In recent years, we have seen design move from minimal to completely flat, moving between the two realms but necessarily out of two dimensions. However, with the recent rise of virtual reality and augmented reality apps that bring a new “dimension” of “reality” to the consumer, users are being drawn towards realistic design as well. But what exactly does this mean for mobile first design in 2017? This is the year of searching for authenticity—and the force between the year’s most popular emerging trends.
The most important trend, in my opinion, is the move away from responsive design. The design and marketing worlds have pushed mobile-first for years—getting the huge wave of semi-similar looking templated responsive sites that looked identical across platforms. Designers were heavily relying on Photoshop and Illustrator to build these websites along site the templates. However, these tools are now being supplemented with others such as Sketch and InVision that were made to enhanced user experience and user interface. These tools make interaction and experience design more accessible than they have ever been.
These tools also help enhance the move to a solely mobile first design attitude called “Adaptive.” Rather than being responsive across all platforms, brands are putting a major focus on mobile first design that gears towards the smartphone consumer and keeping desktop as an afterthought to mobile. Brands like Target and Urban Outfitters have been A/B testing hamburger menus (usually only found on mobile) on the desktop site, emulating the exact experience that people see on their phone. This is due in part to the “searching” experience that is being done on mobile. Therefore, if you have the exact same structure, navigation, search process on mobile that you then see on a desktop, it’s then easy to purchase that product on your laptop that you were just eyeing on your phone.
The key thing to remember is to keep the user and their experience in the front of your mind.