App Trends: What’s in and What’s Out

Mobile App Trends

As the app industry matures, new features, designs, and user demands will emerge and transform the mobile application landscape. Staying ahead of the trends is a great way for developers to break through the competition to the top of the app stores. As 2014 truly gets underway, let’s take a look at which app trends are on their way out, and which trends are now in demand by the app industry.

OUT:

Social Media Login

Social media is a great tool for app developers looking for some organic, viral marketing. If users shares their app experience on social media, their friends and family may be inclined to check out that app. However, sharing on social media should be a decision made by the user, not by the app developer.

Some users don’t want their activities broadcast to their friends. Don’t require users to login to your app using their social media accounts. Give them the option of logging in separate of social media.

Feature-loading

Simplicity is the name of the game. Adding to many features makes your app seem cluttered and can distract users from your app’s true functionalities. Focus instead on perfecting what you already offer in your app; After all, that’s what attracted users to your app in the first place.

If you want to add a new feature to your app, make sure to test it extensively to gauge user response. Make sure it compliments and enhances your app’s original UX.

iOS only

Now, this one should be pretty obvious. With Android on almost 80% of smartphones worldwide, developers would be wise to start optimizing their apps for Android. With that said, iOS apps still rake in more revenue than Android apps, though that gap is slowly closing.

Even if some developers still release their apps in iOS first, Android and Windows Phone versions follow pretty soon after. If you focus only on iOS, you will miss out on millions of potential users!

IN:

User Benefits and Rewards

Most apps are only opened once. So, how can developers convince users to stick around to open another app session? Consider implementing a rewards system to lure users back into the app. Devs can offer coupons or free items from the in-app store. Devs can even offer points that, after enough accumulation, can be redeemed by users for prizes. User retention is difficult, but user rewards can be a great start.

Flat Design

Flat design came into its own when Apple released the re-designed iOS 7, which featured an entirely new flat design interface. Flat design has since spread across mobile and the web, and it is seen by most as an improvement over traditional app and web design. It makes the design seem cleaner and simpler. Flat design may not work for every app, but devs should consider the flat design trend when designing the UI for their apps.

Privacy

Privacy has always been a concern on mobile, but with high-profile hacking and government interference, users are more aware of privacy than ever. Devs should think seriously about the role of privacy in their app, especially if the user needs to enter personal information or if you have an enterprise app.

If you do need to collect user or business information, be transparent with the user and make sure they are aware that this is happening. Have a plan in place for how the data is used and how long it is kept on servers. You should also try to monitor your app for any potential security breaches. Build the user’s trust, and it will pay off in the long run.

Feel free to share some more app trends below!

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