Our Design team handpicks some favorites from the recently announced Nominees of the 20th Annual Webby Awards. Based on the type of project we do on a day to day basis, we decided to focus on the Apps category.

User experience: Guides by Lonely Planet

Handpicked by Zoran Arsenovic

Guides by Lonely Planet gets a vote from me. The entire experience is pure joy. First, you are greeted with a wonderful grid of images from which you can choose a city you want to explore. When you decide, that whole interface gets out of the way and leaves you with simple navigation. Familiar map view will always be just a scroll away, whether you are browsing through different categories or viewing places based on your interests.

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Best Visual Design — Function

Handpicked by Andrej Radišić

This is a hard one because all of the apps have really nice visuals, but for me, Robinhood takes the first place in this category.

The app is pure numbers and data and still looks amazing.

The nice typography and a lot of white space are the winning combinations for this app. I really enjoyed the details, how it uses the colors of your Bank to set up your account, the nice subtle transitions between screens and a smooth onboarding experience. It compromises nicely between the iOS design standards and it’s own branding, keeping the UI familiar but still adding some style to it.

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Innovative: NYT VR

Handpicked by Ivan Bjelajac

VR is not a new concept and has been around for quite some time, but the NYT VR app drags you in with it’s well presented and meaningful content. The app is a great example of how a new medium is used to tell stories from a new angle (or without any?). Using my Google Cardboard and my Android phone I was able to stand shoulder to shoulder with the grieving citizens of Paris, I was able to experience a new kind of a music video and witness what an American Bison looks like — up close. The compelling stories paired with an elegant user interface definitely get my vote!

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Best practices: VOLO

Handpicked by Domagoj Kapulica

Although there are only five (5) projects in the category Best Practices, picking the best one doesn’t come as an easy task.

To start with, I really love the initiative of the ShareTheMeal project, and everything good going around it. The project made me think that a better world is possible and that technology can help surface up some of the world’s more important issues. It’s also hard not to mention Google’s Creative Labs Expeditions Pioneer program that strives to help bring all of world’s journeys to virtual reality, closer to kids in the classrooms all around the World. How awesome is that? Makes me think I was born too early…

Having said that, I do have to select the one that’s a personal favorite for me, a travel enthusiast. Since I’m a fan of the clean mobile experience filled with awesomely executed fun illustrations, I have to go with VOLO. The concept is a simple one — “Create your kind of a journal and share it with the community”, a place where you can explore and read about other people’s travel experiences in a beautiful way and explore destinations looking through someone else’s eyes. People share short but interesting travel stories packed with great images, contextual illustrations (that add additional layers to the story) and maps that help you locate that possibly hidden place.

Story creation seems fun and engaging and gives the user great options that guide him through the journey creation. The more close this story is to the actual memory, the more rewarding it will be to revisit it, for the creator and the public as well. My only hope is that the community of travelers grows. Do you have a favorite travel memory you want to share?

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Connected Products & Wearables: Wilson’s X

Handpicked by Tin Kadoic

One of those product ideas that sounds so simple that makes one immediately question two things:

  • Is this for real?
  • How come no one has thought of that?

After three years in the making, Wilson and their partner agency created the Connected Basketball. A ball that allows you to track your hits and misses — the ball & app track your field goal accuracy, range, and train you to shoot at game speed.

When voting in this category, my primary criteria were the ratio between the gain that the customer receives and the new types of behaviors that she needs to learn. In this product, there needs to be no change from the customer point of view, the player would use this ball as they would use any other basketball, but this one gives them actionable insights and improves their end game. It’s interesting and exciting to see improvements in this space.

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Bonus — Because we like to drink — Distiller

Handpicked by Marko Stupić

This is an example how booze pairs well with technology.

Whisky recommendation app Distiller is brought to us by founder and CEO Mikael Mossberg. You can read reviews and recommendations by members of Distiller’s Tasting Table that are top experts in their field. And the best thing is that you don’t even have to register to enjoy this beautifully designed app that just feels perfect for the area it’s covering.

You can also find a story behind every drink, how it’s made and the origin of the flavor. If you are into vodka you won’t find joy in this app. But if you are new to whiskey this may help you to become serious whiskey lover and undoubtedly bring you joy.