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App Development
12 minutes read

UX Trends: A Complete Guide to Understanding Your Users and Boosting Your App’s Success

by Diego Coronado
App Development
12 minutes read

Consumer UX trends are ever-changing, especially now that the world is undergoing an accelerated digital transformation due to the pandemic. With limited opportunities for in-person interactions, mobile apps have provided a much-needed means for consumers to handle their daily tasks and maintain a sense of normalcy. From apps that offer food delivery and learning services to those that offer virtual medical and wellness sessions, there’s a growing need to develop applications that offer an alternative solution to services that would have otherwise been handled face-to-face. 

Given this new “norm”, there are several opportunities for companies to stake their claim as an industry leader in 2021 with a unique and highly customer-centric app that takes into account the latest trends in UX design. Here are a few ideas that will help you understand user trends so you can create an app that will appeal to your industry’s target audience and ultimately boost your company’s success. 

But first, it’s important to understand exactly what UX is all about. 

What Is User Experience (UX) and How Does it Impact App Design? 

User Experience (UX) is a broad term that describes the overall usefulness and relevance of an app from a customer’s perspective. It relates to how the user interacts with your app, the degree of difficulty in understanding its functionalities, and how closely it addresses the customer’s pain points, or needs. 

In essence, UX is the driving force behind an app’s potential to succeed. However, UX is directly dependent on your target audience. If your app fails to address your target audience’s needs, fails to keep up with the trends your target market is exhibiting, is too complex for your intended users, or offers too many irrelevant features that your prospective customers will find little-to-no use for, chances are your app will not become a success. 

Creating Industry Specific Apps that Cater to the Latest UX Trends

To create a successful app, you must consider the industry you are in and what your target customers are looking for. Although there are certain User Experience trends that transcend across several industries, such as consistency and responsiveness, many trends are unique to each industry and should be addressed during the app design process. 

Below are some of the different types of industry apps and the latest UX trends associated with each to help you gain a better understanding of what types of modern UX features your’s should focus on in order to increase its appeal potential. 

Educational (EdTech) Apps

Depending on location, students and teachers may or may not have the ability to return to school or university to resume traditional in-person learning due to the pandemic. Knowing this, the need for alternative, remote educational opportunities is higher than ever. If you’re in the education industry, you have a unique chance to capitalize on this trend. 

Now is the time to really shine with an EdTech app that provides users with the solutions they need. However, since there are several audiences that can be targeted in the education industry, it’s important to first determine the customer persona your app will favor. 

Here are some vital questions to ask yourself regarding your target audience in order to hone in on the specific needs of your intended market and start building an app that considers both current consumer demands and future UX trends:  

  • Is your EdTech business geared toward providing solutions for students, teachers, or both? 
  • If your target audience is students, do you offer products or services for students of all ages or are they specific to certain ages (elementary vs highschool vs university)?
  • If your focus is on offering solutions for educators only, do you provide products or services that facilitate the actual teaching process (ex. classroom materials), or advanced learning solutions for teachers to develop additional skills or grow their skill sets?

Modern UX design trends favor focusing on a specific audience per app. This helps reduce confusion and streamlines the process for users to obtain what they need from your app quickly and hasslefree. Depending on how many audiences your business targets, consider building an EdTech app for each so that the pain points of every individual customer persona is fully catered to.  

Now, if your audience is students, you may choose to create an educational app that caters to both minors and adults. It can even be a family app, offering the option to pick a “user profile” at log in (child vs adult), so everyone in the family can turn to a single app to accomplish their learning goals. If you choose this route for your app’s design, be sure to include a variety of learning solutions that users can pick and choose from, like eBook downloads, access to school curriculums, online testing options, and more. Also, incorporate controls that allow parents to access and manage their childrens’ profiles and keep track of their learning progress. 

Healthcare (MedTech) Apps

With healthcare professionals largely limiting their facility services to patients that are experiencing more critical systems, many consumers have been unable to schedule regular in-person checkups or preventative services. Telemedicine is a comparable alternative and a UX trend that has been gaining popularity as a result of the pandemic. If you are in the healthcare field and cater to either providers or patients, offering a telemedicine solution within your MedTech app will help position you as an industry leader. 

You may also want to consider providing a list of doctors and facilities that are offering telemedicine services to users and incorporate a local search option within your app so users can easily find a provider in their area that accepts their insurance. Go even one step further by including a list of providers that accept non-insured patients and their individual costs. Few things are more frustrating than finding affordable healthcare services. Outlining all available providers, insurances, and pricing options in your MedTech app will drastically simplify this task for users and position your app for success among your target audiences. 

Finally, you may even wish to consider adding some information on different symptoms or illnesses that users can search for and suggestions for home-based or homeopathic remedies for users who prefer to stay indoors during the pandemic. Adding a GeoTracking feature to the app can sort out the suggestions your users see depending on their location and demographics, promoting an even more personalized User Experience. 

Wellness Apps

Although some gyms and spas have reopened during the pandemic, the nature of these activities and services requires close interaction and physical contact with others. Not everyone is comfortable with this level of face-to-face engagement, and a wellness app offers the perfect solution. 

If you’re in the wellness industry, there are a few things to take into account when designing an app that provides the range of services and UX trends your target audience is looking for. Similar to educational apps, your wellness app should feature a range of options for users to choose from, such as: 

  • Virtual classes with instructors that specialize in cardio, weight training, yoga, or meditation.
  • Step-by-step instructions and infographics for exercising and stretching.
  • Nutritional advice and recipes.
  • Tracking features that allow users to set goals and record their daily dietary habits, physical activities, and overall progress.

Delivery Apps

While delivery apps have always been popular, the pandemic has led to a huge spike in delivery services. If your company offers products that can be delivered to consumers at their residence or place of business, take advantage of this growing UX trend and design an application that not only allows your customers to place orders, but that tracks their specific product interests and offers suggestions customized to their unique preferences. Machine Learning features are great for this. 

The types of products you can provide delivery solutions for in your app include, but are not limited to: 

  • Groceries
  • Meal catering services
  • Fashion and beauty items
  • Household goods and appliances
  • Furniture
  • Electronics
  • Arts and crafts
  • Machinery
  • Office materials
  • Medications and healthcare products

Depending on the types of products or services your company offers, you also have the choice of partnering with a third-party service provider, such as Shopify, Amazon, Uber, Postmates, and others to further increase your brand’s outreach and improve User Experience. 

Enhanced Security Solutions: What Consumers Expect and How Security Is Vital to UX 

There’s nothing worse than having your sensitive information hacked. Many apps these days offer financial services, like stock trading or payment transfers, as well as eCommerce solutions for selling and purchasing goods online. Several of these apps record user payment information, which in some ways can facilitate UX by allowing users to save their credit or debit account information for quick check out in the future, but also opens up the door for hackers. 

As new eCommerce and ePayment technologies and tools become available, including cryptocurrencies like Blockchain, safety becomes an even greater concern for users and one of the most important UX trends to keep in mind when conceptualizing or designing an app. Given these new solutions, it is crucial that your app both detects and prevents data leaks to provide an optimal User Experience.

Below are some features to consider when developing a new app to keep up with new trends while maximizing UX. 

Password Alternatives 

We’ve all been there. That moment when you need to log into an app to pay a bill, manage work-related files, or access general personal information and you forget your password. The hassles that follow to recover or create a new password are tedious and time-consuming. Not to mention, you’ll have to memorize yet another password. 

To top it off, some apps require users to create new passwords every month, which makes it even harder to remember your login information. However, perhaps the biggest downfall to traditional passwords is the fact that they can be hacked. Whether through an inadvertent malware download or by writing it down somewhere and having it physically stolen, alpha-numerical passwords can lead to devastating consequences for app users when their personal data falls into the wrong hands, such as identity theft, credit card fraud, intellectual property loss, and corporate espionage — to name a few.

A key aspect of UX involves ensuring that your app’s users never have to worry about their data being stolen. There are several alternatives to password-based logins you can incorporate into your new application, such as: 

Biometrics 

Facial recognition and fingerprint readers are among the most secure alternatives to traditional passwords. Smartphones and tablets already allow for this authentication method, so incorporating this option into your app can create a safer and more convenient UX for your customers. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you may even consider adding retinal scan software. 

Two-step Authentication

Many two-step authentication methods include traditional passwords, but that doesn’t mean your app needs to. As long as you account for multiple methods for users to verify their identity, your application will offer a high-level, secured UX. Try combining biometrics with an additional authentication factor, such as a USB key code.

Behavioral Pattern Recognition

Machine Learning algorithms can track, react to, and anticipate a user’s behavioral patterns, including their login times, the servers they typically use, the manner in which they interact with an app, what features or topics they tend to gravitate toward, purchase trends, and even the way they type or scroll through pages. Armed with this information, the innovative software can detect unusual activity that deviates from the user’s typical patterns, helping prevent and quickly address potential hacks by notifying users when something seems off and asking them to confirm they performed these actions themselves.

24-Hour Customer Service

UX is not solely related to the way a user interacts with an application; it also includes the ease with which their issues can be addressed and resolved. The recent Robinhood hack has made it clear that customer service solutions cannot be ignored when creating a new app — especially if the app contains secured user data. If a potential hack is detected, the user should be able to contact a representative immediately and lock their account to prevent further data leaks. An email-only approach to customer service is not ideal when users need help right away. Instead, opt for a combination of 24-hour customer service solutions that allow users to contact a representative both by phone and through online chat.

De-Formalized Content: Why Simplification Is a Growing Trend in User Experience

Although companies want to present themselves as an authority in their niche field, the way their messages come across to consumers can often be a bit formal and hard to understand. UX is all about making things easier for users, and an increasingly popular UX trend is to reduce the use of complex jargon and keep content more organic. 

Here’s how:

  • Simplify your concepts as much as possible through the use of conversational language and tones. 
  • Include graphics and icons that can help translate your message and offer a visual equivalent to your content.
  • Add personal photos whenever possible to help humanize your brand and make your company more personable.
  • Incorporate catchy, colloquial language that will grasp your audience’s attention and keep them hooked on your services.

Consult with Our Experienced Team to Create an App that Aligns With Both Current and Future UX Trends 

Designing an app that will resonate with your target audience, incorporates the latest UX design trends, and keeps customers coming back for your services is not an easy task. UX app design takes time and the skills of an experienced developer to ensure your ideas can come to life successfully. 

Koombea’s team of developers has been creating innovative applications for both startup and established companies for more than 13 years. Our goal is to assist you in building a nuanced tech solution that offers the best possible UX for your customers and positions you as an industry leader now and for years to come. Whether our 

Ready to get started? Contact us today to discover how we can help you create an app that will exceed UX trends and expectations in 2021 and beyond.