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What will be the big web and app design trends of 2017? Six UI, UX and interface experts reveal their predictions for the coming 12 months

The end of 2016 is coming up fast, and in the world of design, prototyping and UX that can mean only one thing… 2017 prediction posts! 2016 was full of web and app design trends, from material design and card layouts to illustration and more, some of which we spoke about in Justinmind’s first guestpost for Creative Bloq. Of course, the digital design landscape is hard to predict, so we decided to ask 5 web and app industry experts to give us their top 3 predictions for 2017’s web and app UX design trends.

UX design trends for 2017 – according to the experts

Adham Dannaway, UX/UI Designer & Front-end Developer

  • I predict less focus on aesthetics and more focus on usability. UI pattern libraries and style guides will become the norm, making user experiences more consistent, practical and usable. With more businesses realising the importance of design thinking and UX research, designers will become more involved in strategy rather than visuals. While I’m a big UX advocate, I fear that some digital products could lose their character and polish in this process.
  • Also, a strong focus on prototyping and interaction design. I think there were over 30 different prototyping tools launched in the last few years which clearly shows that there’s a strong demand for prototyping and interaction design tools. Interaction designers are looking to create more natural interfaces and concentrating on how it ‘feels’ to the user. Conversational interactions (chat bots) are one quickly evolving example of this trend towards removing the UI from our interactions and making them more personable.
  • The dawn of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) is here. While we’re still in the early stages of exploring these technologies, it looks like 2017 will be the year that they’re brought to the attention of the masses. This will create an exciting new field of opportunities for UI and product designers looking to add a third dimension to their designs.

Adham is half UX/UI Designer, half Front-end Developer, 100% interface jedi. His work has been featured on Smashing Magazine, Web Designer Magazine and Awwwards

Nir Eyal, Author of “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Nir is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, angel investor (think the likes of Eventbrite and ProductHunt) and expert in habit-forming products


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Adi Mazor Kario, UX Architect and Founder of Wizard UI Consulting

  • In 2017 we will see many more Natural User Interfaces and Bot Interfaces.
  • I think we will see more social collaboration & shared economy applications. Users trust strangers more and this will lead to new services and applications (mainly mobile apps that could add location-based options)
  • I believe that the trend for web interfaces with more mobile features, and look-n-feel, will grow. We started seeing mobile UI elements in web applications in the last few years and we will see more of that in 2017.

Adi Mazor Kario is a UI/UX Architect with a boutique UX agency based out of Tel Aviv. She also moonlights as a Google UX Mentor. Read our in-depth interview with Adi here.

James Archer, VP of Sales & Marketing at Crowd Favorite & UX Expert

  • Death of the hamburger menu! By now it’s been pretty well established that the hamburger menu doesn’t work, but we’re still waiting for app and responsive web designs to catch up. As the year goes on, we’ll start to see the hamburgers being methodically replaced with tab bars, Priority+ menus, and other alternative forms of navigation.
  • Device-appropriate design: Designers seem to keep getting mobile-first wrong by leaving desktop experiences feeling weak and incomplete, and users are feeling the pain. Next year will see a renewed interest in designing not primarily for mobile at the expense of desktop, but rather in creating experiences appropriate to whatever device they’re used on.
  • Tighter design/developer relationships: As interface technology continues to advance, the static mockups of yesteryear become increasingly obsolete, requiring a renewed focus on tight collaboration between designers and developers. Neither one can get very far without the other, but together they can change the world.

James is an expert and design, content and marketing in the digital space, frequent conference speaker and part-time fiction writer


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Joanna Ngai, UX Designer at Microsoft

  • Continual growth of the mobile first/mobile only markets
  • Consumers turning to mobile as a tool before and during transaction
  • Integration between mobile, social and commerce

Joanna released her first book, ‘UX for Beginners: A practical handbook on the space of user experience design and strategy‘, on Kindle this year

Adrian Zumbrunnen, UX/UI Designer

  • There will be fewer apps, less fragmentation and a movement towards a more centralized web.
  • Messaging will keep growing. More and more businesses will offer their services within the messaging space
  • Websites and unique design will become less important. Content and immediate value will be at the core of everything we do

Adrian has worked with the likes of Google, Red Bull and The Guardian to create innovative user experiences. He’s a big fan of bots. 

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Cassandra is Marketing Lead at Justinmind

27 comments

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  • Thanks for your article,but we can trust all these prediction. I thinks it’s depend on your business and where you are located.For example in some region and country they dont need mobile design or in return mobile design is the most important.
    but they are prediction and if they will happen they can impact on other strategy.

  • Very cool and profound article! I like your bright examples and animations. I fully agree with the first point and would like to add, that people use mobile devices really in 80% of cases. (This is according to statistics on my personal websites). I would like to add the info which was not mentioned regarding the design: we will observe minimalism as well as flat design but there will be greater use of Animations and Micro-Interactions.

  • Great Read Naji! Totally agree with all the predictions. 2016 has been a trendsetter in world of smartphone and App innovation. Mobile apps like Pokemon go has just set a whole new benchmark for application development companies world wide. Trending techs like AR, VR, AI and IoT will be the key factors driving the process of design and development.

  • Tremendous Article about web app design trends. I agree with the experts prediction, we have to focus on prototyping and interaction with UX, UI designers.

  • Very interesting read. I agree that web interfaces will begin incorporating mobile features. Also, the designer-developer-stakeholder relationship has to be extremely strong for a mobile app to achieve the purpose for which it is created.

  • Greetings from San Francisco! I am a UX/UI Designer here in SF and I can already see the changes taking flight, some of which are mentioned and highlighted in the article. Thank you for the great read Naji! I think you brought to light many different aspects of UX / UI design and how the user will continue to be center stage in the design process, specially when it comes to interaction design, VR and tailoring the experience to the user. Looking forward to a great and exciting year in Design. Cheers!

    – Pedro Ortiz

  • One of the best post on app design trends. I feel below trends will definitely rule:

    1) Year by year focus will be more on usability.
    2) Demand for prototyping and interaction design tools
    3) Voice interfaces will grow
    4) Web interfaces with more mobile features, and look-n-feel, will grow
    5) Creating experiences appropriate to whatever device users are using
    6) Integration between mobile, social and commerce
    7) Messaging will keep growing

    I have also mentioned these trends in quora, https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-top-5-mobile-app-design-trends-in-2017

  • Great explanation, most of your predication already implementing with own apps, Thanks for this article, looking forward to read more. 🙂

  • Cassandra Naji.
    Wow it is always good to read expert opinion. It’s good to see lot of these predictions are now actually happening in 2017.

  • Technology never ceases to amaze me. Every other say there are new developments and even more interesting things being talked about for future. Endless possibilities makes me even more curious. Wonderful insights here at you blog. Shall keep watching this space for more! 🙂

  • Thank you for sharing your article. This is very informative article to UI and UX designing trends.
    Keep it up.

  • Nice to read such an informative well-versed topic, @Cassandra, Big applause from my side. I agree with the Mobile First pages because Google is also favoring to rank such sites higher, that is more mobile friendly. Thanks for this…!

  • Such trends are now a need for every IT Firm to work upon, and to provide up to date resourced IT Services to the clients. Alright, a great experience to read.

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