These are four major trends in mobile UX right now

Guest contributor Amanda Peterson looks at the latest developments in mobile user interfaces and experience.

As mobile device usage increases, it’s important for businesses to continue focusing their efforts on producing accommodative, mobile-friendly experiences. Strategizing device-specific user experience (UX) and capitalizing on improvements to device capabilities continue to be important initiatives for businesses looking to optimize UX. Here are four mobile-user experience trends to look for right now.

Optimizing screen real estate
Developers of mobile apps and sites aim to align UX with a device’s size, shape, and overall ergonomics in order to create a seamless and enjoyable experience. That means developers will focus heavily on creating the most user-friendly mobile interfaces.

This is especially important as manufacturers push devices with decreased bezels or edge-to-edge displays, opening up new sizes and aspect ratios. Developers will also further integrate display elements with haptic features in order to provide feedback and satisfaction in pressing buttons, moving dials, or selecting options.

Images, videos, and other digital elements will continue to find themselves optimized for a mobile-first focus. For example, we will see a rise in vertical formatting and simpler designs fit for mobile display. Aligning these features with the hardware provides a more intuitive, satisfying UX.

Crossover between mobile apps and desktop sites
We have reached an age where more people are accessing company websites via mobile apps than desktop websites. That’s because, according to numerous studies, the average person spends more than four hours per day on their phone.

In order to keep up, more businesses are focusing on creating apps in conjunction with their traditional desktop sites. Apps present much simpler navigation between pages, allowing for quick and easy use. Additionally, they allow for more customization and saved personal data.

We are going to see a much higher level of crossover between mobile apps and desktop sites, as the websites themselves are beginning to mimic the design and functionality of mobile apps. However, the apps still do not have all the same capabilities as a full site; therefore, the two will need to interact with each other in order to offer a fully comprehensive user experience.

Introducing AI-powered chatbots
As mobile apps continue to advance, smarter chatbots are becoming a major part of the package and are being heavily integrated into applications. The addition of AI to chatbots will allow for better, faster results and more seamless, intuitive UX.

AI chatbots use natural language processing, which allows for conversations that mimic human interaction, making for smarter communication. As these bots become a larger part of mobile apps, they will speed up customer service and quickly give users the answers they’re after.

However, chatbots don’t solely benefit customers. They are also a major asset to the businesses that include them in their mobile apps for internal operations. For larger companies like Oracle, the integration of chatbots into their suite of cloud apps has been a major success.

Chatbots not only handle customer service, but also serve as virtual assistants that can manage the mundane clerical tasks associated with day-to-day workflow, freeing up personnel to focus on other, more pertinent tasks.

Incorporating augmented reality
From its first large-scale, commercial introduction with Pokemon Go, augmented reality (AR) has quickly become one of the most popular places for mobile app innovation. Apple’s Tim Cook tells us, “augmented reality is going to change the way we use technology forever…We’re already seeing things that will transform the way you work, play, connect and learn.”

With enhanced cameras, 3D depth sensors, and machine learning used to infer scene geometry, app developers are powering their products with comprehensive AR capabilities. Companies from various industries are seeking opportunities to take advantage of AR.

For example, eCommerce businesses are creating virtual try-on experiences so customers can test out clothing right from their apps. Through the use of AR’s overlay abilities, mobile apps can also be equipped with the capabilities for training and instructional purposes in nearly every field. In fact, this tech is already becoming useful in manufacturing, healthcare, education, and other industries.

Mobile device usage is only going to continue to increase in the coming years. One of the most important ways to ensure your business stays relevant in an increasingly mobile-focused world is to create the best possible experience for users. By keeping up with the mobile UX trends listed above, you’ll better position your business for success.

Watch Google speak about UX in Progressive Web Apps in the below video