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Ask HN: What SaaS apps have a great UI ?
52 points by olalonde on Apr 21, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 36 comments
I'm building a new SaaS web app and looking for inspiration on UI design.

Can you name some web apps that you find have a really great UI/UX ? Is there any website that showcases such web apps ?

Some web apps that come to my mind: 37signals.com's apps, Mint.com, FreshBooks.com

Thanks HN !

http://www.getballpark.com/ http://www.campaignmonitor.com/ http://www.getharvest.com/

also you can find a bunch of other good examples on http://cloudomatic.com/, a directory of SaaS applications

Check out http://www.metalabdesign.com/ (the makers of BallPark) for some great inspiration.

+1 for MailChimp. The fact that they make sending out emails fun means they're doing lots of things right with the UI. They serve as inspiration for many of the things I'm starting to do with my own SaaS web app.

Regarding the 37signals apps, I find Highrise the most impressive from a UI standpoint.

http://wufoo.com/ is beautifully designed, really useful UI and great work with all the colors.

We leverage Cappuccino to get a near-desktop experience for http://www.enstore.com. You can create an account to play around yourself or watch a video here: http://cappuccino.org/discuss/2009/10/06/cappuccino-in-check...

Smashing mag. has some good articles on this topic.



I have worked pretty hard on the UI/UX experience for http://simplton.com/screenshots and have been happy with the results.

Also, look no further than Google, their interface work with Google Reader and Docs is excellent.

Ok, so I will be that guy. You should really talk to a designer about your site UI/UX. To me it looks very much like a windows/java application and I honestly wouldn't use it or trust it with my data.

I know that sounds harsh, but trust me. It's better someone tells you and you can fix it then if everyone stays "nice" and doesn't say anything.

Appreciate taking the time for the feedback. Great advice.

This is a really hard one, but we've come across a ton of beautiful apps since starting Cloudomatic:

- List of Cappucino apps (these are always beautiful): http://cloudomatic.com/tag/cappuccino/ - One that we added yesterday: http://www.staction.com/ I think the app is simple and the ui is beautiful/something new.

If there's a large enough list of more obscure/unknown apps, I'll try to highlight the top 5 when I'm on this week in cloud computing later. Apps doing some crazy HTML5 /cappuccino stuff are always a plus.

Never heard of Cloudomatic before, but I wish I had. It seems like a great service and I actually like your UI ;) Good luck with it !

thank you! We're putting something new out today that should be really useful.

I'm a fan of Jesse BC (http://31three.com/portfolio). His designs are always top-notch IMO.

Some examples are: http://www.campaignmonitor.com http://expressionengine.com

Without trying to be overly self-promoting, we've spent a lot of time making our UI look good over at http://www.woobius.com . Worth having a look and including it in your inspiration list, perhaps.

http://freeagentcentral.com/ and http://campaignmonitor.com are both paragons of SaaS UI: beautiful form, and elegant function.

I'm pretty impressed with http://www.freeagentcentral.com/, it's "great UI/UX" in the sense that as much as looking good, it also functions well.

The Invoice Machine has a pretty good interface. Simple yet aesthetically-pleasing: http://invoicemachine.com/

It may not be much of a looker, but I always appreciated how MailChimp manages to make a boring subject like mailing lists fun: http://mailchimp.com/

Here's some more great examples of effective UI design: http://flowtown.com http://survs.com http://pulseapp.com http://www.xero.com

Wow - thank you for the Flowtown love #humbling

I've always been a fan of Urban Airship http://urbanairship.com

http://www.xero.com/ http://www.crazyegg.com/

It may not be the most beautiful, but http://www.salesforce.com/ works extremely well for its application.

We use Pivotal Tracker at my day job and I really like the UI/UX. It's intuitive, functional, and simple, all things I look for and try to emulate in my own work.

Update: Link http://www.pivotaltracker.com/

Agreed - we've moved all of our DEV queue into PivotalTracker after benefiting from it's ridiculously simple UI and workflow.

This is PaaS, but Heroku looks amazing and has a great UI. Also, Divvyshot was beautiful.

I felt the same way about Divvyshot but now can't find screenshots of it anywhere (and I don't have an existing account, so I can't log in to see it anymore)

Do you know where I can find some screenshots of it for reference?

Here are a few:




Their home page is also stunning though: http://divvyshot.com/ (check out the map at the bottom of the about us page for example)

I am biased, but Guestlist is pretty good. A lot of our UI design focuses on making the app feel faster than it is while remaining highly usable: http://www.guestlistapp.com

Guestlistapp is great, the integration to 3rd party tools is extends the service and federates additional services (particularly for best-of-breed services like Campaign Monitor, though I'd like to try it with MadMimi).

I keep hoping for additional functionality, i.e., can't wait for the next release.


Upload a document and play with the tools. Very easy to use and the control you have is amazing.

Big fan of Pivotal Tracker (http://www.pivotaltracker.com/). Great product, great UI.


The piv UI is horrible. Sometimes it auto-updates, sometimes it doesn't, the whole open/close item metaphor is horrible as it pushes stuff around constantly, the text-areas are way too small, can't edit your own comments, stuff more or less randomly jumps to other tabs when changing status (which may or may not be currently visible)...

Well, that's just what immediately popped into my head, I'm sure there's more if I look again.

Pivotal has easily one of the worst GUIs of any ticket tracker I have used. It's right down there with bugzilla, just in a different, over-ajaxified way.

Pivotal isn't mainly a ticket tracker (although it can function as that too).

It's primarily a sprint planning / user story device. The way it can track sprint velocity and aid immensely with figuring the optimal size of future sprints (as long as your stories are fleshed out and points set for them) is fantastic.

Thank you. Not sure why pivotaltracker is getting so much love here for UI design? It might be a powerful bug tracker tool but for UI it should not be getting mention among some of these other beautiful and functional apps like wufoo.

I've been a big fan so far of Cashboard. http://www.cashboardapp.com

http://carbonmade.com is another webapp with a great and exciting UI.

BitsyBox Hosted CMS w/API http://www.bitsybox.com

Check out www.tungle.me - Super simple very intuitive social calendar.

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