With Mobile First coming soon (or is it already here?) and much more increased focus on mobile sites now than ever before, it’s little wonder that the topic of mobile site design is at the front of every mind. What does 2018 have in store for mobile site design?
Long gone are the days when you wanted to look all around the screen to find the path to follow (in fact, we’re not sure quite when that was ever popular, except perhaps on Neopets!). Irrespective of device, users want to follow a linear path to reach their destination; that is most likely to be up/down, on a mobile device, but can also be sideways, as long as it’s clear – typical desktop sites have top line side navigation which is still fine, but there does seen to be clear, defined flow for users to follow.
Also, mobile users want to see a linear process if they are ordering online. Could be pizza, could be a taxi, could be clothes…. whatever that is, the whole process from basket to checkout needs to follow a clear, linear path.
We’ve all been taking steps towards more of a minimalistic look for a while now, but 2018 will be a year of really decluttering to ensure mobile users aren’t being hit with too much info on a small screen. Irrelevant information (noise) needs to be identified and removed, leaving only relevant information (signals) for users, although this doesn’t mean that high quality imagery and infographics shouldn’t be used – they just need to be placed strategically, with care.
Full screen devices are becoming the norm for mobile users and it’s important to capitalise upon that from a design perspective. Users are expecting to see a full-screen experience so give them what they want, using HD images and video where possible.
Full screen design also gives more opportunity to showcase products, text and to enhance user experience, so this is definitely worth pursuing in 2018.
Vibrant, bold colours draw attention, and this is often needed on a mobile site where the user is viewing things on a smaller screen. Whilst we’re still advocates of basic black for the majority of text colour, liven things up with exciting imagery, coloured headers (to match your branding where possible) and also colour to visually separate notifications.
Video content isn’t for everyone, but with full screen devices spreading, what a great platform to showcase it on. With recent surveys showing that 78% of people watch online videos each week, this clearly is something to capitalise on.
It’s important to bear in mind that videos need to be adapted for portrait orientation as the majority of users keep their phones in this position, or even lock the screen so it cannot move to landscape.
Biometrical technology is a big thing on newer devices, and designers need to adapt to this. Apps that use this technology can give users an easy bypass to the traditional login screen and give increased security at the same time. This will continue to grow this year and it’s important to keep up with the trend, offering biometric access alternatives such as fingerprint or face recognition where possible.
Focus on Conversational Design
People love to talk, and this is being reflected more and more on websites where customer service is essential, with live chat and chatbot options being used as an alternative to phone calls or contact forms where replies are not instant.
Telecommunications giant O2 have long been a forerunner of this, offering a live chat service on their website that can help users resolve queries quickly if they have adequate account details to hand, and 2018 will be the year we see others catch up.
It may not be feasible for businesses to run a live chat option within their infrastructure, so the chatbot option is likely to be popular – this level of automation needs careful programming but will serve a very useful purpose for customers who want answers to common queries and don’t need to talk to a live customer service rep – though that should also be an option if possible.
AR has been an upcoming thing for a while now, but we will see more of this as the year progresses. Both Apple and Google have recently released AR frameworks that make being these apps much easier (ARKit and ARCore, respectively), which will really open up the app market for AR development.
There is huge scope for AR apps that will help users with everyday tasks, so we expect to see more of these moving forward.