Paying for Design

App stores are pretty old news now. They’re easy repositories for developers to build small, usable – and in many cases, experimental – applications and make a few bucks selling them. It’s an awesome platform for indie games, even if success has become increasing lopsided.

I’ve found myself buying apps that do interesting things with their interfaces. Being a front-end engineer, I do appreciate the time and effort to design and build well-thought-out pieces of UI/UX, even when I can get the same functionality from system or web apps.

On the list are favorites like:

This isn’t a new observation; more people are noticing that having a delightful interface can be a selling point, and in fact influences the product’s feature set and development philosophies. Of course, at Square I get to experience first hand the making of our proverbial sausage.

That said, how many ways can you tick items off a to-do list or consume your tweets? For the few products that have changed the world by presenting a pleasant UI to the masses, I do wonder how many products do nothing but regift the same ideas and same solutions in pretty wrapping, and whether the companies behind these apps can innovate beyond the interface.

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