While we want to believe that any app design project we complete is evergreen, it’s not hard to notice that the apps published this year are somewhat different from what we created, let’s say, 4 years ago. Just look at these two apps and try to guess which one is older.
Of course, thanks to the professionalism of Perpetio’s UI/UX designers, even an app published 6 years ago is still functional, well-organized, and attractive, no matter how much time has passed. Following all the best design practices, they developed long-lasting, time-proof interfaces. At the same time, every year, new trends come and go or, alternatively, become best practices, so it’s useful to update the app design from time to time.
Let’s explore what 2024 will bring us and which trends our UI/UX designers recommend looking into.
Immersive AR and VR Design for Creating New Dimentions
With the recent introduction of Apple’s visionOS, designers started exploring how to create 3D immersive experiences for this VR operational system and other similar technologies, like Meta’s metaverse. The demand for AR and VR apps will rise, and, as a result, it’s high time designers start adapting to this UI/UX trend.
Even the users of regular mobile applications want to see more 3D, immersive, and encompassing experiences. Mobile apps are growing bigger than just a 2D interface as AR allows users to integrate the applications into their surroundings, and VR technology is becoming more accessible with budget-friendly tools like Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR.
Forward-looking UI/UX designers are already training to build 3D spaces that feel welcoming and intuitive for users, as we predict AR/VR to be the biggest UX design trend of 2024. For example, we have recently experimented with a visionOS furniture selection app to prepare for commercial visionOS design projects.
Wearables Adaptation for Bringing Your App Everywhere
Designing for one device only is likely to become a practice from the past in 2024. Today, more and more users switch between computers, smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches. Naturally, they want the apps to be accessible and synchronized across all devices. While adapting a mobile app to a tablet takes work with screen size adaptability, bringing an app to a smartwatch takes more effort and requires designing an interface for a small watch screen.
Wearable integration is becoming a default option for such apps as fitness, navigation, messengers, and others. UI/UX designers need to be prepared to work with smartwatch interface design and organize its UX in a minimalistic yet all-inclusive way. For example, when working on fitness apps, the Perpetio design team considers wearable integration and prepares a simplified interface for smartwatches.
Accessibility for Welcoming Any User
While accessibility has been an inseparable part of any UI/UX design guideline for years, in 2024 we expect designers to pay closer attention to this parameter and promote accessibility. One of the reasons for such a tendency is Apple's introduction of new features for cognitive, vision, and speech accessibility. Such an innovation raises awareness about app accessibility and will likely motivate UI/UX designers to consider accessibility options in their UX.
Accessibility is not hard to introduce: offering larger font settings or simplified interface versions are the basic accessibility settings designers can implement.
Gamification for Increased Engagement
Gamification is confidently making its way into 2024 UX design trends. What started as a motivation element in education products can now be found even in banking solutions. Gamification elements, such as level system, rewards, and in-app characters, increase user engagement and keep them interested in going back to the application.
It’s hard to imagine a language learning or fitness app without gamification. Throughout 2023, this principle expanded above these app types and can be seen in virtually any application. For example, a Ukrainian banking app Monobank, allows users to choose cat avatars and offers virtual clothing and accessories for them. Plus, users open up rewards for various spending categories.
Gamification is likely to be among 2024 UI/UX design trends as apps strive to differ from many competitors in the same category and retain users with ever more demanding tastes and requests for entertainment.
AI and Chatbots for Better User Assistance
If we have to choose only one term to describe the tech world in 2023, it will definitely be AI. The release of ChatGPT by OpenAI provoked a snowball effect of interest in generative AI tools. Now, most business owners can enjoy the benefits of a better user experience in their products with chatbots and other AI functionality.
Designers can integrate chatbots into the user onboarding experience, make them a part of the purchase journey, or leave as an always-present assistant in one of the app’s tabs.
Creative Illustrations for Standing Out
While AI brings incredible benefits to user experience, as we discussed above, AI-generated content makes everything look kind of the same. Consider yourself: with many businesses having access to text and image generators, one particular style started dominating the designs, and, let’s be honest, it’s easy to notice an AI-generated illustration. That’s why the value of creative, unique, and, most importantly, human-made illustrations in UI has only increased.
In a landscape full of similar interfaces, illustrations, blog articles, and whatnot, it’s paramount for products to stand out with their visuals. Distinctive styles, unusual elements, and memorable characters can be the winning point of the app’s UI. Don’t be afraid to experiment — it’s high time to show users that your app is not another AI-generated project.
Iridescence and Gradient for a Futuristic Touch
As for the aesthetic side of UI, iridescent and gradient elements are making their way into 2024 UI design trends. Perfect for backgrounds, iridescence, and gradient add a modern, fresh look to the UI while not pulling the user’s attention away from the critical UX elements.
This trend is all about a futuristic, contrasting color palette, like shades of pink, blue, and purple. You can even find inspiration for such elements in cyberpunk style. You can go as far as adding 3D holographic elements to highlight the out-of-this-world feeling of your application.
Photos for Keeping It Real
If some 5 years ago, adding real photos to website design was considered old-fashioned and not a good practice, in 2024, users crave some real faces and landscapes. The reason for photos being among the top UI trends 2024 is quite simple: AI. Yes, that again.
Generic illustrations don’t make users happy anymore: they want to see an emotion, real-life application of the product, or the experience it’s offering. Selling plane tickets? Show which cities users can visit. Designing a yoga app? What about adding photos of asanas for user guidance?
One thing to remember is to avoid artificial-looking, unnatural stock photos. Don’t get us wrong: stock photos can help a great deal if used correctly. Choose the ones that suit your app’s style, are aesthetically pleasing, and can be organically integrated into the UI. Plus, it’s even better if the photos are custom-made for your product.
3D Illustrations and Animations for Catchy Elements
3D has been among UI/UX trends for a few years now and its dominance will be only growing. With the popularization of virtual reality, designers are striving to recreate an immersive feeling in apps’ interfaces. Plus, 3D illustrations simply look cool.
While there are no restrictions as to styling 3D elements, abstract 3D is on the rise. This UI trend is inspired by digital art that depicts experimental, unusual 3D objects. The 3D effect in app elements gives more texture and volume. Additionally, it’s beneficial for e-commerce and similar app types to add 3D models of products like jewelry, clothing, or even rental units.
Risoprint for a Hand-Made Feeling
You have probably seen risoprint examples in ads, coffee shop logos, and website designs. Coming straight from the 80s, this vivid and eye-catching style is a sure way to grab your user’s attention.
Having a hand-made effect with uneven paint distribution and grain, risoprint stands out with its characteristic, bold design. Risopring is a great option for unique app typography, icons, or illustrations.
While some UI/UX app design trends come and go, others are here to stay and eventually become best practices. For example, we mentioned dark mode as a 2022 UI/UX design trend, and over the years, it has become a must-have option for many apps. That’s why we encourage UI/UX designers and business owners to pay close attention to new trends and integrate them in their designs wisely.