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December 14, 2016 /UX/UI Design /

UXperts Weigh In: Designs We Love, December Edition

Happy December! Hopefully you’re kicking back at some point this month and taking a well-deserved break. Thanks for following our series throughout the year – it’s been a joy speaking with top designers and getting them to share their favorite website and app designs. So for one last time in 2016, here are the designs we love chosen by UXperts from across the globe.

Tina Lise Ng, Director of Digital Design at Make Creative

Pick: whitehelmets.org

tina-lise-ng-250The White Helmets site is a great example of how good layout decisions, strong content, and smart UX choices can capture an audience. The layout is simple and component based, which from a content management standpoint is always a smart decision. I really appreciate the large emotive photography, bright colors, and bold typography. The messaging is clear, powerful and to the point. The copy is written thoughtfully, is informative, and doesn’t overwhelm the user. Without looking under the hood, I can tell that the website is easy for the client to update. Some notable UX decisions:

  • The positioning of the red donate button underneath the logo in the top right corner will not easily be missed and immediately draws the user’s attention.
  • The lack of navigation allows the user to focus on the website’s primary function (to inform, gain petition signatures, and collect donations).
  • The creep-in petition form field at the top is well-timed and only appears after scrolling past the first one displayed in the hero area.
  • The use and position of the image slider helps to reinforce the narrative.
  • Using graphics that visualize the types of items the donations will pay for not only functions as an excellent incentive to donate, but is also a nice break in the layout.

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It’s for a great cause, its design and content is thoughtful, and the UX is purposeful.

Lewis Fleming, Lead UX Designer at Possible

Pick: Monzo

lewis-fleming-250Great design is not just what it looks like, but how well it works and its ease of use. A great example of this is Monzo, the ‘start up, challenger bank.’ Built with technology used by the likes of Amazon and Google, they have an advantage of not being constrained by legacy systems. This has allowed them to implement a number of great features quickly in their first year.

After making a payment with your Monzo card you get an instant notification on your phone, often before it says ‘authorized’ on the card reader machine. When viewing your transactions in the app they each have the corresponding logo of the company you made the purchase from. This not only makes it more interesting to look at but also makes it much easier to scan through and find a particular transaction.

There are some nice typographical details: like all monetary values throughout the app show the pounds bigger in relation to the pence. This again makes it easier to scan the list to get a better overview of your spending. Tapping a transaction shows you a map of where you made the payment, options to add a receipt, and even add a note.

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It categorizes every transaction automatically for your ‘shopping,’’entertainment,’ ‘transport,’ etc. with easy to recognize icons. On top of this you can set monthly budgeting targets for each category and your overall spending. Adhering to the user centred design approach, Monzo has created not only a good looking interface but one that’s easy to use.

Carmen Ruse – UX Designer at Adobe

Pick: Duolingo

carmen-ruse-250I’ve always been looking at how technology can help people be more engaged and in control of the learning process, from improving their professional skills to learning a new language. Duolingo seems to have nailed the sweet spot for keeping its “students” engaged while learning a new language. A few things worth mentioning:

  • Onboarding done right – You get a feel of what you could achieve with the app without any friction: no need to create an account first, just choose the language and begin the journey. The first step in the onboarding process is to commit to a goal and the design decision to show the amount of time required for each goal makes it really easy to understand what kind of investment would be needed. It seems manageable. Only after finishing the first lesson, you are asked to create a profile to save your progress. By that time, if the app won your heart, creating an account feels like a great idea instead of just another step.duolingo-800
  • Habit building process (trigger, action, reward) – Choosing the learning goal when onboarding gives the app the right setup to start learning a new language. Notifications are one of the key elements here, since they constantly activate the user and bring you back to the app where you can continue lessons. At each step, you get constant feedback about your progress and what you should do next.duolingo-2-800
  • Personality – All across the app small details are added to give it a friendly and playful feel. When going through a lesson, the UI uses design references from games, making the experience feel a little bit like play instead of a hard task.

 

Martin Wiesemborski – Creative Concept & UX Designer at thjnk

Pick: aiexperiments.withgoogle.com

martin-wiesemborski-250With A.I. Experiments, Google gives us a sneak peek at what they are capable of when it comes to artificial intelligence. The fact that they use mostly open source libraries and actively encourage you to create your own experiments is impressive. Just imagine what they are working on in secret…

I think machine learning and A.I. will become crucial to UX design as users expect more and more personalized experiences across all platforms. These experiments show that machine learning can be applied to pretty much everything: from recognizing images and drawings to creating music and even languages.

 

It’s very exciting to imagine what will be possible in the near future by combining different A.I.s and creating new ones. No doubt that will influence our jobs as user experience designers by a lot.

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What websites or apps are you loving right now? Let us know in the comments!

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