UXperts Weigh In: Designs We Love, June Edition

by Sheena Lyonnais

posted on 06-07-2018

With summer around the corner, our UXperts are looking for simplicity as we ease into the warmer months. From navigating transit systems to viewing baby photos, this month a theme emerged that no matter how complex the subject of an app (be it finances or infrastructure), easy, breezy user experiences always prevail. Read on to learn more about our UXperts’ picks and why back to basics is where it’s at this summer.

John Menard, senior UX designer atUltimate Software and founder of Proto Mill

Pick: Eero****

We all love and need Wi-Fi. As the number of connected devices within the average home and office network increases, a robust network infrastructure is needed to support them. I’ve been using a product called Eero for the past few months and wanted to recall the experience I had with it.

In short, Eero is a consumer-oriented mesh Wi-Fi system that “blankets” your home with fast, reliable Wi-Fi, removing any issues that you may have with dead spots and buffering. In a much broader sense, the experience a user has with this product and service extends beyond the digital realm and into the physical environment. This can pose some interesting challenges when attempting to tie everything together into a seamless experience. Various touchpoints that happen such as research, purchasing, unboxing, setup, monitoring, and support all have to be taken into account when designing for an exceptional user experience. The Eero team did a fantastic job at doing this.

I set up three Eero’s throughout my house (one gateway and two beacons) and the process took no longer than five minutes. The companion app, which walks you through the entire setup process, does a fantastic job at providing guidance, on-demand support, visual cues, spatial information, and system/network status. Once setup is complete, the app transitions into a network scanning and monitoring application that provides you with total control and insight into what’s happening on your network. I assume the app isn’t intended to be “sticky,” so upon launching it you get everything you need to know (active devices on network, status of Eero’s, speeds, etc.) directly on the home view. I find that I only check the app when there is an obvious issue with my network or when I want to provide guests with access.

It’s clear that the Eero app emphasizes utility, but, with that said, they do a spectacular job at portraying the brand personality and ease of use that you’d expect from a consumer-oriented application.

Catt Small, product designer at Etsy & Game Maker

Pick: PayPal****

PayPal has been around for almost 20 years, but it hasn’t always provided users with the greatest experience – especially on mobile phones. If you haven’t used their app recently, give it another look. They put a lot of effort into making it much easier to use. What used to be frustrating is now easy.

Like most people, the majority of my time using PayPal is spent sending and receiving money from people I know. The redesign made the priority of payment options much clearer. I am a huge fan of how colors and shapes are used to delineate things. By looking at the main screen, one can tell that account balance is most important. Next in priority is the ability to send or receive money from people. Other options are in a separate section below, waiting to be used when necessary.

PayPal has also continued to release new tools to help people exchange funds. Their free PayPal.me service makes it easy to accept money by simply sending a link. I’m also very intrigued by their Money Pool feature, which helps friends and families collect money for a variety of potential expenses. I am excited to see how PayPal continues to grow and change.

Kristopher Paries, senior UX designer at Adobe

Pick: Marco Polo

As an experience designer and digital product designer, I always have a bit of a panic attack when tasked with giving an example of good UX. Maybe it’s just that I’ve become overly critical or just that I’ve become a salty old designer, but I think that the majority of applications out there could use a new coat of paint, or a new steering wheel, or a new transmission, or a new engine.

However, all is not lost. I think there is a still a bright spot or two in a seemingly bleak app landscape. My personal favorite of the day would probably have to go to the relative newcomer – Marco Polo.

It seems silly, even to myself, that I would gravitate towards an app that seems redundant in a world of Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. But therein lies the beauty of Marco Polo. It accomplishes something really well that none of those other apps focus on – peer-to-peer video sharing.

Since the problem the app is solving is so incredibly simple, the experience and user interface can then inherit that simplicity. There is a dashboard for the people you have conversations with and the conversations themselves. That’s it.

Why is this particular solution so compelling for me? Back on December 28, 2017, we welcomed our first addition to our new little family – a beautiful baby boy. And while my wife sends me texts, Facebook messages, and pictures of our new little guy, nothing quite beats getting a Marco Polo. What’s more, I now have a video journal of my little man as he’s grown from the time I went back to work after paternity leave until now.

Upon trying to distill why this topped my list, I think it comes down to one word – simplicity.

Greg Rog, creator of learnux.io

Pick: Tube Map – London Underground

Did you know that London’s Tube was the world’s first underground railway? In fact, there’s a story behind my choice.

I’ve been traveling to London many times, and often I found myself trying to catch a glimpse of the map at the crowded station. The map itself can be an example of a great UX. It has little to do with the actual layout of the tunnels yet perfectly captures the idea of getting from point A to B. UX in its purest form – presenting what’s complicated in a user-friendly fashion.

I’ve downloaded the app and it changed my life for the better in a breeze. I no longer have to search for the map at the station, it saves me time by recommending the fastest route (I get a hint where it’s quicker to walk than waiting for the Tube), saves my money with journey planner, and literally everyone can use it. Maybe it doesn’t have the most polished UI, but it’s intuitive and quick.

It’s probably one of the best uses of mobile devices. It uses geolocation, an accelerometer, and can switch to offline when there’s no network in the Tube. Like the map itself – complicated under the hood, but so easy on the surface. The essence of UX.

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Topics: Creativity, Design

Products: Creative Cloud