13 of the Best App Designs: They’re So (Not) Basic
13 of the Best App Designs: They’re So (Not) Basic
There's an app for that.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
It’s no secret: here at Appsee we LOVE apps. We’re constantly on the lookout for the newest and coolest — especially when it comes to the best app design. Problem is, we see a lot of apps every day, and we take our selection process very seriously. We’re not interested in just another “pretty face” (i.e. design). What is the onboarding design like? How’s the navigation? Does the design support conversion and loyalty? Which is why, when we spot an awesome one, we hold on tight and keep it close.
There’s a lot that goes into UI design, and every choice that is made will play a role in an app’s success. UI design appeals to the visual senses, and a “seemingly simple” decision about light or dark color schemes can have a serious effect on whether or not the app grabs the user.
Call us “app groupies,” and we’ll take it. We’re all about beautiful UI and design. But not only that, we love improving our lives with technology and we really love sharing our findings. Fortunately, this list is not the “top” apps in app categories, like Facebook for social, or Google Drive for productivity. You know these already. Instead, here are some of the edgiest and best app designs of today.
Best App Design: Travel: Hopper
It’s hard to ignore the adorable little bunny that is Hopper’s mascot — not to mention that you can personalize your bunny for your account (during the onboarding process and anytime thereafter). Speaking of onboarding, it’s a quick name, email, phone number, and then for verification, all you have to do is click on the link in the text message.
It’s really easy to search for round-trip and one-way flights, and every day on the calendar shows the minimum price that’s available (and there’s color coding based on four price brackets). After selecting your dates, you can choose to watch the flight and receive notifications, and Hopper supplies you with price predictions and hyper-personalized travel tips and deals.
Best App Design: Food & Drink: Kitchen Stories
This app is chock-full of gorgeous culinary images and gifs, straight from the welcome screen. Easily login with your email or Facebook account, and you’re set to start exploring today’s stories, inspirations, recipes, community picks, and what’s in season. There’s a tab on “How To” where you can find goodies from “how to cut tomatoes” to “how to sterilize jars.” Every recipe is complete with prep/baking times, ingredients, utensils, and pictures/instructions for every step for the journey. Definitely one of the best app designs we’ve seen for all things food!
Best App Design: Health & Fitness: Human
With over 900 cities worldwide using Human, it’s a fitness app that highlights the social element. It provides daily fitness city stats and real-time activity around the world, both of which act as motivating aspects for increasing your city’s rankings, and encouraging healthy mental and physical competition. The slick onboarding makes sign-up a breeze, because this app is all about the least amount of effort possible. It’s free, with you 24/7, and tracks all of your activity without you having to do a thing — talk about an easy-to-use app!
Best App Design: Entertainment: Eventbrite
Stay easily up to date on the coolest events happening in your area, or any places you might be visiting. The app’s design makes perusal effortless for any category that interests you. It also allows you to see where your friends are heading, and secure your place for the event. And, the clean interface is beneficial for both attendees and hosts of events: having the ticket right on your mobile makes check-in go oh so much faster.
Best App Design: Photography: Halide
With a smartphone, everyone’s suddenly a photographer, thanks to innovative technology. Although this app was originally designed for the iPhone X, it’s still got some pretty sweet features that are compatible with older iPhone versions. Halide’s super smooth design lets you effortlessly take stunning photos with gesture-based UI, photo viewing in Augmented Reality (with dual cameras), smart focus peaking (no more guessing about sharpness), among other awesome aspects.
Best App Design: Lifestyle: Artsy
Artsy’s agenda is all about supporting art and artists and helping them reach a global audience. The top galleries, museum collections, auctions, etc. are featured in this app, and over 600,000 works are available for purchase. Of course, being an art-focused app, you know the design is going to be topnotch. But even more than that, despite being on a small handheld device, the sleek lines and angles, and complementary color palettes make this app a first-rate design.
Best App Design: Finance: Current
This app is geared toward teenagers, teaching them about financial responsibility and making good financial decisions. It’s a parent-controlled debit card, so ultimately decisions still remain in the hands of an adult. It redefines the stiff and stuffy stereotype of finance with bright colors, cool fonts, and unique backgrounds. Due to the combination of a younger demographic and a daunting subject matter for said demographic, the app boasts a very simple and straightforward UI — clearly identifying tasks, actions to take, and budgets.
Best App Design: Sports: ESPN Fantasy Sports
Any fantasy sports fan can attest that an organized stats feed is crucial to tracking the season, which is why this app is a key player in the game. It takes every single detail, strategy, team, sport, player, etc., and organizes the information so it’s easy to access and keep track of your season. The layout is intuitive, and the straightforward design makes navigation simple and easy to digest all the updates/news.
Best App Design: Productivity: Trello
The smoothest, the simplest, the finest productivity app out there (in our humble opinion). You can create a board for anything in your to-do pipeline, and drag/drop any task to track your progress (for example, move these tasks around based on to do, doing, and done). The design of the mobile app is super easy to navigate, which allows users to manage their tasks on the go, and not rely solely on the website or desktop app version. There are tons of really cool backgrounds for boards that either you can choose, or let Trello to randomly choose for you. Definitely the best app design in our productivity book.
Best App Design: Shopping: Warby Parker
Warby Parker’s creation was twofold: glasses are super expensive and so many people in the world don’t have access to them. The website was great, but now with the app available, ordering glasses has become the easiest of easy: grab your phone, pick 5 frames, have them delivered to your home, pick the pair you like most. This is the best app design yet for finding stylish, quality glasses without having set foot outside your home.
Best App Design: Education: Coursera
Who doesn’t love learning something new every day? For those of us who dream of being professional students without paying the high prices or being locked in the library, the Coursera app is for you. The design smooth and simple, like navigating through a well-organized syllabus, you’ll see there are thousands upon thousands of courses that will interest you — from photography on iPhone to business management — and there are also certificate and degree programs as well. This is by far the best app design for higher learning.
Best App Design: Social: Dribbble
Dribbble is a fantastic hub for designers and creators to share snippets of their work. As another app for creative folk, you can be sure that this has the best app design. The app’s fluid and seamless design support the designers’ work guaranteeing the discoveries that people looking for — new designers, sharing handiwork and ideas, discussing processes and perspectives.
Best App Design: Games: Alto’s Odyssey
The gaming category takes the cake for the most popular app category with 24.86% of active apps (business came in second with only 9.77%), so already there’s a lot of competition out there. But Alto’s Odyssey is ahead of them all with such magnificent graphics and UI, and gameplay that is wildly polished. This design makes it easy to focus on and control Alto, motivating you to ski your way to the highest levels.
Design, Design, Design, Monitor
Having gorgeous UI design in your app is imperative on the aesthetic side, but also in terms of grabbing the attention of new and potential users. But an app can’t rely alone on beautiful design, can it?
The answer, you guessed it, is no. It’s critical to employ the right analytics in order to track your users and their engagement with your app. Because we’re focusing on the “best app design” and UI, it makes sense to use analytics that also focus on design, and how it impacts your UX. More and more UI/UX designers are turning to user session recordings and touch heatmaps to hone in on the user experience and monitor users through their journeys. These features, a.k.a. qualitative analytics, make it possible to improve a beautiful UI design and keep those retention numbers climbing.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.