For most brands, the decision to invest in a mobile app requires a lot of thought. You want to make sure that you're choosing the right option for your brand in terms of design and development, and you have to ensure that your budget will allow you to market the app as needed. Ultimately, your mobile app should be something that your audience will find valuable and use on a regular basis. Aside from those items of consideration, one of the most important things to grasp when you're designing and developing a great mobile app is that you need a strategic approach that is focused on your users. To better understand some of the most effective and successful mobile apps across various industries, and identify what they all have in common, we've sat down with our talented team of designers to gather their insights for their favorite apps. From design to usability, these apps have proven their worth to our experts and have captured the interest of users alike:

1. Fandango

The Fandango app seamlessly connects movie-goers with all of their respective needs when it's time to visit the theater. In terms of usability, the app itself is incredibly easy to use and focuses on providing an excellent experience for customers.
The "Go Now" feature locates the closest movie theater and time by using your location-an essential for those on-the-go. When you visit the main page of the app, you're presented with the top 5 movies playing and all the details you need tailored to you as the individual. Eliminating the need to search for a certain movie time or theater removes any room for error or confusion from the perspective of the customer. For those that want to buy tickets through the app, it's a simple process that is integrated with the device. Once you show up at the theater, you scan the barcode on your phone and your tickets are printed. At the top of the app you have two prominent CTAs that are bound to be what most users are looking for. Overall, it's an excellent app that is undoubtedly tailored to the needs of the customers that use it. -Stephanie Stahn, Senior Web Designer at Blue Fountain Media

2. Amazon

I think the app Amazon is the best of it's kind in the retail world. Typically, if I find something interesting that I would like to purchase on another site, I'll then go back and check it out on the Amazon app. Each time I use the app, it already has all of my information stored and with just with one click (literally), I can order any item I want. Besides general products, there are also millions of music, books, movies and TV shows that are all easily accessible on my phone.
It's very easy to navigate and incredibly user-friendly. All of the important information is very conveniently placed, allowing the user to navigate very intuitively and find a way back to home section. The user experience mirrors that of the actual website which is definitely a benefit--they didn't leave out any functionalities. All of the filters, product lists, reviews, ratings, descriptions, and imagery are the same as you cross over from desktop to mobile. I also love the "swipe right" the function on each product for the users to see 'related products' without leaving the page. Overall, I find this app very useful, quick, convenient and easy-to-use. -Liya Osepaishvili, Art Director at Blue Fountain Media

3. Digit

Digit is a micro savings account app with a text messaging interface that allows you to interact with the platform the same way you would send a normal text message from your smartphone. The app itself monitors your financial activity and makes it as effortless as possible to save money.
The nice part about the app is you can really personalize it to fit your own needs. If you're saving for a specific event, or would like to just start upping the amount you transfer into your savings each month, you can do so with ease. It's very simple to use. It's definitely an app that is developed was developed with the user in mind. You can tailor the app to fit your own lifestyle. -Hannah Caroll, Senior Web Designer at Blue Fountain Media

4. Waze

When you are driving, you often need to be able to make quick decisions to avoid making your trip longer than it needs to be. Waze is a mobile app that helps people plan their driving routes based on information that other users of the app provide. It allows you to comment whenever there is a cop, or an accident, or traffic jams along your route, letting other around you know of what to avoid. The app also provides you with alternative routes to take you around these situations and get to your destination faster.
The social media-esque app allows you to see if your friends are driving and where they are, only enhancing the community aspect surrounding the app itself. The design is fun, user-friendly and very easy to use, and the best part is… you can have Morgan Freeman's voice narrate your entire trip. -Fabio Redivo, Brand Director at Blue Fountain Media


With a brand like ESPN, they need a mobile app that presents audiences with a large amount of content through an organized, yet appealing design. Their app successfully displays news, articles, scores, social media, videos, and podcasts in an easy-to-use interface that compiles all of this in a way that is still easy for users to digest. It allows you to pick which teams are your favorites, and the mobile app curates content and news just for you surrounding those teams.
Even with this massive amount of information to display, the design of the app still remains very branded to coincide with ESPN's other marketing efforts both on and offline. This allows them to have a mobile presence that matches their look and feel across all other channels. -Dennis Mirovsky, Art Director at Blue Fountain Media

6. Starbucks

For most Starbucks customers, they want quick refreshment while on the way to work or on their lunch break. The Starbucks mobile app is clearly focused at providing those users with what they're looking for and making the process of purchasing an item as easy, efficient, and enticing as possible. As well, all of the aesthetics and visuals on the app are of the utmost quality.
Ultimately, the mobile app makes it easier for the customer to buy their items-you can simply scan your device at the register without having to even open your wallet. For those who want to order before they arrive at the store, you can do so all with in the app. From a UX perspective, a nice benefit of the app is that the top and bottom of the app is sticky, showing you your order and items on the menu that you've chosen before. This element definitely makes it easy for the user to keep coming back to use the app again and again. -Stephanie Stahn, Senior Web Designer at Blue Fountain Media

7. Venmo

Venmo, the popular app which allows you to easily send money to your friends, has all the essentials of a user-friendly and engaging mobile app. As far as use, the app makes it incredibly easy to split the cost of things or pay someone money you may owe them for a concert, dinner, etc. In terms of UX design, the app could not be simpler to use. If you want to send someone a payment, you click one of the large calls-to-action that say "Request" or "Pay" , and as long as you have your banking information set up already with the app (also very easy to do), you're done. It has a clean and modern user-interface making it a viable option for most users looking for a payment option.
What makes this platform unique in comparison to some similar alternatives is the social aspect of it. In some ways Venmo has become its own social network as it truly creates an engaging experience as you begin to pay friends or family for particular events. -Hannah Caroll, Senior Web Designer at Blue Fountain Media

8. Mosaic

Mosaic allows you to take all of the pictures that you curate and keep stored in your phone, and make them a tangible item to enjoy offline. Through the app you can create and order an 8 x 8 book of your selected photos, making a great gift for yourself, or a friend!
For just $20 + shipping you can create a cheap, fun, and easy way to display your pictures, rather than just storing them forever on your smartphone. You can even send money and refer the app to a friend so that they can create a book of their own. It's taking your social media and digital media, and really bringing it to life. -Fabio Redivo, Brand Director at Blue Fountain Media

9. Line

Line is a Japanese-based messaging app that offers free video and voice communication. For an illustrator or someone with a design background, the app has a lot of elements that make it really appealing-especially the unique set of emoticons, which makes it stand out in comparison to it's competitors.
The emojis available in this app are quite expressive-you can go way beyond simply "happy" or "sad." The search option makes it very simple to find stickers that are essentially customized for your own reactions. Overall, this is definitely a fun and social app, and as a designer, it's captured my interest. -Dennis Mirovsky, Art Director at Blue Fountain Media

10. Viber

Viber is a free call, text, and video messaging app that keeps you connected with your friends and family anywhere in the world. Whoever has this app on your contact list can be reached within seconds. While there are many apps similar to this one, I find that those other apps ask you to login using a Facebook account or enter more detailed information in order to use them. With Viber, there are just a few steps to enter your basic info and you are ready to use it, so from a usability standpoint, the sign up is close to effortless! I never experience any dropped calls or poor connection. The app is set up so that anytime I call, send a video or text, it gets delivered right away and sends me a notification on delivery.
The app is super easy to use and navigate, and it's also customizable in terms of colors and displays. To engage the user, you can follow various chats of different bands, celebrities, athletes, or fashionistas. Since I have a lot of family and friends abroad, I use this app on a daily basis and find it very convenient, user-friendly, and engaging. -Liya Osepaishvili, Art Director at Blue Fountain Media

Best Mobile App Design

The best mobile app designs keep the user and their needs as the forefront focus. By ensuring that your mobile app is completely optimized to be as user-friendly as possible, you'll be able to offer your customers an experience that instills trust and helps build a relationship with the user. From financial apps to mobile apps that offer direction--whatever your brand's service or products might be, your mobile app must be tailored to the unique needs of your users in order for it to be successful.
How to Get Started With Mobile Whitepaper
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