UXperts Weigh In: Designs We Love, February Edition
Whether you’re booking a trip, taking political action, or buying a (very expensive) phone this February, our UXperts have handpicked some digital experiences that are sure to please. They’ve shared their favorite websites and apps, and told us why they’re all great examples of UX design. Here are the designs they’re loving this month.
Johnny Chauvet, Design and UX Lead at TribalScale
Pick: Google Trips
I love when technology just does the heavy lifting for me. Because I use Gmail as my email provider, and both Trips and Gmail leverage the same cloud, Trips will auto-populate your travel plans based on flight and accommodation confirmation emails you receive in Gmail. This means when I launch the app, the trip I’m about to plan for is already sitting in the home screen with the correct dates, locations, flight information, and hotel reservation info. Some people might think that’s creepy, I think it’s downright delightful.
This benefit is attributed to its being a part of Google’s suite of technology. The app is densely populated with reviews for places all around the world by millions of users, not because the app has that high of an adoption rate, but because it leverages the Google Places API to populate that content. The consistency of always having reviews on-hand, no matter how obscure the attraction, is a great content strategy that really elevates the UX. Also noteworthy, when you use the “Download” feature to save all of a place’s data offline, you are able to access maps for the location using Google Maps, rather than reinventing the wheel and bloating this app with its own map UI. This seamlessness to current user behavior is really exceptional.
Bo Schlagel, Freelance UX Designer at Bo Schlagel Design
Want to see political change, but not sure how? Good news, Resistbot is here. Within a matter of minutes, and all from within a text thread, you can identify your elected officials, contact them, and learn about in-person opportunities to fight for America’s future.
Resistbot reminds me of a handful of UX design principles developed by Dieter Rams:
- Unobtrusive: Resistbot is a tool, period. It knocks down the barriers (researching contact info, writing, then mailing the letter) to contact your elected officials.
- As little design as possible: You’re provided with just what you need to get the job done. Nothing more, nothing less.
- Innovative: the proof is in the numbers: “6.65 million pages faxed, 1.43 million letters e-delivered, 7,067 letters hand delivered, 155,461 letters mailed, 51,292 minutes of calls, 2,235 letters to editor submitted, 50,545 donors, 4.11 million users, and 435 representatives, 100 senators, 50 governors, 1 POTUS contacted” as reported on Medium.
2017 saw its fair share of progressive initiatives from new organizations to technology tools, and Resistbot leads the pack with its seamless user experience and citizen-first approach.
Jiyoung Kim, UX Designer at Adobe
Pick: Google Flights
As an avid traveler, I’m always looking for places to visit. Usually my trip plan is initiated with scouting a flight ticket. Google Flights is my go-to site for exploring and finding affordable flights without too many complications. I wouldn’t say it’s the most visually appealing site, but functionality-wise it has everything I need as a flight search tool.
It allows you to search for flights with basic filters like other third-party travel sites, but the real power is to find the lowest fare with flexible date. The flexible date interface shows the price matrix based on the starting and departing date using color code. Moreover, both starting and departing dates can be updated in the matrix, and the corresponding price is shown in realtime.
Google Flights is a great example of a product that’s simply focused on one task, and it makes searching for a flight fun with its simple and intuitive UI.
Jonathan Novak, Designer and Art Director at Jonathan Novak
Like many of us these days, internet privacy and security pass through my mind from time to time. I was recently reading about high-end, uber-secure mobile devices and stumbled onto the website for Solarin, “Tomorrow’s technology, today.” The starting cost for knowing you’re safe online? $14,000. Umm, say again?
Despite the pricetag, the website that Sirin Labs created to sell the phone is probably the coolest I can remember visiting in terms of delivering an engaging experience. It feels like The Matrix circa 2012. There’s cool functionality, sound design, and lots of green. It’s the kind of experience you’d want if you were about to drop your yearly dues to Mar-a-Lago. From a design standpoint, all of the menu items and website must-haves are kept to a minimum and are efficiently placed out of the way but easy to find. It makes you forget about ‘navigating’ and focus completely on the content.
So if you can’t decide between the phone or a brand new Ford Focus, at least the Solarin has a cool website.
What websites or apps are you loving right now? Let us know in the comments, and for UX insights sent straight to your inbox, sign up for Adobe’s experience design newsletter.