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Product Management

These 7 Apps Understand Great Design

Ezra Siegel  //  June 9, 2014  //  7 min read
The experts on Apptentive’s Mobile Team provide answers to your questions about from between app development to successfully marketing your app. Got a question? Ask it in our comment section below or on Twitter using #MobileTeam. In each post we’ll highlight a different topic where the Mobile Team will share their insight and experience.

This week we asked the Mobile Team:
What app has a great user interface that other app developers can look at for inspiration and why?

BBC Weather Great App Design

BBC Weather

 

I really like the clean interface of the BBC weather app. The horizontal scrolling works really nicely and makes it really intuitive to use, the layout is clear and shows the information I want to see.

Download the BBC Weather App – Android | iOS

Rod Burns – WIP


Castro Great App Design
Castro

Castro is a superb example of an app that developers should take inspiration from. While the UI is mixture of tap areas and gestures, the app remains intuitive and easy to use. A lot of apps get this wrong and overload on gesture making it confusing for users to navigate — Castro hits just the right balance.

Download the Castro App – iOS

Dan Counsell – DanCounsell.com

Shortwave Messaging

Shortwave Messaging Great App Design
Shortwave – a relatively new messaging app that was just featured on the app store – has a beautifully simple UI. Unfortunately the app hasn’t hit a critical mass for me to find any real utility from it, but the UI is spot on.

Solid colors clearly indicate where functionality lies, transitions from one view to the other appropriately expand or contract that same UI to provide consistency between views and in a new and novel way.

The sheer simplicity and design restraint displayed in the app is aspirational.

Download the Shortwave App – iOS

Ben Johnson – Raizlabs


Sonos Controller Great App Design
Sonos

Sonos’ new app design is great. Part of the reason why this stands out so much too is that the previous design was old and stale and didn’t follow Google’s latest Android design guidelines. What a difference a makeover can have. Sonos’ slick new integration with Google Play Music is further enhanced by a beautiful interface to go with the great sound experience that comes with Sonos products. Simplification was also a big key here in their success.

Download the Sonos App – Android | iOS

Leigh Momii – HTC

TapTalk
Taptalk Great App Design

I was recently introduced to an app called TapTalk. It’s a lot like snapchat, but is even simpler. The best thing about it is that the UI really gets out of the way. When you open the app you are immediately in the view to post a new photo, and can send with a single tap. The UI literally gets out of the way of the primary function of the app.

Download the TapTalk App – Android | iOS

Michele Titolo – Michele.io


Facebook Paper Great App Design
Facebook Paper

It’s Facebook, but it’s nothing like Facebook. This app has impressed me more than I thought Facebook ever could. They have completely reimagined what it is to use the social network and wrapped it in a truly delightful app. My Facebook usage has soared since I downloaded Paper.

What had become a stale and boring experience in the regular app has been completely transformed in Paper. Everything moves and bounces and stretches and in general is fun to play with. I find myself sitting there playing with the interface at least once or twice a day, purely because it is so much fun and such a joy to use. The Paper app is a remarkable achievement.

Download the Paper App – iOS


Jawbone UP Coffee Great App Design
Jawbone UP Coffee

I’m a huge fan of the Jawbone UP and I’m a huge fan of coffee. One of those is good for me and the other, not so much. So when Jawbone released UP Coffee it seemed like it would be a great way to track and cut down on my coffee consumption. Well, how wrong I was. UP Coffee is so fun to use I actually found myself drinking more coffee and caffeinated drinks because I enjoyed adding them to the app so much!

The regular Jawbone UP app is a brilliant piece of work and so I expected big things from this app. I was not disappointed. Everything is super simple and again, like Facebook Paper it is just so much fun to use. Also, kudos for the best use of Push/Local notifications I’ve seen in an app yet. The app seems to recognize my coffee drinking habits and remind me via a notification each day at the right time if I haven’t logged in yet.

Download the Jawbone Up Coffee App – iOS

Conor Winders – Redwind Software

Do you have any apps that you believe offer well designed interfaces? Share your questions and comments below or by using #MobileTeam on Twitter.

The Mobile Marketer's Guide to App Store Ratings and Reviews

About Ezra Siegel

Ezra is the VP of Community at Apptentive. He is a Chicago Sports Diehard and loves travel. Some day he would he plans to visit every country in the world. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ .
View all posts by Ezra Siegel >

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