Favorite apps and sites from The Webby Awards

Every year I adore going through the nominees and honorable mentions for The Webby Awards, which recognizes sites and apps for outstanding awesomeness.

Here are a few of my favorites from this year (and last year). Warning: many are highly addicting.

Graphics

  • TypetodesignType to Design (online)
    Write your name with Instagram pictures with Type to Design. Use a screencapture to grab your masterpiece because when you try to download, the page locks up.
  • Forever 21 #F21ThreadScreen
    This event is over, but about 9 months ago if you tagged an Instagram pic with #F21ThreadScreen, Forever 21 would create a super-cool graphic from your pic made with spools of thread. Here’s a sample.
  • LikeThat Decor
    The other day I shared all kinds of tools that let you search by images. LikeThat Decor made my list as well as an honorable mention with The Webbys.

Videos

  • Google Spotlight Stories (apps)
    Oh my gosh. What cool technology! Download the Google Spotlight App (Google Play or iOS) to view animated virtual reality videos that will blow your mind. The story called “Help” is the one that’s up for the Webby. Another nominee, VRSE, provides similar 360-degree VR videos from the New York Times and more.
  • Verse: Connected to the Top (online)
    I’m interested in this story about a trip to Mt. Everest not just for its beautiful graphics or interesting narrative… I want to try out Verse, the storytelling tool that helps you put your own interactive video together.
  • Musical.ly (apps)
    Speaking of making your own videos, this app lets you create your own music video right from your phone. I’d try it out, but no one wants to see me in a music video.
  • Earth 2045 (online)
    Wow again. This interactive video lets you slide a divider to see what the Earth might be like in 30 years if we don’t take care of things. #howdotheydothisstuff?

Productivity Helpers

  • Glympse (apps)
    If you’re not creeped out by letting people know where you are, Glympse is a cool tool. When you’re using the app, you can send your location to whomever you want, whenever you want. It’s great for customers who are waiting for you while you’re stuck in traffic or loved ones who fret. Waze has a similar feature.
  • Unroll.me for email and Cozi for calendars
    Two of my favorites made the list of nominees!
  • Send Anywhere
    Although I love Dropbox, sometimes it takes forever to upload and download large files. Send Anywhere promises to send files easily, quickly and free-ly.

Weird Stuff

  • 1000 Google Experiments (works best in Chrome browser online)
    If you want to get anything done today, just don’t even click here. It’s literally 1000 ways to waste time with cool graphics and interactive activities that make you think, “Who the hell comes up with this stuff?” And speaking of Google Experiments… this one turns your smartphone into a lightsaber so you can fight the bad guys on your computer. #theregoesyourday
  • Because Recollection
    This interactive music site is addictive but bizarre.
  • WeGotYou.Life
    I’m not a teenager, so I have no idea what all the emojis mean. This site (accessible only via mobile device) aims to let teenagers express their fears about life in emojis (and there’s a translator for the rest of us).
  • Eyescare.be (download)
    Err. Umm. I’m sorry for this. Eyescare is a downloadable app for your computer that shows you a disgusting photo every 20 minutes that will make you look away from your screen. Apparently this helps keep your eyes healthy. And grosses you out. Again — I’m sorry.

Educational Resources

  • Bing 2015 
    This site uses data from searches from 2015 to tell the story of the biggest trends of the year. Spotify did the same kind of thing with an interactive site for music.
  • Acts of Love
    Don’t worry… this site is safe for work. It’s a nerd’s take on the interesting facts about animal courtship rituals. The music is quite catchy.
  • Class of Classics (apps)
    In an effort to get young people interested in orchestra music, this app lets you synchronize your device with Popeye the Sailor Man cartoons to identify the instruments and music.
  • AskMD (online and apps)
    You Google what could be causing your hacking cough. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone followed up in a few days to see if you’re doing better? AskMD/Sharecare does just that.
  • Primer (app)
    We’ve all been told that even if we’re in the back office at our organization, we’re a part of the sales team for our company. With that in mind, these little lessons and activities from Google about marketing and more will help everyone.

Just Plain Fun

  • Heads Up! (apps)
    Yea for Ellen DeGeneres! Her fun party game app is a nominee.

Word-over-image tools: Stencil Web App
Off the Grid: Apps that Work Offline