15 Modern Examples of Clean Web App Design for Inspiration

By Joshua Gross, 07 April, 2022

If you have a product that would benefit from an interactive site, a web app is probably a good choice. Allowing users to access the app using a web browser without requiring installation, visitors to your app can easily consume and send data between their browser and the server.

Designing the perfect web app can be a tricky task indeed, with the need to strike a balance between form and function. Unfortunately, when you search for inspiration for modern and clean web app design, you'll likely stumble upon the reality that the terms "web app" and "website" are frequently used interchangeably.

In reality, though, a web app is an application that operates on a web server that a user accesses through a browser. On the other hand, a website is defined as a collection of content-filled pages that are accessed through a browser. The main and very crucial difference is user interaction.

What this means is that designing a clean web app can be more complicated than simply designing a website. So, if you're searching for inspiration for modern web app design, you've come to the right place.

1. Mailchimp

All the way back in 2001, Mailchimp was started as a mere side project. Purchased by Intuit for $12 billion in cash and stock twenty years later, this email marketing service and marketing automation platform certainly enjoys a better ROI than your average side hustle.

Providing small businesses and startups with a clean, modern marketing platform, the UI/UX of Mailchimp has evolved substantially over the years.

One important aspect of clean web app design is keeping consistent structural elements and layout throughout the platform. This can help to ground your web app in a strong sense of brand personality and allow room for creativity without sacrificing a coherent style.

The current design employed in Mailchimp's web app is fun, playful, and clean. They strike the perfect balance between light-hearted and high-class by combining a minimalistic design with carefully curated whimsical elements.

2. Starbucks

Created using Next.js, the Starbucks site is a web application that provides user-friendly and accessible online ordering to their huge customer base. Able to run in offline mode, this web app gives users the option of perusing the menu, adding items to their carts, and creating custom orders, all while they don't have consistent internet access. Once they get back online, they can place their orders and take a look at pricing at their specific location.

When you look at their web app, you see that their design is minimalistic yet packed full of information. Utilizing the color scheme of their world-famous logo, the entire site is filled with calming green spaces set on a background of well-used white space.

3. BMW

Considering that BMW is synonymous with luxury in the world of automobiles, one would expect that they would have a sleek, modern site for users to browse. Using high-resolution videos and images without sacrificing page loading speeds, the clean design projects an energy of power and class without overdoing it.

(Are you wondering how many developers you need to build your web app? Take a look at this article.)

4. SoundSlice

Designed to revolutionize how musicians can practice and learn new music, SoundSlice is a web app that allows musicians to turn their sheet music into an interactive learning experience. Whether they're transcribing, teaching, practicing, or sharing, this web app provides an easy-to-use platform for musicians from amateur to pro.

This web app is intuitive and powerful and can be used on any device. Because of the practical uses of this app for musicians around the world, the design is clean and simple with a lot of white space. Most of the text and musical bars are displayed in black, with only the occasional use of a bright red-orange to help users easily complete whatever task is at hand.

5. Airbnb

There's a good chance that you've interacted with the clean web design of Airbnb yourself. Bold, compelling, and clean, the web app design of Airbnb offers a consistent user interface that is attention-grabbing without being overwhelming.

With literally thousands of accommodation listings available on Airbnb, you'd imagine it's quite a task to make that information easily accessible to users. Through their smart design, customers can easily navigate rental options that suit their needs. By organizing information confined in nearly rectangular spaces (save for a bit of rounding on the edges,) they manage to pack a ton of content onto the screen without creating information overload.

6. Uber

As the dominant player in the rideshare industry, it makes sense that Uber would invest in having a high-quality web app. Rebuilding their site into a PWA recently to accommodate their ever-expanding company, the goal was to make the booking experience just as easy on the web as on their mobile app.

This site is accessible on all modern browsers and was built with the idea that customers should have an app-like experience no matter what device they're using to access it. With their super-lightweight web app, Uber prioritizes allowing customers to request rides quickly, no matter where they are, what device they're on, and their network speed.

When you use their app, you notice that it's very straightforward and simple. With a black and white color scheme that's enlivened with the use of color photos, they display just how powerful minimalism can be when used well.

On top of that, their web app offers easy navigation for seasoned users and newbies alike. With their services divided into the categories of catching a ride, food delivery, or working as a driver, everyone can quickly get where they're trying to go on the site without any unnecessary frustration or complication.

7. Omio

Omio is a search engine that users can use to find all types of transportation wherever they are in the world. Able to search and process a tremendous amount of data in an instant, they compare and combine different modes of transportation for short jaunts and long journeys alike.

Their web app has an impressive design that provides users the opportunity to input their travel information to find the best prices and routes no matter where they plan on going. Using bright illustrations and a calming color scheme, their design is easy to use and easy on the eyes.

8. GetYourGuide

This Berlin-based travel company sells excursions and tours for locations around the world. The layout is minimalist and effective, allowing users to stay focused on the task at hand. Whether users have a specific type of experience in mind or they're looking for inspiration, this web app allows users with different intents to easily find what they're looking for.

Using lots of photos and graphics to spruce up the page in addition to an uplifting but simple color palette is a great example of balancing form and function in web app design.

9. Notion

This note-taking and product management software offers companies a tool to help improve efficiency and boost productivity. While the current iteration of this web app is known for its flawless performance by its more than one million users, that wasn't always the case. Initially plagued with issues such as slowness and unresponsiveness, Notion performed a complete product rebuild in 2018.

The Notion web app is the perfect example of cleanly organizing a lot of information in one place. They also allow plenty of room for customization, giving users the ability to build a workflow that works for them. This is a great example of the capability of minimalism to create a powerful product, where information is presented in a non-cluttered fashion to ensure that nothing interrupts the user's flow.

10. Behance

As a web app built for creative types, one would expect that Behance's web design would be on point. Luckily, they don't disappoint!

Their web app lets designers display their visual art and design portfolios in a pristinely designed web environment. With straightforward navigation, minimalistic graphics, and a simple color scheme, this web app provides the perfect platform for users' artworks to shine.

11. Spotify

As one of the largest music streaming service providers out there, Spotify offers music lovers around the world the opportunity to quickly search for and enjoy just about every type of sound experience. Their web app can be easily added to a user's home screen, meaning their favorite tunes are just a click away.

The design of Spotify is simple and easy to use, with a variation of gray to black tones making up the background. The text appears in white and light gray colors, creating a bold and minimalistic interface that's easy on the eyes.

Their navigation is also top-tier, creating a pared-down list of options on the sidebar to make moving through the app a breeze. With easy access to the search page, a user's library, and their favorite playlists, podcasts, and tunes, this is an example of a web app that has everything it needs and nothing it doesn't.

12. Buffer

Starting all the way back in 2010, Buffer is one of the original social media management platforms. By allowing businesses to automate, manage, and analyze their social network accounts, they provide an invaluable tool that companies of all sizes can use as a part of their digital marketing strategy.

Recently redesigned, their web app is incredibly clean with plenty of well-used white space. At the same time, they incorporate their bright brand colors to help boost a feeling of creativity and character throughout the app.

The clean design also creates an easy-to-use interface for users. Presenting data analysis in a visual and compelling way and making social media post scheduling easy to do, Buffer is a web app that you can use as inspiration for your new design.

13. Pinterest

Pinterest isn't just a site where you can find hundreds of inspiring web app designs, but it also recently redesigned its own web experience as a progressive web application. With smart use of white space and simple navigation, users can easily scroll through inspiring ideas for everything from what to eat for dinner to what houseplants they should add to their growing collection.

As you might imagine, the Pinterest web app relies heavily on displaying many high-quality images on each page. Despite this, the app is quick loading, never giving users the option to bounce off and head elsewhere.

14. Canva

Canva is a classic example of high-quality, modern web app design. This graphic design platform lets users create visual materials of all kinds, from posters and presentations to social media graphics and logos. More than 60 million active users visit the site each month across 190 countries with both free and premium versions.

Through the use of carefully selected fonts, colors, and page layout, Canva helps create a vibe of creativity without it feeling manic. At once warm and inviting and clean and neat, their app evokes a less sterile and more inspiring feel. Even though there are many templates and features that users have access to, they manage to keep the navigation simple, straightforward, and stress-free.

15. Yummly

As a cooking discovery platform that can learn what types of dishes fit within a user's needs and tastes, Yummly provides a one-stop-shop for people at all levels of cooking skills. Their progressive web app is available on web browsers and carefully balances the desire for users to find something specific versus browsing for inspiration. Using lots of white space to highlight specific recipes and features, the app is clean and crisp.

They allow each user to customize their app experience by saving recipes and creating recipe collections. With the ability to both create a recipe book of their favorite recipes and find tailor-made inspiration thanks to Yummly's ability to learn, it's no wonder this web app has become a key part of the cooking process for more than twenty million registered users.

Clean Web App Design for the Modern World

Designing a clean web app creates unique challenges for brands compared to creating a simple website. When you're creating an interface that your users will interact with, you want your app to be modern, clean, highly functional, and easy to use.

At Planetary.co, we specialize in helping clients bring a great idea to life. Building everything from interactive event installations to websites to apps, our team of seasoned experts has worked with the likes of Google, Amazon, General Electric, and Hermès. If it's time for you to create a web app for your brand, drop us a line today.