This year’s entries were as strong as we’ve ever seen, with over 1,500 projects from across the globe. In the eyes of our esteemed judges, the projects you'll find below were the best of the best. There were only 13 winners anointed in the entire competition. Each of them represent what's best about design today: Big ideas, meticulously thought out details, and a clear viewpoint about how we live now—and how it could be better.
There's more: On top of those 12 honorees, you can find equally inspiring work, in the finalists for each of the 13 categories, which are linked below.
The finalists and winner in the mobile category of this year's Innovation by Design Award don't share much. But they all exemplify one core idea: Tiny details make the best mobile designs sing, because those tiny details take on outsize importance. For example, Acorns, a finance app, is clever, but its elegant onboarding process helps make it memorable; likewise, Google's Inbox is an email program with big ideas packed into very simple folders.
Judges: Mark Kawano, Ricky Engelberg, Darcy DiNucci
Acorns automatically rounds up transactions on a user's bank account to the nearest dollar, then invests that spare change into a stock portfolio, recommended based on age, investment goals and risk tolerance. The funds add up quickly and effortlessly, and it's easy to track progress and project how your money will grow. All that makes the app particularly popular with a group not known for investing: Millennials.