12 UX/UI Mobile App Design Trends in 2015

UI UX app design

Do great apps just happen? Kind of yeah! Just pour in some mind, money, matter, not to mention, awesome amounts of elbow grease and voila… you’ve got an app that’s ready to rock ‘n’ roll.

Ah! Of course, developing and designing an app is not that daunting, if you give some serious thoughts to designing trends as well. A thorough understanding of these trends goes a long way in developing an app that’s sure to be a cynosure of all eyes… an app that will truly rock the world. A rockstar app precisely… do you love the sound of it? Anyway.

Here’s a lowdown on top 12  Mobile App Design Trends in 2015. Some of the trends mentioned here already have gained the desired traction while some ideas are still brewing in some corner of the app developers’ brain, waiting to break free. Nevertheless, it’s up to you whether you want to toe in or toe out of the line of these trends.

 1] Diffuse background images

I bet, only diffused background images can do justice to your  small-screen devices. This is partly because it makes the content readable. And partly because it makes the call to action button(s) viewable and accessible too.  If the ‘call to action’ button(s) isn’t visible, what’s the use of creating an app in the first place?


2] Life-size images

Life-size, good quality images ruled the roost in the year 2014.  Possibly because of faster broadband speeds, free stock image sites and more. This trend is showing no signs of slowing down in 2015 as well. In fact, we’ll be only seeing more and more of these going forward.

life size images for apps

3] Magic  magic

Magic Leap concocted up the best design potion of this year… magical realism. The experiment in a big way reassured the development community that connecting the dots between the real and the imaginary is not a far-fetched idea anymore. That it’s possible to generate images that would look real.  That it would be easy for Gen next developers to weave them into the technology tapestry. Yay! Excited to witness more whoosh of magical wands in 2015? We are.

4]  Bury menus

No doubt, screens are getting bigger and bigger with each passing day…laptops, desktops and more.  But sadly, this isn’t the case with the mobile real estate.  So, the only way to keep the mobile screen space clutter-free, without forgoing the must-have functions, is by hiding the functionality buttons. The user could assess them, as and when required, by sliding it out with a swipe or a tilt.

5] Elegant letters

Keep boring fonts like Verdana and Arial at bay. 2015 will be all about high-quality fonts. Stronger statements. Better visual hierarchy. Add CAPS to that as well. You can even try out watercolors and hand-lettered fonts for letterings and logo marks.  So, go on and pull out your ink bottles and quills and let your imaginations run riot.

elegant letters

6] Wearable-friendly design

The countdown for Apple watches has begun. So, it goes without saying that your app design should meet the requirements of smart watches, and not just feel contented being mobile-friendly. Hope, Android Wear Developers are listening.


7] Easy navigation

Users want pleasant and clearly defined app navigation. The menu, therefore, should be the refined and backed by well-designed elements. Menus with clear typography are considered ideal design elements.

So, choose your navigation style carefully. Apps with onscreen navigation and navicons help users navigate easily.

Cut to the chase: Design should never come in the way of content. Its only job is to  guide the user through the app and ensure a smooth user experience.

8] Light colors

Simplicity is the new black in 2015.  Blending subtle colors is in. And still if you favor flashy designs: an app fatality is round the corners.

Colours that you need to avoid include the tasteless neon red-green combination. However, it’s safe to try out combinations of blue-light beige, or marsala-light grey. Check out Pantone’s Spring 2015 color palette.

colors 2015

Worried that your chosen color combination may seriously go wrong? Adobe Color will be more than happy to help.

9] Lean icons

Icons, for one, should not baffle the user. So, it always nice on the app designers end to incorporate icons that are intuitive enough to commensurate with their roles. Long Shadows were in in 2014, but no more. People prefer line art and shaded icons than any generic icon design.

thinner icons

10] Flat UI

The screen resolutions are going through a revolution of sorts. As in, the designers are free to omit heavy graphic elements including  gradients, 3D aspects, embossing, and shadows and still come up with an attractive design.  This clears up the interface. In fact,  a cluttered interface can disrupt the overall look and feel of the app.

For instance, Google and Microsoft have joined the flat design bandwagon and has produced great products in keeping with the theme. So the year 2015 will see more of such variations.

11] Skeuomorphism is back

Though the existing rant is all about minimalism and flat design, you cannot deny the existence of skeuomorphism. Objects may appear flat on screen, but through skeuomorphism you can add depth and weight.  As in, through 3d and 2d effects you can expand the real estate of app displays and help users get acquainted with contextual locations.

Newly designed apps made in iOS 8, Android and even in Windows Mobile are a testament to the fact.   Google’s treatise on Material Design – announced in July 2014 also echoes the importance of creating an authentic user experience through interdepedency of animation and UX design.

Though Google apps may appear flat; however, the components installed within the app have their own depth and existence, endowing it with a movable experience.

12] Social Media buttons

Social Media giants like Google+, Twitter and Facebook have become household names. Logging into social media accounts have become a daily routine for millions of social media account holders. So, it goes without saying that social media should be part of app designing. For that matter even social media login buttons. This saves users time and energy in creating new login features for the app downloads.

Final Thoughts

Mind you, these are just a handful of the several hot designing trends pervading the app space this year. So, if you do not want your app to hibernate in the app store for long, simply adhere to these guidelines. A great app design could be the gateway for tens of thousands of app downloads.

OpenXcell is a market leader in app development and app marketing. So, if in case you are pursuing any serious app development and marketing plans for your organization, OpenXcell will be happy to help. We have the experience and wherewithal to make your app a super success.


Jini Maxin

Jini Maxin

Well folks, Appy Times are here. Though I am no appoholic, I am in an industry that breathe apps. So, despite myself, I keep waking up to smokin’ hot cuppa of app stories every day. So, do you like what I prattle here? Duh! Of course, you do. So just go ahead and scribble a line or 2 here in the comment box below, or share them on social media. Why? Because it will load me with just enough confidence to prattle a li'l (lot) more :)