UXperts Weigh In: Designs We Love, November Edition
This November, the UXperts are here to help. They’re sharing their favorite designs, right now, and have chosen apps that can do everything from helping you take your medicine, to selling your goods or discovering your own town, to helping you set up a Social Emergency Response Center in your neighborhood. Here are their picks for services that get the UX right.
I’m a huge fan of design that gets out of the way. Usually, it isn’t sexy. It often doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but it just works. The Round app is a great example of that.
Taking medicine has been a part of my daily life since I was five years old. For most, it doesn’t happen until a few decades have accumulated, but for the vast majority it’s an inevitability. One pill a day is pretty easy, two isn’t that bad, three becomes trying, and once multiple pill sessions per day enter the mix you’d better be organized. Enter Round. I discovered it a few years ago and, since then, I haven’t had to ask myself “did I take my medicine today?”
Round is a simple app that tracks what you need to take, and when you need to take it. Its onboarding process gets you set up in less than five minutes via easy to navigate prompts — name of medicine, dosage, time of day, etc. — then you never have to fiddle with it again. Each morning, a notification pops up right when I need it and tells me exactly what to take. I can ‘Mark as Taken’ right from the notification without even having to open the app (total time interacting with the software: 5 seconds). Round also keeps a record of days passed so you always know where you stand. As a medicine taker and designer, I can’t recommend Round enough. It’s simple, intuitive, and more beautiful than one would expect.
In November 2016, I had an idea to turn some of my daily UX tips into a little physical notebook. So I got a trial of Adobe InDesign, created the first version of my notebook, and sent it to a printer. Then I had to figure out how to sell it! I chose Shopify because of the great reviews I’d heard, and I’ve never looked back. Within a day, I was able to launch the online shop for my UX notebooks, receive orders, and print shipping labels. It’s dead simple.
What sets Shopify apart is how much they customize the experience to me. It’s an excellent example of a product that’s done an excellent job of integrating helpful and actionable content into their experience. When I login, I see specific tips, insights, and actions that Shopify thinks I should take based on my shop activity and time of year. Just last week, I got a reminder card that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming up and that I should start planning.
I honestly feel like Shopify is a member of my team, not just software. Great products should feel like a helpful friend or teammate and that’s exactly what Shopify has achieved.
You are hardly ever a tourist in your own city. While navigation apps show you the most efficient route to your destination, they don’t help you to discover your hometown. That’s what Breadcrumbs, a Swiss startup, is aiming for. It shows you your commute and what gems you pass by in the city. When I first opened the app, I was surprised by how many great spots I ride right by every day.
The app is beautifully designed. It welcomes you with one of the nicest walkthroughs I have ever seen, connecting the screens with a clever animation. Once registered, your map shows just the right amount of details. The content seems to be rigorously curated, the photos are amazing, and the minimalist design makes them shine. Moreover, the ability to navigate with gestures and the sweet transitions between the screens keeps the experience really enjoyable.
I chose the Design Studio For Social Intervention’s (DS4SI) Social Emergency Response Center (SERC) website mainly for their strategic toolkit, which lets you create a SERC in any city in the United States.
DS4SI is an agency that focuses on user experience in a revolutionary way. Their process is inclusive, accountable, collaborative, and considerate. They leverage design, community organizing strategies, and research to develop accessible and imaginative social change methods. Their unrestricted use of user experience design allowed them to conceive, develop, and refine the SERC model earlier this year.
The SERC model includes a toolkit comprised of social media outreach tools, social intervention ideas, protocol and inspiration posters, a wheatpaste poster recipe, a SERC intake form, silkscreen/t-shirt stencils, a bibliography of suggested books, and a playlist of speeches and inspiring music. They were inspired to create this because of the changing political climate and, due to their innovation, communities around the country have requested and grown a SERC in their cities. I’m constantly energized and activated by the work of DS4SI.
What websites or apps are you loving right now? Let us know in the comments!