Designs We Love, September Edition
by Patrick Faller
posted on 09-25-2017
It’s September, and for many, this is the time to get back to work or back to school in a big way. So as you spring back into action, check out these website and app designs we love, hand-picked by top UX designers from across the world.
Mia Chuang, User Experience Director at Moving Brands
Its style of recorded meditation, coupled with the calming tone of voice of each narrator is particularly impactful from a user perspective. It is a prime example of a site where its art direction and identity aptly complements its service offering–the crisp choice of photography, moving image, color, and rhythmic movement sets an expectation that a meditative experience with Calm brings clarity and brightness.
Calm’s microinteractions are delightful. A good example is its “Breathe” feature where an expanding and contracting circle guides the user in inhaling and exhaling. The movement and changing color mimics how a user would fill and empty their lungs, which I feel is extremely effective in conveying an imaginary, solitary space. It’s a lovely, simple piece of microinteraction design.
I’m an avid user of the Sleep experience too, where the app delivers calming sleep stories to adults and children. I find the concept both simple and ingenious as it does the job for a parent spending time with their children before putting them to bed.
Michéle (Mikele) De Sousa, Product Designer and Design Lead at Freethinking Business Consultants
GetPocket is an online application that allows you to save media quickly, and it also recommends the best, most interesting stories on the internet (what’s not to like about that). While the UI is not strikingly dynamic or creative, its simplicity makes it super easy to view, tag, catalog, share, and archive media.
Scalability is excellent, as I can access the service from web or mobile. With a simple tap or click, I can save an article or video. There is also a cool social aspect that allows you to follow recommended people, people in your contact list, and social media profiles. This enables you to see media that your friends are recommending or reading.
The accessibility features are great and include a dark theme feature for easier reading, adjusting font size, personalizing gestures for readability, and the Listen feature which is my favorite. When I am on my way home from a day in the office I love listening to the articles I saved throughout the day. My phone connects to my hands-free system, and I simply tap the article I would like to hear.
Brooke Francesi, Senior Experience Design Lead at Adobe
- Waze keeps you moving. The worst part about being stuck in traffic is not moving. Anything is better than stop and go traffic.
- Waze also helps you explore your city. Because of Waze, I’ve found myself in parts of San Francisco (and other cities) on routes that I could have never used and on streets that I would have never driven. It’s fun! I often find myself driving on side streets, small alleys, and on back roads to escape main arteries.
- Waze integrates beautifully with other apps like Facebook to make a complete, seamless experience, much like Spotify’s integration with Runkeeper. This one is just smart. Mix that with great new features like Waze Carpool (it’s like Lyft or Uber but rather than pay a fare, you help a brother or sister out by helping cover the cost of gas) and you’ve got one great app.
Tim Hykes, UX Designer at Wells Fargo Advisors
- Usability – As a user of YouTube, it’s tough for me to give you an unbiased critique of its usability but there is one thing I can talk about that frustrated me. I had the hardest time trying to find the smallest things, and my question is ‘did they fix this?’ Uploading videos is still a simple drag and drop. We got a cleaner menu which is a plus, and they took out the different images for each account and added a switch accounts selection. This is really a vast improvement from the old YouTube.
- The Design -Hello flat design. It took YouTube some years to get here, but they finally made it to the flat design movement. No more harsh shadows or bulky buttons. They’ve even updated link colors and button colors. The red buttons have some pink in them. I know we all noticed the new Youtube typography. They even updated the typography through the whole site, with the addition of light horizontal rules and whitespace. The most impressive thing was making the videos cleaner–they took away that harsh shadow at the bottom of the videos. Overall the design is refreshing and light.
- Happy Users – Are the users happy? Well, we all need to come down off the launch to really get a feel for what they’ve done. It’s new and it looks super clean. The new menu structure is better. I can navigate my way around pretty easily and right now I’m pleased. Time will tell as we move forward if this will remain something I like to refer to as good UX.
What websites or apps are you loving right now? Let us know in the comments!
Topics: Design, Digital Transformation