The Apple Design Awards celebrate innovation, ingenuity, design excellence, and outstanding technical achievement. A WWDC tradition, the ADAs highlight those who take thoughtful and creative approaches to their apps and games, giving people new ways to work, play, or imagine things that were never before possible.
“We’ve been awarding great design for more than two decades now, and each year’s winners set new standards for others to emulate,” said John Geleynse, Senior Director of Evangelism and longtime host of the Apple Design Awards.
This year’s winners are no different: Their apps are beautiful, intuitive, captivating and delightful. They spring from a deep understanding of and empathy for the people they’re intended to serve. They are unique, exhaustively refined, and crafted with care and attention to detail.
“Winning apps require a lot of work,” said Geleynse, “And we want to honor the effort, dedication, creativity, and new ideas that lead to innovative solutions like these.”
This year, the honor continues beyond an Apple Design Award and FaceTime celebration: Starting this Friday and each week thereafter, the Developer app will feature exclusive interviews with each winner about their creative process and how they brought their bold and distinctive ideas to life.
Take a quick look at this year’s Apple Design Award winners, along with a few choice highlights from our upcoming interviews.
Majd Taby, Darkroom
“We’ve tried to abstract away all the complexity of photo editing — no import, no export, hiding away the complexity unless you ask for it… the app is much more powerful and complex than the design… that’s just part of the ongoing design challenge of trying to make something that’s usable and powerful at the same time.”
Eran Hilleli, Looom
“The design thought of Looom is the flow first — experience first… Trying to make drawn animation exist in some tool that was almost like a Gameboy… something you can kick back and relax, which is not something that, usually, animation is about.”
István Csanády, Shapr3D
“I think that great interaction design is… always a lot of blood, sweat, and tears… There are no shortcuts because this is something that you can’t really figure out. You just have to observe how your users actually want to interact your with design or with your software… we did hundreds of prototypes, interaction prototypes — you can step-by-step get to the right solution… it took us four and a half years to get to this level of polish.”
David William Hearn, StaffPad
“The core tenet of the app is really: How is this helping me write music? How is this making my day nicer and better and hopefully making me write better music? If it can help me do that, and at least if I finish a project and I don’t feel exhausted at the end of it, then I think that every idea has been worth it. But there’s always more to do. It’s never done.”
Simon Flesser, Sayonara Wild Hearts
“This is a game that is very much about the music, right?… It started very differently, with a much more sinister tone. But then as we were playing our prototype, randomly, this really energetic, pop song came on in the background… And it sort of just clicked. I literally said, ‘This is it.’”
Jenova Chen, Sky: Children of the Light
“With very small changes in the design, you can change how [the player] behaves, how they treat each other in your game. I think it’s your responsibility to think about: How are these players going to interact with your app, with your game, you know, on a daily basis? Is that healthy for them? Is that going to make them be thankful… rather than having resentment of the experience?”
Philipp Stollenmayer, Song of Bloom
“Sometimes it’s hard to tell what the game is trying to tell you. Some images are so abstract that you have to make up your own interpretation. To help the game communicate on every available channel, it was important to give it another sense… from the haptic vibrations, it helps you to understand if this is an active scene or a calm one — you get a really nice sense for the mood.”
Sam Rosenthal, Where Cards Fall
“A lot of the game feels very melancholic but at the same time — it’s a hopeful game. So the app icon is our main character in the winter — which is the present day — looking up… It is not somebody that is lost in the past but somebody that maybe has learned from what happened, has reflected and is looking towards what could be next.”
Read more about the Apple Design Award winners on Apple Newsroom and the App Store.