iOS App Design Trends

2019 has seen a range of changes to how smart phones and apps work, not least because of the lack of a Home button on most modern phone models. This has increased gesture-based app designs, a trend that was big last year but has continued this year, especially for iOS users. So what else has changed this year, and what will we see moving into 2020?

More Video & Animation

As a collective, we want more videos and animation and less weighty text to wade through. People tend to have a short attention span when using apps and designers need to continue designing features that will grab and hold people, whether that means improvements to UX via animations, videos demonstrating how to do a task or the option for user-led functions, such as tapping through a short, visual “how-to” guide.
App designers must be careful to keep videos short and sweet – preferably less than 1 minute – and small in terms of file size, so they don’t slow down app performance.


Augmented Reality (AR) isn’t new, but it never fails to be exciting. From the immersive world of apps such as Pokémon Go to functional and practical uses such as being able to “try” furniture out in a room before buying, AR definitely has played its part in 2019 and will continue into 2020.
Apple revealed that they have acquired iKinema motion tech earlier this month, which could lead to “virtual people” in the near future, even within the next year. this move complements the release of Apple’s ARKit 3 with RealityKit and Reality Composer earlier this year.


Nobody really likes the idea of a chat-bot, but the truth is, they’re handy and they save money in long run for companies who want to offer a live helpdesk. Chatbots can be used to bridge the gap to help users answer a query without speaking to real person, or to offer a full-scale CS solution, and app designers need to be aware that they’re becoming a “must have” in certain sectors, especially travel and retail. Chatbot use will definitely continue to grow as times move on and people demand quick answers to their queries.

Chatbots need to be incorporated effectively or they aren’t actually effective – the navigation path needs to be easy, the loading smooth and response times quick. App designs to incorporate this feature will vary, so it’s important to play around until the chatbot is integrated smoothly and working well.

In-App Facial Recognition

The fingerprint has been the must-have “go-to” for security for quite a while, but with the loss of the Home button, app designers have had to move to facial recognition for those operating smart phones without fingerprint capability (for iPhone users, that’s the X, Xs, Xs Max, and XR models and iPad users, the iPad Pro (2018), Mini and Air models from 2019 onwards). With that, app designs have had to change to smooth out user flow and UI to make the log in process seem more intuitive.
In-app facial recognition will only continue to grow into 2020, as more users upgrade from older devices to new, button-less designs.


As mentioned above, many apps are now much more gesture based than ever before, especially again on models with no buttons on the front. These models offer clean, edgeless design which can be taken advantage of in a number of ways including:

  • Simple animations that demonstrate gestures required such as swipe, tilt or pull down.
  • An app ‘tour’, to demonstrate how it works
  • Sleek, modern and effective design
  • Full screen real estate to showcase great design and creativity

How many more gestures can designers think of as designs evolve? With users already familiar with pull, swipe, spin, tilt and many more, what will be next?