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As the weather cools off in one part of the world and everyone’s attention shifts to upcoming holidays, our UXperts are sharing the websites, apps, and even products they’re thankful for this year. We asked a few of them to tell us the designs they love, so you can discover them too:

Jack A. Reis, Partner (Design) at UX BROTHERS Research & Design

Pick: Google Inbox

jack-reis-250Google Inbox allows me to cull the flood of emails I receive down to a more manageable set of messages in record time. My goal is to remove as many unnecessary emails as possible from my inbox in the shortest possible session. Inbox accomplishes this goal in two ways.

  • Guarantees I am aware of all vital messages – By enriching the content of emails containing photos, documents, maps, travel details and more, Inbox creates a more textured experience. The email landscape it presents is diverse, which allows me to differentiate messages efficiently.
  • Smartly organizes messages into spring-loaded bundles – Inbox creates color-coded groups for Trips, Saved, Purchases, Finance, Social, Updates, Forums, and Promos based on algorithmic interpretation of your message contents. I can scan through the substance of any of these groups without navigating anywhere else.

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Popping open a message or bundle is a delightful experience. There is no reader view, preview panel, or back button — a fundamental difference between Google Inbox and other email clients. Instead, everything happens right there in the list of expanding and collapsing messages. I love the concept and appreciate the hard work that went into crafting something so original to solve such a typical problem!

Anton Lebed, UX Lead at Emotiv

Pick: B&O BeoPlay H8

anton-lebed-250Working in digital product design, I draw a lot of inspiration from physical products. BeoPlay H8 was recommended to me by a friend who is enthusiastic about hi-fi audio when I was looking to replace my worn out to wired set of Panasonics. I immediately fell in love with it.

What struck me most about it is how the whole experience works across all mediums. From an audio-fuelled, video-blazing interactive microsite to well thought out unboxing and presentation. They used high quality materials and built touch controls directly into the aluminium frame.

It all felt incredibly connected. My expectations throughout the whole experience just kept increasing and I was even more delighted when all of this was extended with a beautifully crafted mobile app for custom sound control and audio playback.

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It’s a great product that was designed with specific audience in mind all the way through, which is key. When designing digital products we often forget the bigger picture: experience happens before and after not just within, and I think that’s an important point to remember at all times.

Gabriel Campbell, Lead Senior Experience Designer at Adobe

Pick: PocketGuard

gabriel-campbell-250PocketGuard is a financial management app that lets you see your cashflow and bills and control your budget.

The challenge I’d imagine in designing an app like this is the wealth of data and information you could communicate to the user. The designers at PocketGuard have done this very effectively and brilliantly distilled a lot of data down into understandable, digestible chunks that help even the most financially challenged see what is happening with their money. Some highlights:

  • Design – It’s simple, polished, sophisticated and restrained. The design is there to augment the content and the colors pop and inform in beautiful ways.
  • Tone – Interacting with popovers, alerts and notifications feels conversational, friendly and helpful; never condescending or pushy.
  • Interaction – Simple things like support for TouchID for logging in make the app feel secure and fast. Good use of a tabbed interface too.
  • Data Vis – The charts and graphs are wonderfully designed, informative and relevant.

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I’m not a ‘finance guy’, and numbers have never really been my jam, but I find myself enthralled with the way PocketGuard has turned something that’s traditionally been a major chore into a beautifully designed and engaging way to manage my finances.

Isaac Powell, Freelance Designer

Pick: jennyjohannesson.com

isaac-powell-250What I especially love about Jenny Johannesson’s new portfolio site is the level of immersion. The animation is fluid, meaningful, and enriches the content in really neat ways. Big credit should go to developer Aristide Benoist who also worked on the project.

Visually, the typography choices are super — check the harmony between the playful main serif and the crisp all caps of its condensed counterpart. It’s always great to see bold color contrast too, and the bitesize asymmetrical project blocks look great on every device.

There’s been a lot of chatter in the design community recently around a controversial tweet which suggested top designers are too busy to have portfolios, and even that they don’t need them. Jenny’s site is a pretty great piece of evidence to the contrary.

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There’s even a tasty easter egg if you try and scale down your browser width. Bravo!

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

Patrick Faller

Patrick Faller

Patrick is a freelance writer, digital producer, journalist, and TV host. His background is news, but he has a passion for music, video games, and that special place where art and technology collide.

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