We bring you our definitive awards for excellence in varied fields of design and user experience. Nominees for our inaugeral year of the PUXies were selected by our internal blue-ribbon committee. The voting will continue through Dec 31, 2021 and final decisions on award winners will be decided in a hybrid of your voting with our blue-ribbon panel breaking ties.

We have 16 voting categories. You can click the image of the nominee and it will populate the pull-down box, so you can do this quickly. You don't have to vote in every category; if you want to skip down to the bottom and submit just a couple of categories then be our guest.

Get down there and vote!

Essential Services (Personal)

2020 is year of the Zoom. Zoom went from a barely known program to a ubiquitous noun and verb. Amazing that they were able to keep up with demand and continue to innovate. Let’s be clear that we are praising Uber’s interface and app, not their hiring politics. Dishonorable Mention: Nextdoor, the most passive-aggressive way to communicate with your neighbors

Essential Services (Business)

We left screen-sharing and VPN services out. These is a hybrid category of services/apps that are between being light-weight civilian use apps and more heavy-duty development tech. Remember that this is about design and ease of use. Dishonorable Mention: Dropbox, who tossed UX values out the window when they changed their business model.

Software Development Apps

Some great competition in what we, as software developers, consider the most important category in the PUXies. SSMS Studio is such a clean way of managing Sql databases. Visual Studio is a staple and keeps making great advances. Simple text editors might not seem like a big deal, but Notepad++ is killing it. We are totally in the bag for Postman as a perfect product (for testing APIs and web services), and SourceTree is our can’t-live-without .GIT / source code management solution.

Microsoft SSMS Studio
Microsoft Visual Studio
Music Apps

So many great things here. We’ll tell you right now, the winner will be either Shazam or Songbook if we have something to say about it. Amazon Music integrates so well with Alexa, Sonos, etc. and is a great value (and superior to Apple Music). But Shazam ends up getting you to know about music you hear out in the world, a total game changer. Or for musicians, yes Chordify is pretty cool, but anybody who needs lyrics to scroll on a tablet in a performance setting like a teleprompter … it’s hard to beat Songbook. Good luck.

Amazon Music
Twitter Accounts – Orgs & Companies

Tough call to leave off NatGeo but only because they tweet more frequently than the rest here, so they can blow up your feed a little bit. Every one of these accounts will make your Twitter life a little better, either through inspirational stories or images … except for the folks at Pop Tarts; whatever intern is running that Pop Tarts account, we hope he/she gets a raise.

Atlas Obscura

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Go Pro

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Humans Of New York

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Pop Tarts

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Twitter Accounts – Individuals

Totally subjective. Except that Super70sSports is the best thing on the internet. If it doesn’t win, then this has been a huge waste of time. By the way, who knew that 80’s singer Richard Marx would do the best job of trolling Trump-era Replublicans. Please follow all of these folks, you won't regret it.

Albert Brooks

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Richard Marx

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Soledad O’Brien

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Tough omissions: Gilbert Gottfried’s podcast, Bill Simmons, The Rewatchables but “The Press Box” is simultaneously intelligent and entertaining as anything covering the media. “Dead Eyes” is amazing, not just for humor and Hanks-ishness, but the production value is the best around. You likely know Smartless and WTF. We’re on a campaign to turn people onto that first pandemic era series of “Flying Coach” podcasts with Steve Kerr and Pete Carroll.

Dead Eyes
Flying Coach
The Press Box
WTF with Marc Maron
2021 TV Series

It hurts to leave off Mythic Quest, For All Mankind and Curb Your Enthusiasm. But we are still in a Golden Age of Television. So much so that two incredible comedies with drama in them (Loudermilk and The Other Two) can’t get enough attention to stand out and get mentioned at cocktail parties when people are saying “You’ve GOT to see X”. Every one of those shows bring both comedy and drama. Please check out The Other Two, Hacks and Loudermilk if you haven’t already.

The Other Two
Ted Lasso
TV / Streaming Service

Honorable Mention: Hulu, Samsung Eden, Disney+. This is supposed to be about the interface, not the quality of programming. You guys can vote how you want but it’s pretty tough to compete with the newer Apple TV remote.

Amazon Prime Video
Apple TV
Organizing Apps

Kind of unfair to combine Google Docs & Good Drive, but it’s all basically their cloud service bundle. If you don’t know about “If This Then That” (IFTTT), then rectify that immediately.

We wanted to be snarky and include “Let Me Google That For You” to stick it to your most co-dependent friends, but it’s not really a productivity app.

Find My iPhone
Google Docs & Google Drive
If This, Then That
In-Store Experience

Could things be more at the opposite ends of the spectrum within the same category as an Amazon Go store vs. a Tiffany’s shop?

We almost listed IKEA here, but that’s even more than an “In-Store Experience”; it’s a place to get a great hot dog, a perfectly sized shopping bag, and also a destination that will challenge any couple’s relationship.

Amazon Go
Best Buy vending machines
Tiffany & Co.
Urban Outfitters
Smart Home / AI

Dishonorable Mention: Microsoft Sync for Ford – we have said it here before, but we think that the Microsoft collaboration with Ford for in-car voice assistant was one of the biggest software fails of this millennium so far. Charlie: “All of the road rage at every driver I’ve experienced on the road just pales in comparison to the agita I had from this garbage software.

Amazon Alexa
Samsung SmartThings
Best Logos

An eclectic group of longstanding and newer logos. Yes, the McDonald’s golden arches aren’t here … out of respect for the great re-design that Burger King has done with their logo. We noticed the shoutout to the new Royal Astronomical Society logo on a design website and damn if we don’t agree. The NBA logo has been around since Jerry West (“the logo”, Google that history) but it’s our odds-on favorite.

Burger King
Royal Astronomical Society
Ambitious, Desktop Software Apps

These are apps that don’t even try to use on a tablet or phone. They are complex enough where you want them on a big monitor and with a mouse. We know Photoshop, and Coursera has taken off as an online education site. But in our experience there are three contenders: Filmora (video editing), Logic (music recording & engineering) and ThinkOrSwim (investing and stock tracking, for both real-money or imaginary/practice).

Adobe Photosho
Logic (Music Recording)
ThinkOrSwim (TD Ameritrade)
Web Design

We don’t want to influence the voting but Ready really is an instructive example of a great 1-page site. The Lebron and LA Art Box have been critical darlings in other design awards. As for determining which of these is the best design of these nominees, you’ve got your work cut out for you in voting. But there really isn’t a bad choice in the bunch.

Columbia Business School

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ESPN Lebron James Los Angeles

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The LA Art Box

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Ready (Calendar)

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Mobile Apps

This is the big one at the PUXies; 5 contenders from varied different fields; all well-designed and perform fairly major functions. TikTok is known for being frivolous but has built-in digital wellbeing settings with screen time management switches (much more thoughtful than any other social media Platform). Coinbase keeps crypto simple. We thank the internet for both Shazam and Venmo on a regular basis. Vote wisely.