For web developers and designers out there, in an effort to be always improving our craft, it pays to see what others have accomplished.
By looking at the brilliance and mistakes of others, we become better and can emulate what works, and discard what doesn’t work.
I realize this list is highly subjective. It is meant purely as a representative sample of some of the best designs available on the web in 2016. However, it will be highly informative as a handy cheat-sheet of what has worked on the web so far, and also highlight what has not worked so well. Think of it as a starting point and guide for your explorations.
Please leave a comment below, if you agree with something like this. Even if you disagree, we can still learn from clashing points of view.
That said, here is my list of 200 of the best products available on the web today.
See any patterns in the list?
If this inspires you to go out and make a world-changing product of your own, I have done my job. Happy Coding!
#1 – #10
Udacity – With Udacity, you can pursue different “Nano Degrees” and attend virtual classes on everything from electronics to artificial intelligence, and a lot more. Helping millions learn almost anything from the comfort of their browser, this web app combines utility and elegant designs to make it the representative ideal of what we strive for on the web.
Instagram – The app Facebook acquired for $1 Billion back in 2012, allows people to connect with others, and share photos of their lives and experiences. Noteworthy design choices.
8Tracks – A design showcase. The app for music. Choose your pick. If Pandora is ever dead, this might be the reason.
Coursera – Don’t know what it is with these educational product companies, but yeah, they seem to be popping up everywhere! Learn whatever you want, in style.
WunderList – Doesn’t do much besides manage your todo tasks, but does it with style.
SoundCloud – The app for discovering music you love. Turns a normal afternoon into a delightful adventure through blues, hard rock and Lord of the The Rings soundtracks, or whatever your favorite soup du jour.
Telegram – Delivers a new era of messaging. A case study of solid design.
Pinterest – The world’s catalogue of ideas, great for saving ideas and organizing them in boards, and discovering what others have pinned.
AirBnB – Active in over 191 countries, AirBnB makes it possible to travel the world and meet people while saving you money on accommodation.
Quora – Helps you find the best answer to any question. Like Google on steroids, and cutting through the long search to find the best answer.
#11 – #20
VK – Social networking app popular in Europe.
We Heart It – Discover inspiration and beautiful images every day.
Twitter – The app that took micro-blogging to the mainstream. Cutting edge concept and cutting edge designs are the norm here. Lends its name to design products like the famous Twitter Bootstrap. Don’t be too surprised if half the internet begins looking like Twitter.
Postach – The easiest way to blog.
Vimeo – Watch and share videos with no ads. Takes a simple approach to design.
Flickr – The home of all your photos.
TED – TEDx is like Woodstock for intellectuals, minus the booze and the drugs. Besides that its celebrities are everything from guys whose books you have read to weirdos whose books you will find yourself reading months after watching their videos without knowing it. Such is the cult impact of TED.
Facebook – The app with a billion users. Its design has fallen behind in recent years, but users still can’t get enough of it. A good way to connect with your friends from high school.
500px – A photography community unlike any other. Stands out for its design sense.
Bebo – HQ for your group. Group video and audio chat.
#21 – #30
Postly – Gives you private threads to share content with friends.
Mega – Focused on encryption and privacy, rethinks file storage from the ground up. You can snag 50GB of storage, and who knows what else.
Trello – Task-management and task-tracking tool famous for its well-designed cards, and inspiring designers around the world.
GitLab – Create and host source code repositories online using the popular Git version control software.
PhotoBucket – The trusted place to store, share and print your photographs since 2003.
Couchsurfing – Global community of over 12 million travel enthusiasts in 230,000 cities. Helps you travel, live with hosts, and host others in your home town.
ZeroNet – Open, free and uncensorable websites using Bitcoin cryptography and BitTorrent networking.
Digg – A user-driven site that employs social democracy to bring new and upcoming stories to its front page
Yelp – User Reviews and Recommendations of Top Restaurants, Shopping, Nightlife, Entertainment, Services
Yahoo Mail – Free email service to connect you to the world.
#31 – #40
NomadList – Best cities to work and live in for digital nomads
LiveJournal – Discover global communities of friends who share your interests.
Github – Collaborate on code and discover open source projects using the Git version control system. Popular with geeks like you and me.
Alibaba – Find quality manufacturers, suppliers, exporters, importers, buyers, wholesalers, and products worldwide.
Genius – The site allows users to provide annotations and interpretation of song lyrics, news stories, sources, poetry, and documents.
Codecademy – Interactive courses on how to program. Courses are created by community and cover CSS, Java, HTML.
Soup – Easy personal publishing for busy people.
Ge.tt – Share any number of files in seconds. Thoughtfully designed.
UpperPix – Online image manipulation app.
Directus – Open-source headless CMS. Sounds cutting edge, yeah it’s headless after all!
#41 – #50
FetchNotes – Meet your mind’s best friend Fetchnotes is an easy way to keep track of anything and collaborate instantly.
Pandora – Internet Radio, music of all types. Allows you to discover artists you will like, and some songs you’ve never heard of but that sound like you’ve always known them.
CraftCMS – Focused content-management for web professionals.
LonelyPlanet – Love travel? Plan and book your perfect trip with expert advice, travel tips, destination information and inspiration from Lonely Planet.
News360 – News discovery service with a knack for learning what you like and showing it to you.
TabDay – Organize your photos in a calendar.
Codepen – Show case of advanced techniques with editable source code.
KickStarter – Global crowdfunding platform focused on creativity.
Minds – Create your own blog online.
Waze – Free community-based mapping, traffic and navigation.
#51 – #60
Penzu – Your private, 100% customizable online journal. Loved by over 2 million writers around the world.
Spotify – Instant access to millions of songs.
Known – Create your own website online with ease.
Xing – The platform for business networking.
Flipboard – Your personal magazine, helps you turn your favorite news sources into one coherent personalized magazine. Edit away, Editor!
Path – Private messaging between two people or many.
Youtube – The site with billions of page views, there’s a reason why. Youtube brings together entertainment, personal vlogging and information sharing by means of video, making for a unique experience.
Baidu – Leading Chinese search engine.
Amazon.com – Amazon, after all these years, still feels like walking into a giant supermarket with all kinds of goodies, from clothes and electronic gizmos, to books and obscure bric-bracs. How they manage to keep all that data organized is a big feat of engineering, so engineers take note.
Medium – It’s all too easy to spend hours on Medium, so beware. An easy way to read the thoughts of influencers all around the world, and post some of your own. This is state of the art for collaborative, open blogging.
#61 – #70
GoodReads – Meet your next favorite book. A social network for bookworms.
Yandex Mail – Free, spam-free email.
Reddit – The front-page of the internet. Still has a very retro feel to its design, which is why it’s easy to sit back with a beer on the weekend and read Reddit for hours. Your boss wouldn’t be caught dead on Reddit.
Wikipedia – Organizes the world information for detailed and factual reference. Tells you about everything from the ancient Chinese to 3D printing and Elon Musk. And what JFK was doing on the day he got assassinated. Pretty handy reference.
Google Drive – The Google app that seems to be the best-designed one. It’s a useful tool for backing up your files online. Lots of storage available. I don’t know much about the technology behind the scenes, but it works rather well.
WordPress.com – A blogging platform that puts ease of use above all else. Elegant easy designs, customizable through themes. Still the best option for beginner bloggers, beating out the likes of Blogger and Medium.
LivingSocial – An online marketplace that allows its registered users to buy and share things to do in their city.
TheCultureTrip – For adventurers, helps you discover the world’s cultures, wherever you are, wherever you go.
Google Maps – Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.
Deffe – Upload and share your images.
#71 – #80
LeaNote – Blog, take notes and organize your thoughts online.
Paypal – Send money, pay online, with the convenience of email.
Bing – Search the internet, Microsoft’s search engine.
BlogLovin – Follow your favorite blogs and discover new ones.
DailyMotion – Video-sharing platform.
Tizmos – Visual bookmarking site.
Noosfeer – Discover content about your favorite topics.
Yahoo – News and search in one big portal.
SubtleTV – Find out what to watch and funny videos from around the internet.
Grav – A modern, flat-file CMS.
#81 – #90
Evernote – Lets you capture information in a variety of formats, and store it in the cloud so you never forget important stuff.
WhatsApp – Chat with anyone around the world.
Yandex Search – Large search engine with a global footprint.
BobblePic – Manage your content, create private albums, customize your profile and more.
OpenStreetMap – An openly licensed map of the world being created by volunteers using local knowledge, GPS tracks and donated sources.
WikiLeaks – Publishes and comments on leaked documents alleging government and corporate misconduct.
HealthCare.gov – Official site of Affordable Care Act, a result of Obama’s controversial Obamacare.
AWS – Amazon Web Services offers reliable, scalable, and inexpensive cloud computing services.
Google Analytics – Web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic.
Redaxscript – Ultra light blogging platform.
#91 – #100
Vine– The entertainment network where videos and personalities get really big, really fast. Unfortunately, Vine is going out of business.
Weibo – Chinese microblogging platform.
CamJamm – Online album that lets you share images and videos.
Media Fire – Share, collaborate and organize your files online.
Schniggen – Allows you to upload images and share them with your friends, whilst keeping them from everyone else.
Ebay – Bid site to buy and sell electronics, cars, fashion apparel, collectibles, sporting goods, digital cameras, baby items, coupons, and everything else.
Taobao – China’s largest and most used internet portal.
Tumblr – Microblogging and social networking website
Oinker – Chat platform with idea and task management abilities.
Historious – Saves you time by saving pages you’ve seen before for easy lookup.
#101 – #110
Todoist – Start getting more done in less time.
VolaFile – Live filesharing and chat.
Google Hangouts – Hangouts bring conversations to life with photos, emoji, and even group video calls for free. Connect with friends across computers, Android, and Apple devices.
Hotels.com – Find cheap hotels and discounts. Compare hotel deals, offers and read unbiased reviews on hotels.
Walmart.com – Shop Walmart’s online specials and find savings in electronics, home, furniture, video games, baby, clothing, toys, gifts and more.
UsersCloud – Free unlimited cloud storage.
Msn – Portal for shopping, news and money, e-mail, search, and chat.
GoCinchy – Save bookmarks in the cloud. What cloud? The cloud.
AliExpress – Global retail marketplace targeted at consumers worldwide.
Youku – Chinese video-sharing website.
#111 – #120
Slack – Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve at least tried Slack by now. Some people love it, others hate it. Real-time messaging, archiving and search for modern teams.
Faveous – Allows you to store information on phone numbers and bookmark them. A cold-caller’s dream app.
UltraImg – Lets you upload and share your images.
SparkNotes – Study guides and discussion forums offered on various academic subjects. Literature section includes brief analyses of characters, themes and plots.
Groupon – Discover and save on 1000s of great deals at nearby restaurants, spas, things to do, shopping, travel and more.
StackOverflow – The largest online community for programmers to learn, share their knowledge, and advance their careers.
Diaro – An online diary. No matter if it’s a short note or a lengthy diary entry, Diaro user friendly interface lets you organize everything conveniently
Flipkart – Indian online shopping site.
Twitch – Live streaming video platform.
Nicovideo.jp – Japanese video sharing site.
#121 – #130
Skype – Skype keeps the world talking for free. Connect with friends worldwide over video chat, voice or text chat.
Google Play Music – You music in the cloud. Free radio for everything you do. Store 50000 tracks from your personal collection.
ImgSafe – Free Image Host.
XMind – The most popular mind-mapping tool on the planet.
DeviantArt – The world’s largest online social community for artists and art enthusiasts, and others with a sense of design.
Indeed.com – Search for jobs and apply online.
AliPay – Online payment platform by Alibaba.
Tudou – Chinese video-sharing site.
W3Schools – Free tutorials on the web and basic web development.
#131 – #140
Angie’s List – Crowd-sourced reviews of local businesses.
TinyPic – Free image hosting, photo sharing and video hosting.
DuckDuckGo – The search engine that doesn’t track you. A superior search experience with smarter answers, less clutter and real privacy.
Booking.com – Browse hotel reviews and find the guaranteed best price on hotels for all budgets.
Netease Music – Chinese music site.
SlideShare – Offers users the ability to upload and share publicly or privately PowerPoint presentations, Word documents and Adobe PDF Portfolios.
UpToBox – Host your files and share them with friends.
PostImage – Free image hosting.
UpToDown – App downloads for Android.
Snapdeal – India’s largest ecommerce site.
#141 – #150
Imgur – The best place to share and enjoy the most awesome images on the Internet.
9Gag – Has the best funny pics, gifs, videos, gaming, anime, manga, movie, tv, cosplay, sport, food, memes, and other funny items on the internet!
Putlocker – Watch and share your videos.
Etsy – Your place to buy and sell all things handmade.
WikiHow – Learn how to do anything with wikiHow, the world’s most popular how-to website
ImgBox – Fast, simple image hosting.
Weather.com – Provides a national and local weather forecast for cities, as well as weather radar, report and hurricane coverage.
Tistory – South Korean blog-publishing service that allows private or multi-user blogs.
WordReference – Free online dictionaries – Spanish, French, Italian, German and more.
Weebly – Create a free website or blog in minutes by using a simple drag and drop interface. No ads.
#151 – #160
Ozock – Create, share and discover the world’s most viral, funny and newsworthy stories.
Dash Dashboards – Create beautiful dashboards with a few clicks.
Picorator – Community-driven image-sharing service.
AngelList – Connects entrepreneurs to an increasingly large base of angel and venture investors while simultaneously exposing those investors to a stream of dealflow that’s been vetted by the AngelList team.
Any.do – Free todo list and task manager.
Calm.com – Unique meditations and inspirations every day.
Can I Stream It – Helps you identify where your favorite movies are available for streaming, rent or purchase.
FileThis – Go paperless, track your personal financial accounts and organize bills, invoices, statements, tax files and receipts in one secure place.
ClickHole – ClickHole is the latest and greatest online social experience filled with the most clickable, irresistibly shareable content anywhere on the internet.
FlapMMO – A Flappy-bird-inspired game where you fly with the others avoiding the pipes and getting as far as you can.
#161 – #170
FourSquare – Helps you find the perfect places to go with friends. Discover the best food, nightlife, and entertainment in your area.
BuzzFeed – Media site with all the biggest news, videos, quizzes, and trending buzz you’ll want to share with your friends.
Papaly – Cloud bookmarking service.
Draggo – The new way to manage all your bookmarks online.
PixelDrain – Free file-sharing service.
Annotary – Bookmarking for the extremely inquisitive.
Skyscanner – Global metasearch engine for information on the World Wide Web that enables people to find comparisons for flights, hotels and car hire.
Fitocracy – Fitocracy motivates you and helps you succeed at fitness and level up in real life.
Glyde – The easiest way to buy and sell smartphones, tablets, MacBooks, video games, and iPods. Get cash for your gently-used items.
IMDb – The world’s most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content.
#171 – #180
CraigsList – Classified advertisements website with sections devoted to jobs, housing, personals, for sale, items wanted, services, community, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums. Looks dated, but insanely easy to use.
Gmail – Google’s consumer web apps look like they haven’t been updated in years. However, in terms of ease of use, you can’t argue much with them. That is the case with Gmail, the mail app of choice for millions of individuals.
Google Search – Google Search definitely puts functionality over design. It is a fast, efficient, search engine with a lot going on in the background.
Forgotify – Discover a previously unheard Spotify track.
SendSpace – Send files that are too big to send as email attachments.
Pinboard – Social bookmarking for introverts.
Haiku Deck – Presentations That Inspire.
Gruik – Free and open-source note-taking service.
CrimeReports – Helps residents see and understand where crime is happening in their neighborhood and engage with their local law enforcement agencies.
Humble Bundle – Digital storefront for video games where you pay what you want for hidden gems and support charity!
#181 – #190
XKCD – Popular web comic.
Pleated Jeans – News bloopers and other funny bits and pieces curated from the internet.
FAVable – Save your bookmarks on the web.
Peek – One-stop shop to discover and book amazing activities, tours, and more
Wolfram Alpha – Smart online artificial intelligence calculator.
Start.io – Make a start page with a collection of the websites you care for
Blogmarks – Social bookmarking service.
Nick Reboot – Relive your childhood with a live stream of classic 90s television!
Uvibo – Uvibo provides you with a dynamic dashboard for social media. Forget about scrolling, manual updating or prioritizing.
Noisli – Fantastic background noise and color generator for working and relaxing. Online soothing ambient sounds like White noise, Rain and Coffee Shop.
#191 – #200
LifeHacker – Tips and downloads for getting things done.
ItMages – Host images online.
RetailMeNot – Get discounts with coupon and promo codes for thousands of online stores.
ViaBox – Get a Forever FREE US address. Shop any US retailer. Ship to any country.
MAKE – DIY culture and tutorials.
Google News – News curated from major and local news sources.
TinyUpload.com – Perhaps taking the wrong cue from Google’s success with minimalist design, sets the bar unacceptably low for a file-sharing service.
RottenTomatoes – Isn’t it funny how your favorite movies seem to all have an unrealistically low ranking on RottenTomatoes? Well, just between you and me, now you can tell em web designers just don’t think their design chops are the best ever either!
Hacker News – Perhaps because it’s meant for hackers, this link-sharing and discussion site is notorious, along with Reddit and CraigsList, for taking a super laid-back approach to design.
ZippyShare – Unlimited Disk Space, online, makes the garish design somewhat more palatable.
And there we have it! 200 of the very best web apps in production on the internet today. Study them, like them, vilify them. But above all, learn from them! Copy what works, reject what fails, and share with the world your own web app creations.