Online banking has been on the rise for years, and the “new normal” has expedited this process. According to Mastercard research, during the pandemic, banking apps have become more popular than social media apps. They’re now turning into interactive hubs, allowing financial institutions to provide their clients with superior services remotely.
This wouldn’t be possible if banking apps didn’t strive for simple yet consistent and clear designs. The look and feel of any software is about two aspects: the user interface (UI) and the user experience (UX). In this article, we’ll discuss user interface patterns and trends in banking app UI design.
Top 9 UI patterns and trends for banking apps
Creating a strong UI boils down to making the UI intuitive and easy to navigate. Your first goal is to reduce the cognitive load on your users and help them get things done fast and with minimal effort.
Another important thing is to evoke a positive emotional response, which creates a bond between a brand and its customers. According to Motista, consumers who have an emotional connection with a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value.
Now let’s look at ways of reaching these two goals.
1. Flat design elements
Flat design has been trendy for years, and nowadays, it’s still in vogue because of its efficiency. As banking apps become more data-heavy, simple two-dimensional elements add clarity to their interfaces.
Prestigious and somber graphics, once popular, are no longer found in most banking apps, as designers are looking for colorful and even playful solutions. Speaking of the color palette, it usually contains just a few colors, often bright. Below is a banking app UI design concept developed by the UGEM team featuring a simple color palette.
2. Minimalist design features
UI patterns for banking apps go beyond the visual aesthetics of flat design, moving towards a minimal design philosophy. This means ditching any elements or content that doesn’t help users reach their goals. Designers are embracing the power of empty space between visual elements.
Simple grids are often used for organizing equally sized graphics or images. Big typography, however – intrinsic to minimalist design – is rarely seen in mobile banking apps.
Overall, reducing design to only the most essential elements helps to build scalable banking apps.
3. Data visualization and progress bars
Stemming from the minimal design philosophy is the pattern of simplifying complex data. Any banking app processes a massive amount of information. When this information is displayed in bulk, it can easily confuse users and impede communication with them.
To reduce the cognitive load, it’s a good idea to use simplified charts and graphics provided in a digestible manner. They won’t sacrifice any of the visual appeal, yet they’ll keep the mobile banking app UI design from feeling crowded.
4. Subtle gradients
Transitions from one color to another used to be bright and flashy. However, this pattern has subsided as it attracts attention but in a way that distracts users from the message being conveyed.
Today’s gradients tend to be subtler, with their primary role to give volume and depth to the design or to create an exciting background. Gradients follow minimalist design principles, with no clashing colors and a definite light source.
5. Engaging illustrations
Illustrations come in different forms, from 3D graphics, doodles, and collages to photos. Cartoons and line drawings are also illustrations, but they’re rarely used in banking apps.
Illustrations allow you to add originality and personality to the mobile banking app UI design. Moreover, they can enhance the mood, increase brand recognition, and establish emotional connections. Luckily, as technologies have evolved, complex illustrations can now be implemented without sacrificing an app’s speed.
6. Animation snippets
More so than static images, animations increase user engagement and make designs come to life. Juicy chart animations and cool screen transitions help users focus on interface elements.
They also save screen space, add originality to the app, and increase usability. Besides, animation snippets are another means of enhancing customers’ emotional connections with a banking brand.
Interactive design elements go hand in hand with animations. They’re invaluable because they provide clear feedback to the user. Microinteractions confirm that a device recognizes the user’s presence and are especially helpful in onboarding. They can also highlight any changes in the UI (think of animated notifications) and add delightful details.
A common example of a microinteraction is an icon that’s highlighted when moused over. Additionally, sounds like “shrunk” can serve well as microinteractions as long as they aren’t annoying.
8. Immersive videos
Video can not only convey useful information in a digestible way but can add a premium feel to a product or service.
As 4K videos and live streaming in HD become the norm, the banking sector isn’t falling behind. For starters, this might look like immersive imagery upon launching the app. As an option, some built-in instructional or educational videos can brighten up the UI.
9. Dark mode
This trend, like most of the others listed here, is used across many types of apps – not only banking apps. Dark mode is quickly becoming a preference because it makes the screen more comfortable to look at by reducing the emitted light while maintaining the minimum color contrast required for readability.
Besides, dark mode can significantly enhance the appeal of the UI. It provides excellent opportunities to present graphical content such as dashboards and photos in a fresh way.
As digital banking has jumped in use, banking apps have become even smarter than before, mirroring the in-person client experience. To deliver a mobile experience at a superior level, an excellent app UI is a must.
Minimalist design is the primary means of reducing the cognitive load on users and establishing an emotional connection with a financial brand. The most helpful UI practices include visualizing data to make banking information clearly digestible. Illustrations and videos add a light touch or premium feel to your app, while animated elements ensure convenient and easy interactions and provide clear feedback to users.