From 2015 To 2016: Trends That Are Here to Stay

Internet of Things and User Experience


A gesture is primarily a hand movement, such as pinch-to-zoom, double-tap, or swipe. It is a known fact that when a user swipes, it will usually bring them to the next item, or when they pinch the screen on Google Chrome, it will zoom the page in. The success of an app can sometimes be made, or sometimes be broken, by how it uses gestures. Gestures are a trend that will not only stay, but continue to evolve.

Gestures have become so important, that in late 2015 Apple introduced a new type of gesture, “3D Touch,” or sometimes known as “Force Touch.” With 3D Touch, an iPhone screen will sense the amount of force used, and relates this gesture to something like a pinch or swipe. This gesture prompts a preview action, prior to opening a new screen.

Material Design

Material design is Google’s design language that is based on the look of a piece of paper, and ink, according to Google’s VP of Design. He even states that “unlike real paper, our digital material can expand and reform intelligently. Material has physical surfaces and edges. Seams and shadows provide meaning about what you can touch.”

In order to create a realistic looking design, Material uses shadow effects and makes use of depth. The goal of this design is to create a clean and modern design that largely focuses on user experience. This design trend was announced in June of 2014, however, in 2015, Material design has been praised as a game changer in design in both mobile and web applications. Majority of Google Applications has adopted this new design language, such as Gmail, YouTube, Google Doc, Google Maps, and Google Chrome, but the list could go on. This is a 2015 design trend, that is definitely here to stay for 2016.


Micro-interactions are one of the key components to a good app design. They help create engagement and contribute to a critical function. They are aspects that you don’t really notice, but contribute big time to the user experience of an app. Micro-interactions make application look and feel more alive.

“Microinteractions are, despite their small size and near-invisibility, incredibly important. The difference between a product you love and a product you tolerate is often the microinteractions you have with it. They can make our lives easier, more fun, and just more interesting if done well.” – Dan Saffer

These small animations and interactions within mobile apps are becoming increasingly popular, and are a great design practice that is here to stay, and will continue making user engagements more exciting.

Beacon Technology

Beacon technology integrated with mobile apps have been around for a while, but are just starting to revolutionize customer experience and in-store retail. According to Business Insider, beacons will drive $44 billion in retail sales by the end of 2016, which up from only $4 billion in 2015.

The benefits of mobile beacons have become pretty clear- consumers receive ads and promotions that they actually want, while retailers collect valuable data on their customers habits, which is used for future personalized promotions. Some retailers who have found beacons to be successful in 2015: Sephora, Macy’s, Target, & Apple. In Chicago, Codal(Mobile App Development Company) has built the most beacon-based app’s to date, and we plan on continuing to do so.

Beacause of Beacon technology, contextual design, and customer-centered design has been a trend, that will not go away. The more data applications collect from beacons, the more important contextual design will become.