View Full Version : The best UI of the year?

Fueled by mobile platforms, apps, HTML5 and an ever increasing emphasis on having great usability, UI appears to be undergoing some radical change at the moment. I'm curious to know what everyone's favorite user interfaces have been that were introduced this year.
I'll start:
The Verge Obviously! But seriously, what a breath of fresh air for tech sites, and the web in general! The navigational elements are clear and concise, featured content is beautifully formatted and organized, and the remainder of the content is cleanly laid out in a three column view punctuated with horizontally scrolling elements with small stories, videos and product reviews. Plus, they have a terrific mobile optimized site.
Spotify - iPhone App Easily the most progressive music app/service I've used. Spotify is all about playlists, searching, and sharing with your friends.The app forces you to approach music almost completely differently than other, more traditional apps, which use common browsing methods like genre, artist, etc... Some people will totally hate this, but I think it's pretty cool, and at the very least a nice complement to your bought collection on iTunes or whatever.
The social aspects are really solid... if your friends are using it. If not, then it's pretty lame. You see which of your friends have good taste in music or not really quickly. It's no wonder they started forcing Facebook logins..
The interface itself is surprisingly minimal and in many ways more successful than the desktop app at creating a social, playlist emphasized listening experience.
http://cdn0.sbnation.com/imported_assets/935094/mobile_platform_iphone_medium.jpg (http://cdn3.sbnation.com/imported_assets/935094/mobile_platform_iphone.jpg)

Xbox "Metro" Dashboard of late 2011 Finally Microsoft released an update to the Xbox 360 UI that actually improves the usability and looks great. Prior dashboards were a mess; fancier and more modern looking, but functionally a step back.The Kinect integration is what it should have been from the start. More than anything, the 360 finally feels like a real platform.
Facebook Timeline A huge leap. The scatter-shot feel of Facebook is finally giving way to a clean, more useful interface.
http://cdn2.sbnation.com/imported_assets/935097/gIzFP_1KwHJ_medium.jpg (http://cdn3.sbnation.com/imported_assets/935097/gIzFP_1KwHJ.jpg)
Google While Facebook brought me back from using G+, there's no denying that they have been making some much needed improvements to the look and unification of all of their products. I for one, really like the bar at the top of all the Google sites and I hope their decision to put it all under a drop down menu isn't as bad of an idea as it seems.
http://cdn3.sbnation.com/imported_assets/935112/newlook_new_large_medium.png (http://cdn2.sbnation.com/imported_assets/935112/newlook_new_large.png)

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While that is nice, it’s not really anything new to The Verge, as SB Nation’s sites have had that feature for a long time.

Great post!! I would throw in ICS too tho..

I discovered Flipboard a few days ago so that’s my favorite UI of the year.
The Verge is pretty good too. Love the comment shortcuts.