Several factors go into a popular app. Of these factors, design is key. However, functionality and user experience are equally important, if not more so. While design often varies based on the perceived usefulness of an app, the importance of user experience (UX) cannot be denied.
An app may have a sleek and beautiful facade, but it may also have issues with its user-friendliness, resulting in a poor user experience. The most prominent apps are known for the excellent user experiences they deliver. Here is a peek at five popular apps with the best UX design as well as a look at what drives their popularity.
According to Path founder Dave Morin, the new and improved app provides users with the ability to capture experiences on their path through life. The social networking app helps users share journal entries, videos, music, photos, and even their thoughts by directly posting them on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and other social networks.
Although Path was originally designed for photo sharing, the app has evolved into a comprehensive journal of user’s lives. Navigating the elegant interface is terribly easy thanks to the iPhone’s swipe feature, only boosting the app’s UX.
Created by Bump Technologies specifically for Android and iOS operating systems, Bump is a wildly popular and ingenious app that allows smartphone users to transfer their contact information, files, and photos to each other simply by bumping their phones together.
With over 125 million Bump app downloads, the pioneering app is one of the top ten most popular free apps of all-time, securing its spot at the pinnacle of mobile app development. Luckily for users, this remarkable app is available as a free download for both Android and iPhone users.
Founded in 2007 by Arash Ferdowsi and Drew Houston, two frustrated MIT students sick and tired of emailing themselves files in order to work from multiple computers, DropBox is a free app that lets users carry and share their docs, photos, and videos anywhere they want. As a beacon of simplicity and a universal example of developing an easy-to-understand product that simply works, DropBox was created with UX in mind. This probably took some coding classes to make a great use experience.
In fact, when the app was designed and developed, if a potential feature did little or nothing to enhance the user experience, the feature was immediately scratched. For example, Houston and Ferdowsi decided not to include multi-folder synchronization simply because they thought the setup may have been too difficult for the average user.
The brainchild of Adam Goldstein and Reddit founder Steve Huffman, Hipmunk was founded only weeks after Goldstein’s graduation from MIT. The popular iPhone app allows users to quickly and easily find the cheapest flight between two specific points. In addition to this useful function, Hipmunk also has several valuable features that help enhance user experience.
For instance, one feature allows fliers to minimize their frustrations by providing agony filters like flight duration and number of stops. Since the app is an extension of the Internet version, users are able to bookmark flights using the mobile search function and then login to the site when they’re ready to make an online purchase.
Headed by former Apple iPhone engineer Evan Doll and former Tellme CEO Mike McCue, Flipboard seems to be on a quest to transform the way people view, discover, and share content by embracing the ease and beauty of print along with the command of social media. Like the app’s name suggests, it helps combine all rss feeds and posts into a flipboard, allowing everything to be accessed while on the go.
Perhaps one of Flipboard’s coolest functions is a feature that enables users to collect clippings from blogs and magazines they would like to read and store them to Read It Later to be read at a later date or Instapaper to be read immediately. The cleverly designed app essentially allows users to easily create their own personalized magazines in an intuitive and matter of fact manner, making it an excellent app to round out the list.