8 Effective Mobile Design Patterns to Boost Your App Engagement

8 Effective Mobile Design Patterns to Boost Your App Engagement
Article by DesignRush DesignRush
Last Updated: February 27, 2023

Mobile apps have transformed the way we interact with businesses.

With a click, swipe or touch, we instantly get access to the products and services we seek – all from the convenience of phones and smart devices!

Because of this, app usage has increased, and mobile UI design has become more critical for modern businesses. With mobile users spending 90% of their time in apps, creating a flawless and meaningful mobile app is vital.

Enter the best mobile design patterns!

Through established design principles, it is now easier for businesses to use a tried-and-tested approach to their app’s UI design.

After all, a well-designed mobile app can offer a range of benefits – from better branding to higher customer engagement!

To take you there, we’ve selected eight popular and proven patterns in app UI design, explaining their key benefits and how they are used in practice.

Whether you're a business owner looking to enhance your mobile presence or a designer seeking inspiration for your next project, these design patterns will guide you in creating mobile apps that are visually appealing, user-friendly and engaging.

Let’s dive in!

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What Is a Design Pattern in App UI Design?

A design pattern is a reusable approach to solving a common design problem. This solution has been utilized and refined by designers and developers over time to address a specific requirement in an app's user interface.

Mobile design patterns can include various elements, such as:

  • Navigation
  • Input validation
  • Data display
  • Layout

And more!

What’s the purpose of using app design patterns, you ask? Simple – to make the design process more efficient, consistent and user-friendly.

Using well-established design patterns can make an app's interface more intuitive and familiar to users, as they may have interacted with similar design patterns in other apps.

Additionally, design patterns save designers and developers time and effort! Through these, they won’t have to reinvent the wheel whenever they encounter challenges in mobile design.

8 Tried-And-Tested Design Patterns Mobile App Designers Should Try

Now that we've covered the basics, it's time to dive into the world of mobile UI!

Here, we'll explore eight popular mobile design patterns and examine their benefits, use cases and examples.

Whether designing a new mobile app or improving an existing one, these patterns can serve as a valuable instrument for creating the best app designs with optimal user experiences.

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Tab Bar

The tab bar is a popular navigation tool that enables users to easily switch between different sections of an app.

Typically located at the bottom of the screen, a tab bar consists of a row of tabs, each representing a different section or view of the app. The corresponding view is displayed on the screen when the user taps.

Alternatively, some apps use a bottom navigation bar instead of top tabs, which can provide a more accessible option for users who find it difficult to reach the top of the screen.

It is a user-friendly pattern because it allows users to quickly navigate an app without digging through menus or performing complex gestures. It provides a clear visual hierarchy of the app's content, making it easier for users to understand and explore!

On top of that, using icons or text labels on each tab can further enhance the clarity and usability of the app’s tabs.

List View

The list view design pattern displays items users can seamlessly scroll through and select.

It usually displays a vertical list of items, each showing a thumbnail image and descriptive text. Users can browse the list by swiping up or down and selecting an item by tapping on it.

This pattern is beneficial for displaying lots of information in a condensed and accessible format.

For example, a shopping app may utilize a list view to display a catalog of products, while a messaging app may display a list of conversations.

List views are highly customizable to suit the needs of an app, such as adding filters or search functionality to help users find specific items.

It is a versatile design pattern, so it is widely used in app UI design – especially for displaying a wide range of content!

Grid View

As the name hints, the grid view is a layout that arranges a collection of items in a grid format.

Users can scroll through the grid by swiping up or down, then tap on an item to view more details or take action.

Typically, each item is represented by an image or thumbnail, along with some text or metadata.

The grid view is suitable for displaying visual content, like images or videos, as it allows users to easily browse through an extensive collection of content in an organized fashion.

For example, an eCommerce app may use a grid view to display a collection of products. Or, a photo app may use this view to display a user's photo library.

Navigation Drawer

A navigation drawer is a popular tool that slides out from the left or right side of the screen, providing quick access to app navigation options. It’s a pattern we’ve seen in the best android and iOS app designs!

When a user swipes from the edge of the screen, the navigation drawer appears, revealing a list of app sections or views to which the user can jump.

The navigation drawer is one of those mobile design patterns made for convenience! It allows users to easily access many app navigation options without taking up valuable screen space.

Designers can customize it to include additional elements like user account settings or app preferences.

Some users may already be familiar with the navigation drawer from other popular apps, like Gmail or Facebook, which also utilize this pattern. This familiarity can make the navigation drawer an intuitive design pattern for your app UI design!

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If you’re a fan of visually-appealing design patterns, go for cards! Use it to display small, self-contained information units that are easy on the eyes.

Cards can contain images, text and interactive elements. They are usually arranged in a grid or stack layout. They can display a wide range of content, such as news articles, social media posts or product listings.

Cards also make it easier for users to quickly scan and consume information. They can swipe through or tap them to reveal more details. Their compact size also allows more content to be displayed on a single screen!

Additionally, interactive card elements can make them more engaging and visually appealing for users, creating a more immersive experience.

Splash Screen

Ever seen those loading animations or progress bars? That’s the splash screen in action!

While it may seem like a minor detail, the splash screen can significantly impact the user experience of a mobile app.

By providing a visually-engaging screen that lets users know the app is loading, the splash screen can help avoid frustration or confusion arising from a loading app.

Moreover, the splash screen can reinforce brand recognition and establish a consistent visual identity for the app. Through repetitive visuals, users are more likely to remember and recognize the app in the future!

However, it’s worth noting that a splash screen should be balanced with consideration for the user's time and attention.

While a splash screen can help provide visual feedback during loading, it should not delay the user from accessing the app for extended periods.

Floating Action Button (FAB)

FAB provides users quick and easy access to the standard or frequently used actions. It is usually a circular button that appears above the other content on the screen, customizable with an icon or text label.

The essential advantage of the FAB is that it provides a consistent and accessible way for users to access key app functionality, regardless of where they are in the app.

This design pattern is handy for mobile apps that require users to complete a specific action or task, such as adding an item to a list or making a purchase.

For example, an eCommerce app might use a shopping cart icon on the FAB, while a social media app might use a "+" symbol to indicate adding new content or starting a conversation.

The FAB can also add a fun and playful element to the mobile app UI. By using animation or sound effects, it can create a delightful user experience that engages users!

Swipe To Refresh

The swipe-to-refresh design pattern is a popular feature in mobile app design that allows users to update content or data on the screen by swiping down with their fingers.

It’s one of those mobile design patterns commonly used in apps to display real-time information, such as news or social media apps.

This pattern gives users an intuitive way to update content and adds a playful and enticing element to the mobile app UI. The design pattern is often paired with animations or sound effects, which can create an exciting user experience that encourages users to interact with the app!

Additionally, it enables users to update content or data without leaving the current screen or navigating to a different part of the app. This makes the process faster and more efficient, enhancing the overall user experience.

Plus, it’s customizable to match the specific needs and branding of the app. For example, some apps use different animations or color schemes to reflect different types of content or match the overall design.

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Why Should You Incorporate App Design Patterns

In today's digital age, mobile design is more important than ever for businesses looking to engage with customers and stay competitive.

That’s because the flawless mobile design can transform a regular user into an actual paying customer.

Don’t believe us? Look at some of the best mobile and app website designs for proof!

With most internet users now accessing the web through mobile devices, businesses must consider how their mobile design impacts the user experience.

Here are the ways great mobile design boosts businesses and why investing in mobile design patterns is crucial for long-term success.

Improved User Engagement

With well-designed mobile apps, businesses can offer a better user experience, increasing the likelihood of users spending more time in the app and interacting with the company more frequently. This can lead to increased loyalty and revenue for the business!

Higher Accessibility

Mobile design has enabled businesses to reach new and broader audiences, including those who may not have access to desktop or laptop computers. Since mobile apps can be accessed from anywhere, anytime, it is easier for customers to interact with businesses on the go!

Enhanced Branding

Branding is everything! It’s the key to setting your brand apart from the competition and encouraging consumer loyalty.

A well-designed mobile app can enhance a business's branding efforts by offering a consistent and polished user experience that reflects the company's brand identity. By incorporating branding elements into the mobile design, businesses can make their mark and improve brand recognition!

Access to Valuable User Data

An effective mobile design can help businesses collect helpful insights such as:

  • User behavior
  • Preferences
  • Demographics

This information can improve the user experience and inform marketing and business strategies. By analyzing user data, businesses can better understand their customers and make data-driven decisions!

Elevate Your App’s UI With Engaging Mobile Design Patterns

The mobile design patterns we've covered here are just a few possibilities for creating engaging and user-friendly mobile apps.

By understanding the benefits of each pattern and tailoring them to your specific needs, you can create mobile experiences that stand out from the crowd and drive results!

Whether improving customer engagement, increasing conversions or promoting brand loyalty, mobile design is vital to achieving business success in today's growing digital landscape.

If you want to enhance your business's mobile presence, partnering with a design agency knowledgeable about the suitable design patterns for your requirements can make a huge difference.

With expert guidance, your mobile app can become a powerful tool for meaningfully reaching and engaging with customers.

So why not take the next step and find a design agency to help you achieve your mobile app goals? Your customers will thank you for it!

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