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We talk a lot about the value of focusing on the User Interface (UI) aspect of design when creating mobile apps. As apps have evolved and grown there is a higher expectation from users that the interface will be at a certain level compared to just a few years ago. So what should you strive for? We picked 5 great examples of UI heavy mobile app designs that provide some insights as to what users find highly appealing.

A smooth, fluid user experience should be a central aspect of design because with thousands upon thousands of apps out there, users simply aren’t going to want to use something clunky. Think of it like shopping for running shoes; you want something that functions well but is also comfortable to use because if they don’t feel good you won’t use them again and again.

When looking at these apps you will notice some similarities as often the most popular, effective and successful mobile apps tend to share certain design concepts regardless of industry or type of app.

5 Great UI Heavy Mobile App Designs

  • Amazon – For anyone looking to design or modify a retail app, the Amazon mobile app should be looked at very carefully because it has everything someone could want for a great user experience. The navigation is smooth an easy and includes voice searches. Everything is placed in a convenient location that makes perfect sense and it mirrors the website very well even with a smaller screen to content with. One of the best UI aspects is swiping right for related products because it is so easy to use without getting lost in navigation! When you add to that the one-touch order options it is a no brainer why this app is top on our list.
  • ESPN – For those who need a newsreader style app, ESPN has gradually developed an app that offers an incredible amount of information that is easy to access. They combine articles, score tickers, videos and more in such a simple layout. One of best UI aspects is the favorite option which then customizes a users experience for content and news to those favorites. Worth noting is that they did not get it right the first time and it has taken updates to get where they are now.
  • Blown Away – This is a relatively newer game by Black Pants Studio which is a visual experience. The illustrations and landscapes are second to none, truly showcasing what you can now do visually for users. When you add to that the relatively simplicity of this 120 level game that works across multiple worlds you can see why it made the list of apps to look at.
  • Unibox – There are a lot of email client apps on the market however this one is worth mentioning because of the uniqueness of the UI they opted to use. Rather than default to a common email style they instead followed more of a messenger-type interface. Using very clean lines and simple colors the interface has a stark look that is very appealing that goes well with the style of layout. This is an interesting example of taking a popular format from one genre and using it effectively in another which offers something different while still having a high user experience because of that familiarity.
  • Fandango – People who aren’t into going to the movies have probably not seen this app before and they are missing out. This is a very well-design app that focuses on the user experience extensively to ensure they provide everything needs. Localization, tailored information based on preferences, and easy ticket purchasing are presented simply in a way that prevents confusion and frustration. The key point to note with this app is the placement of everything from CTA’s to trailers that show they spent a lot of time considering the user interface for the ease of customers.

The bottom line is that having a great user interface is a critical component of the potential success or failure of your app. Much like in other areas of design, people tend to copy what works and with good reason. So consider these 5 great examples of UI heavy mobile app designs as something to draw inspiration and ideas from to help your next design be a home hit.




This article was originally published in 2 August 2017. It was most recently updated in November 28, 2022 by

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