App design is an art form that is by no means easy to master. It takes independent app developers hours upon hours of practice and experimentation to get to grips with even the fundamentals of app development, which is precisely why the best mobile apps tend to be designed and developed by teams of both developers, designers, and other industry professionals.
So what exactly goes into making a high-quality app? Consideration of the industry that app will occupy and how best to cater to that app’s outlined user is key, alongside ensuring that the app has been developed with insights from industry experts. A good app tends to show signs of both thorough prototyping, UI design, and highly tailored app content.
Here are 5 apps that budding app developers may find particularly inspiring, both with regards to their user interfaces as well as their overall functionality.
An exploration of inspirational app designers would well and truly be incomplete without checking out some of the apps designed by Melbourne-based company, DreamWalk Apps.
One of their apps that shows great promise is Snackr, the food delivery app specifically for stadium events. If you’ve ever dreaded leaving your seat in the hunt for burgers, pies, or other game-friendly snacks and beverages, then Snackr is the contactless food ordering app for you. The Snackr app has a streamlined and minimalistic user interface that uses location tracking to help spectators order from stadium vendors and have their meal delivered right to their seat in the stands.
Similar to UberEats but on a micro scale, Snackr has been rolled out to some of Australia’s most popular stadiums and concert venues, including the Blundstone Arena in Tasmania and Metro City in Perth. We’re likely to see Snackr find its way to stadiums across the globe very soon.
The world’s most popular dating app has to receive a mention on this list for its own highly invigorating swiping mechanisms. The Tinder app can be navigated with ease by simply swiping right or left on a selection of profiles that appear like a deck of cards. Interacting with the app’s profile elements allows users to learn more about their potential matches or dismiss them based on face-value alone.
Although the app has been criticised for allowing users to judge potential matches by practicing highly superficial, split-second decision-making, many have also noted that Tinder’s highly user-friendly interface paired with the fun of endless swiping, has made this dating app one of the most addictive apps in the world. In fact, Tinder’s UI is so distinctive that the company has actually successfully trademarked the term ‘Swipe Right’. What other evidence do you need that budding app developers can learn a lot from Tinder’s UI?
With the rise of online shopping that we’ve observed over the past few years in particular, it was only a matter of time before eCommerce enterprises developed their own apps so that online shoppers could move from their computers to the comfort of their mobile phone screens. ASOS’s mobile shopping app is by no means the first of its kind, but this particular eCommerce app does possess a few key attributes that other fashion apps are sorely lacking.
ASOS packs a wealth of customisation and optimisation options to tailor to app users as individuals. From its myriad of filter or product display options, to its AI product suggestions and easy cart retrieval, wishlist, and viewing history affordances, the ASOS app is basically designed to be both an eCommerce platform as well as a ‘lookbook’ for fashion-minded shoppers.
There have been many app developers who’ve set out to develop the perfect bullet journaling app. The issue with mobile bullet journaling as a concept is simply that mobile apps aren’t a great medium for longform writing. Touchscreen keyboards have limited capabilities after all. So what’s the best way to produce a bullet journaling app? To utilise the power of visualisation.
Daylio allows its users to easily keep track of their moods and the activities that best influence their mood (either positively or negatively) through the use of buttons that denote specific activities. Colours are also used to provide easy highly visible insights into your mood and activities on any given day. Daylio’s ‘Year In Pixels’ functionality essentially allows dedicated Daylio users to see the positive growth of their happiness levels as they continue the mindful practice that is making entries into this wellness app on a daily basis. The simple functionality of Daylio and its customisation has made it a genuine asset to users suffering from mental illness, which is why Daylio is commonly recommended by mental health NGOs and even counsellors and therapists.
It’s incredibly rare to see an app maintain a 4.5-5 star rating with over 50,000 reviews. Funnily enough, at the time of writing this article, the Finch wellness app has a 5 star rating on the App Store, and a 4.9 star rating on the Google Play Store with well over 80,000 reviewers!
This self-care widget pet sets itself apart from other wellness apps for a few key reasons. Unlike other widget pets, your Finch never dies, meaning that users living with symptoms of mental illness don’t need to worry too much about ‘killing’ their pet due to inactivity. Your Finch pet also grows up alongside your mental health recovery journey, providing you with heartfelt interactions throughout your day, and offering users with incentives to complete tasks on their daily to-do lists alongside app offerings like guided breathing and stretching exercises.
The Finch app is beautifully animated to bring your pet to life, and provides users with a myriad of opportunities to interact with their pet, ranging from dressing their pet up to flying their pet off on an international holiday. This interactive wellness app is a fierce and still undeniably fluffy and feathery rival to other highly acclaimed wellness apps like Plant Nanny.
All of the apps that we’ve outlined above have their own unique selling points as tech products, alongside boasting unique user interfaces that perfectly complement the purpose behind each app. When designing your own app, regardless of what industry that app will be positioned in, the best thing that you can do is to always keep your app’s purpose in mind, and design around that purpose. If you’re able to do so, chances are you may just see your app on lists like this in the not-so-distant future too!