Wanted to share some apps and websites that have been an inspiration to me due to their design, not just because of UX but their UI and visual styles too. Go check them out – they’re so fun to explore.
Integrating graphics and photographs, Yummly not only looks amazing but it flows spectacularly. Using transitional animations and a simplistic design, even an technical novice could navigate around, which is what creating a good app is all about. Yummly allows you to browse, view and save recipes to your app to come back to later. Using all natural gestures and having fun responses makes the user journey as a whole an enjoyable experience.
What I love the most about Yelp is their use of character mascots. If anything, I get so distracted trying to find where these cute little characters are that I don’t focus as much on the app itself. However, it gets people exploring and adds fun character to what could potentially be a dull app. Yelp allows the user to find local businesses through a simple filtering system. The app uses excellent transitional animations as well as some mascot animations and each OS has their own mascot made of colourful, bold vector graphics. The website has some wonderful vector graphics to liven it up also, but lacks the animation style and flow that comes so seamlessly with the mobile application. Everyone should use mascots in their apps.
I can’t decide whether the website or the app is my favourite with Taasky. Allowing you to add simple lists of tasks to do, Taasky makes free apps like colournote look dull and too simplistic. The website features a live demo of the app, showing just how easy it is to create/edit tasks and navigate around. It uses mainly dark colours but picks up with colourful elements where they are needed to draw the users attention to tools. The animations are beautiful with a nice frame rate, carefully moving around elements when necessary in an engaging way. As well as the website demoing these features, it has some simple vector graphics and makes use of white space which uses the same colour scheme as the app. The page flows with the scrolling mechanism and there is even a fun game at the end for extra encouragement, which uses a physics engine. Cannot express the fun of Taasky enough.
4. Spendee (site and app)
Spendee is a simple and efficient way to calculate your finances, using both a simplistic app and an effective website. The scrolling on the website for this app appears almost as a video. Responding to the user’s scrolling, the website plays through some of the features of the app shown on a mobile phone in a real life setting, while adding some simple written explanations as accompaniment. The app itself uses a lot of white space, which works well in this case. Using simple icon graphics with lots of colours, this app is straight to its purpose but in a more colourful way, while being efficient at the same time.
Evernote is an excellent way to digitise things from your everyday life, such as photos, notes and web clips. The swiping mechanism and announcement feature are some of my favourite parts – it comes naturally to swipe through the app to view all the different parts, and the announcement screen uses a simple splash of colour to engage users with the content.
6. Dumb Ways To Die
The interactivity of this website is amazing – it is like a game in itself, almost as much as the app! The application is a game with simplistic characters and vector graphics, with quick and fun levels. It was made to promote safety and definitely gets the point across in an interactive and memorable way. Access to the top part of the site is only available through interacting with characters on the page, which is extremely hard to resist with the loading animations and then the subtle but effective animations that follow. The user experience, interface and design of this app I cannot praise enough. Although it is a game, the game has a message and it has conveyed this in the most successful way possible.
7. Appy Couple
Appy Couple really bridges the gap between website and mobile application design. It allows the user to create their own site/app for their wedding, with lots of designs to choose from and some very convenient features. The website appears in an extremely similar format to the app, even down to the main screen being formatted in a way that resembles the interface of a mobile device. The bright, bold colours draw the users to really explore and analyse both the app and the website. The only criticism I have is of the app: the navigation could use some improvement. If the user is not aware of what the app is for, it may seem a bit confusing to navigate around. If they have been on the website prior, it makes things easier, but designers should not rely on things like that to create a good user experience.
Nandos have a very unique style of design that people immediately associate with them. On top of this, the app approaches navigation in a slightly different way to most which further engages the user to explore and play with the app, rather than using it for a direct purpose. The app can be used to view data related to the Nandos restaurants, as well as a notepad to keep track of what people want to order. The way the navigation flows I feel could be improved slightly, but purely because I have seen a similar style produced in an app at work that’s menu navigation animation really flows and appears more like a game. But still, Nandos have created a unique visual style, for which I applaud them for.
McDonalds really do approach people using their app and website as using a game. As well as the basic features you’d expect such as viewing menu items, finding a restaurant etc. McDonalds website and app contain games for users to keep them coming back to use the app, while having advertisements thrown their way. These adverts themselves are the part of the app that I loved most. Each advert has a distinctive graphical style and marketing method, with gorgeous design, many graphic styles and effective use of colour, conveying to users what they are advertising in an extremely engaging way.
Kano praise themselves only on a website, with a scrolling mechanism that follows like an animation, taking you through all the steps you need to know about their product. Kano show their product (of components required to make a small computer) and how to use it in a way that the user would not even realise. Through simply scrolling down and watching the amazing way that the website flows, the user will be so fascinated with the journey, that they may not even realise that they are viewing a basic tutorial of how the product works. This method is a brilliant marketing strategy coupled with an excellent user journey.
11. B&O Play
This website use beautiful imagery and excellent responsive mechanisms to keep users exploring through their site, which sells audio related devices. Even their loading icon has sleek animation! The site uses short video clips that flow smoothly, with even the background colour changing as the product changes. The navigation bar is simple and effective and minimal text is used throughout the site. I was disappointed to see that the only app for this company was for setup guides, not nearly as engaging as the website. Check this out for yourself, even if you’re not interested in the products, the site experience in itself is amazing.
More websites/applications will be added when they are found. I prefer to post about ones that people may not be as aware about – we all know the usual mainstream apps that everyone loves to use. Post any further suggestions below!