20 Gorgeous Web Application Interfaces

by on 14th March 2010 with 56 Comments

The advancement of web technology has led to some incredibly impressive improvements in online application interface design. Below we’ll look at 20 web apps that aren’t only extremely useful, but indisputably attractive as well. I’ve subdivided the applications into four categories: Design, Business, Productivity and Miscellaneous.

Design

280 Slides

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280 slides is an absolutely amazing free alternative to Powerpoint and Keynote for making professional or personal presentations. The interface is beautifully streamlined and feels as nearly as good as those from Apple and Microsoft.

Pixlr

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On one hand I can’t help but think that the Pixlr interface is a near straight ripoff of Photoshop. On the other hand the resemblance to Photoshop is everything I like about it. Though by no means a suitable alternative for professionals, it’s definitely a fun, simpler image editor for beginners.

Aviary: Phoenix

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Aviary’s Phoenix is another well-designed online image editor. Again we see some strong Photoshop similarities with a bit more unique creativity thrown in. All of Aviary’s tools are simply top-notch and are built with an amazing richness of features and power.

Kuler

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Kuler is my preferred way to build color schemes. The interface is incredibly simple to use, yet powerful and attractive.

Clover

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Clover provides prefab websites for churches and ministries. Each site comes with a built-in editor called “The Greenhouse” that makes it a breeze to customize a site on the fly. If you stop by the site you can demo The Greenhouse on various site templates without even signing up!

Krop

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Krop provides creatives with an incredibly easy way to build a beautiful online portfolio and resume. Simply choose from one of the pre-built templates, upload some images, drop in some text and you’re well on your way to impressing potential clients and employers.

Businesss

Subernova

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Subernova is task management on visual steroids. Similar in concept to Basecamp, but a whole lot prettier. The key here is contrast. There are lots of light gray gradients offset by black and blue for objects that the designers want to call your attention to.

Freckle

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Freckle is a serious time tracking professional suite with a light hearted interface. The bright colors and easy to read charts swap out boring for beautiful in the normally mundane task of tracking your hours.

CoTweet

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CoTweet is targeted at businesses using Twitter to reach their customer base. The intuitive and attractive interface makes it a breeze to collaborate on and schedule your professional tweets.

InvoiceMachine

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The InvoiceMachine opts for a dead simple but very attractive interface heavy on dark/light contrast like Subernnova above.

Outright

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An entrepreneur’s dream, Outright is a way to track expenses and perform automatic bookkeeping operations for self-employed individuals and small businesses. The interface uses simple zebra striping and minimalist icons to make it easy to sort and navigate through lots of information.

Ballpark

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Ballpark is another app that makes it easy to build and track invoices online. Quality icon design and bright colors are the key to this excellent interface from Metalab.

Productivity

Scraplr

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Scraplr is an impressive online productivity tool that boasts an interface as rich in features as you’d expect from a pricey desktop todo app like Things or The Hit List. It’s still in private beta but you can get a sneak peek of the features and graphics at their site.

FocusBooster

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FocusBooster is a simple web timer meant to help you stay on task for specified periods of time. The idea is that while the timer is going, you should strive for distraction free productivity (sorry Facebook, you get a turn after the timer ends.) The timer is a beautiful piece of art that features a simple start and stop button and a progress meter.

TodoTweet

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TodoTweet is an interesting concept that lets you use Twitter to create todo lists. I honestly don’t think Twitter is the best medium at all for this task but the interface is nice enough to make me consider changing my mind.

TeuxDeux

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TeuxDeux features one of the most wonderfully simple interfaces of any ToDo app I’ve come across. Simply type your todo under a weekday header. This allows you to spend most of your time performing tasks, not creating and managing lists.

Miscellaneous

Cadmus

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Cadmus is a social media aggregator that combines your Twitter, FriendFeed and RSS feeds into one nice muted gray interface.

Daytum

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Daytum is a handy tool that lets you track absolutely anything you want with absolutely beautiful minimalist graphics and colorful charts.

Penzu

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Penzu is a simple journaling app for keeping your private thoughts organized online. The interface features a simple notebook paper theme that cuts out all distractions while looking familiar and friendly.

GrooveShark

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Grooveshark is one of my favorite ways to listen to music online. The main reason for this is that the rich interface feels more like a full-scale desktop music application than a webapp. Searching for songs, making playlists and browsing your library is nearly as easy as in iTunes!

Conclusion

The stellar examples of web application design above can be great inspiration for your next web project, application or not. Consider the usability strengths and weaknesses in each of these apps and how you can apply these principals in your own UI design.

Use the comments below to let us know which app is your favorite, both for functionality and design.

Comments & Discussion

56 Comments

Comments & Discussion

56 Comments

  1. David says:

    Awesome look at Web App Design and I have to say I like Kuler for the way it balances simplicity and robust functionality.

  2. Jay says:

    Thanks for the Cadmus mention!

  3. Ashley says:

    Often times the look and feel of a web app will make me sign up for them even if I may not need them. Just because they look so pretty and I want to see more. Unfortunately I’ll forget about them unless they are actually useful.

    Nice collection!

  4. Ashit says:

    LetsFreckle and InvoiceMachine have awesome UI.
    rest are ok.

    But thanks for this. I liked it.

    Added this to my Google Reader :)

  5. RachaB. says:

    I’m still hesitant with webapps, but these look really good!

  6. Leon says:

    Thanks for this roundup! We’ll be redesigning our CRM webapp pretty soon and this’ll come in handy! Great for inspiration. BTW. Chocaholic really master the art of UI design (they made Scraplr)

  7. Joshua – Thank you for the great list of website apps. We are always looking for business-based apps to run our company more efficiently.

  8. Great article.. Thanks for this info.
    Simple things that help tremendously… Bookmarked for later!

  9. What a great list of applications, I’ve bookmarked some and already joined a handful. Thanks for this post!

  10. afraz says:

    Great post !

    I would appreciate if you post more designs relevant to desktop applications or web applications.

    Thanks

  11. Luglio7 says:

    The last one is down :(

  12. Peter says:

    I have to disagree with the Daytum choice. The “output” looks great, but inputting is a real tedium. I used it for a year but the lack of really simple ui elements such as a calendar pop-up or just using some drop downs makes it horrible to use. Nice post otherwise. Well worth the read.

  13. Peter says:

    Another web app with beautiful UI – soundz.fm (sort of radio mash-up)

  14. redclick says:

    Thanks for this info. I like Freckle.

  15. bob says:

    Some lovely designs, but I agree with another commenter, some of these look right but would be a right pain to administer. Freckle lets you put in typos as new projects, nightmare!!!

  16. thedude says:

    All of them have an excellent design. for practical usage, teuxdeux is definitely my favourite.

  17. div says:

    I liked many designs which have been mentioned in the article. Thanks for posting such useful info…..:)

  18. Mel says:

    I wish I knew who made these so I could hire them!

  19. Daryl Irby says:

    Great collection. I love the representation, too.

  20. Abhay says:

    Such a awesome design..

  21. Johan says:

    Where is MobileMe in the list?
    It’s awesome!

  22. David Moffat says:

    Great list Joshua – there are some really fantastic apps in there. We have just launched our first web app in beta – http://www.thinkmessage.co.uk. I’d love to know what you all think.

  23. Fun Spill says:

    Nice collection! Here is also a list of inspiring and creative web design interfaces, check this out: http://www.funspill.com/30-inspiring-web-design-interfaces/

  24. Great interfaces. I love Kuler.

  25. abualez says:

    This very nice software for design sites
    thankyou

  26. Gabriel says:

    Is anybody interested in designing an incredible UI for an incredible future app?

    please contact me, so we can talk further

  27. I like the “Penzu” one so much … thanks

  28. As a UX designer, there are some really interesting ways of presenting the UI. Love it! Thanks

  29. bernadette aquino says:

    Love this. Will definitely use as inspirations on my designs. Thanks a bunch!

  30. really nice post, love the way in which these interfaces work guys.

  31. Remy says:

    Another great GUI is Jumptree Project
    http://jumptree.com/

    We use them here at work.

  32. Great inspirational post… some very cool designs!

  33. Ashish says:

    The Kuler app is really a nice one.

  34. sms spy app says:

    Hey, This was super helpful. I’m a beginner and this was a ton of help! Thank you.

  35. IT Rush says:

    Grooveshark looks pretty interesting.. hope to use it and find good music there.. thanks for the lists..

  36. I suppose the word “attractive” is subjective, but I’d agree with the usefulness of the apps. The designs all seem very similar to me nowadays.

  37. I like your application. That makes how web design is exciting.

  38. Luis Perez says:

    Designs like this can be applied to even the simplest app, for example http://print-a-calendar.com has a very straight to the point design.

  39. New boy in town says:

    I prefer clean and “windows phone 7 like” designs with cube shapes. For example http://www.fancyqrcode.com is a great one.

  40. I tried Grooveshark and it is really decent. It is awesome.

  41. In terms of business Ballpark is definitely something I would like to try out.

  42. John says:

    Awesome. Thank you for Sharing.
    The Pulseapp (http://pulseapp.com ) And the openschool (http://open-school.org ) Got Interesting UI.

  43. Jack says:

    These designs suck balls…. Only amateurs would like this.

  44. Jack says:

    These designs suck HUGE balls…. Only amateurs would like this.

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