Insights, tendencies and global trends. What works in UX design nowadays? If you are looking for the answer to this question, you’ve come to the right place.   

Our SSA Group team explores the topic on a regular basis.  

We’ve been following some prominent UX/UI experts on the web to learn what’s on the agenda and constantly implement the latest trends in our projects.  

Now, we’ve ventured to peek into 2020 predicting what to expect in the realm of design.  

Whether you are creating your app, or you are a UX/UI designer looking for some valuable findings, we’ll get you covered. What practical tips could you use? Read on to find out.  

Mobile app design trends (UX practices)

1. May the voice be with you

Have you heard the news about Nike’s futuristic new sneakers? They allow a virtual assistant to control your shoes. All you need is to say out loud: ‘Siri, tie my laces!’  – and the gadget will take care of the rest.   

Nike's New Shoes Support Siri Shortcuts

Nike's New Shoes Support Siri Shortcuts  Image source.

The technology looks like a milepost in the constantly growing voice market industry. Moreover, it confirms a wide-spread tendency: controlling devices by voice is becoming more popular each year.  

The trend clearly manifests in the mobile app industry. The other day, tapping and scrolling were the only ways to interact with our phones. Now, in the words of a world-leading design expert Shirley Coyle ‘technology is shrinking’, so voice commands step into the game.   

Globally known banks add custom voice assistants to their mobile apps, while respected brands, including airlines, implement voice search for their apps.  

easyJet add voice search option for in-app flight bookings

easyJet provides voice search for its mobile app users. Image source.  

As the trend is developing, it seems perfectly reasonable to accept it and consider how we could benefit from it.   

3. Personalize (even more)

App personalization is not a new trend either – we’ve already seen so much of it. Spotify knows what music we like, Netflix learned what we are keen to watch, and don’t let us start on YouTube, which TV app is all about personalizing our TV experience.  

YouTube TV app

YouTube TV app. Image source

For those still doubting the power of personalization, let us quote a study showing 90 percent of consumers find personalization to be ‘either very or somewhat appealing’.  

So, the persona-based design is a must. Powerful brands add chats for personalized shopping while recreation apps carefully consider your skills, experience, and key challenges when offering a practice.  

Personalization feature in Balance app

Personalization feature in Balance app. Image source.  

The personalization trend also seems to spin off in a specific direction, as the inclusive design is gaining momentum. More and more apps are being developed for people with disabilities, such as color blindness. 

So, how to relate to this trend? Could you personalize UX/UI in your app even more?  

3. Share emotion

As the 4th industrial revolution has arrived, we might be tired of technology. (Aren’t we?) We don’t mind a friendly reminder we still live in the human world with some space for emotions and playfulness. The sensible app producers trying to increase engagement rates have been jumping right on that.  

Needless to say, the emotion in a product app is not about smileys and jokes. Amusing icons in push notification apps are nice. But emotive design might unfold in almost any feature – be it animations, quizzes, or amusing mascots.  

Mascot of a learning language app

Mascot of a learning language app. Image source.  

Naturally, voice interfaces are designed more human-like. (Siri can try to make you laugh, while Alexa plays games with you). We’ve also said goodbye to the boring chatbots that are being replaced by near-human conversation programs. 

Poncho bot holding a human-like conversation

Poncho bot holding a human-like conversation. Image source.  

Lastly, the sparkling design itself can evoke the emotional response, significantly boosting customer engagement. 

As the emotions are vital to good design, you might ask yourself what feelings does your app evoke? Does it trigger any good or uplifting emotions enriching user experience? Speaking about the latest mobile app design trends, we can’t ignore mental reaction of users.  


4. Say ‘toodle-oo' to flat design

I bet you’ve noticed it as we did. For the last few years, the elements of flat (and half-flat) design in our mobile apps have been gradually disappearing.  

Rarely do we encounter simple elements, typography, and flat colors. Instead, grid-based layout with light and shading seems to be ubiquitous.  

To illustrate the point, here’s how the Weather app has changed through the years.  

Weather apps

       Weather app 2015                            Weather app 2019 

Indeed, the flat and half-flat design often showed up on the lists of the UX trends a few years back. For the sake of speed and performance, experts avoided any complex solutions to enhance usability. Now, the advanced frameworks successfully tackle the challenge. Much many elaborated features can be implemented, such as responsive animation and 3D icons.  


Prune app 3D icon screenshot. Image source.  

As the trend is rolling into 2020, the UI/UX designers eagerly accept the idea of overlapping different elements, like text, image, and colors in a single screen. However, sometimes it becomes too much, which we’ll discuss in the next section.   

5. Enhance your team collaboration with UX/UI teams 

Recently, Luke Wroblewski, a Product Director at Google posted a noteworthy tweet.  

It’s a mosaic image of different design samples looking really harsh. We’ll put the screenshot here for illustration purposes.  

Snapshot of Luke Wroblewski’s post

Snapshot of Luke Wroblewski’s post. Image source.  

Though the image depicts WEB design samples, we believe his point is actual for MOBILE app experts as well. As we see, the UX/UI design often becomes cluttered and sloppy. Later he comments about the reason it happens.  

Luke Wroblewskis post

Here Luke Wroblewski touches upon a very sensitive issue. Companies often lack communication between different departments. Apparently, the UX/UI designers’ initiative is often suppressed by their colleagues, which results in some unflattering design solutions.  

Whitney Hess, a UX designer transitioned into empathy coaching, points to the same problem.  

Whitney Hess post

We totally support the point and agree that better UX/UI decisions emerge as a result of a close collaboration between all departments in a company.  This idea of meaningful cooperation emerges as a freshly minted productivity trend that can make UX/UI design flourish.  


Whether you are crafting your own mobile software, or you are a UX/UI designer looking for some insights, here are some trends that might support your creative vision in 2020.  

  1. As the voice market industry is constantly growing, consider providing some speech features for your app. Enabling voice commands or voice search might be quite the thing.  
  2. Is your app suitable for various groups of people? If so, how could you personalize it even more?  
  3. Share emotion, as evoking a positive feeling could be vital for your UX. It can be about your microcopy or about design itself and its features.  
  4. Welcome responsive animation and 3D icons, as the flat and semi-flat design might not serve well enough for your app’s design.  
  5. Cherish close collaboration between the UX/UI and other teams within a project. Fine-tune communication between departments to make your design really stand out.  
  6. That’s all for now about design tendencies in UX. If you are interested, we’ll devote one of our next materials to mobile UI design trends 2020.  

But maybe you’d like to have some more assistance?  

If you need to create UX/UI for your mobile app, SSA Group is right by your side to assist you.  

Write to us about your challenge, and we’ll answer in the shortest terms.  

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