Twitter, which has really taken off this year, took a page from some popular blogging services like Wordpress and Blogger to let users tweak and style the way their user pages look. Beyond that, the service has a lot of character and a simple design that's easy to use.
Apple .Mac photo galleries
Apple's .Mac service got a considerable upgrade earlier this year, and even non-members can enjoy the new photo galleries. These things are gorgeous, and can be tweaked for both color and presentation by whoever is looking at them.
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Google Docs and Spreadsheets
While the editing tools have remained the same, the front end for managing your online documents on Google's Docs and Spreadsheets service was given a massive overhaul in late June. Gone went the simple pastels in place of a whole lot of blue and a new management and sharing system that made it easier to organize documents and who you're sharing them with.
While Google mucked around with a front end of Docs and Spreadsheets, Adobe Systems Inc. was busy acquiring Virtual Ubiquity--the makers of Buzzword, a simply stunning Adobe Flash-based word processor. While we had (and still have) our reservations for using Buzzword over some of the other solutions out there, it's gorgeous, and makes the best use of fonts and design elements that we've seen in a Web based text editor.
Pownce owes its stylized, yet simple look to Daniel Burka, who designed the understated Digg.com. Pownce does a lot of things right, including user-selectable themes and packing a lot of items in to a small amount of space without cluttering things up.
Vimeo.com's redesign in late June (their fifth total) shares a lot in common with Twitter and Pownce. There are rounded corners all over the place, and lots of big, simple text. We're also big fans of the layout, which is easy to dig through, and even better looking with the addition of videos in high def.
Picnik. The first time we played with Picnik we were floored on how good it looked. Not only that, but how fast everything loaded. For the editing newbie, its clean and simple interface is a whole lot easier to approach than some desktop software when it comes to editing photos. Flickr users get the added benefit of having it as their default photo editing tool, as seen in the screenshot above.
Media company Current TV, which is partially owned by former Vice President Al Gore ditched the TV moniker and went with the simpler Current.com for its new site that launched this past October. Besides having a slick layout, check out the " On TV" section, which serves up the latest live video in a really neat looking swooping channel guide.
Facebook for the iPhone
Facebook for iPhone. There are a ton of iPhone apps out there, but one of the most beautiful is the mobile version of Facebook. The site was designed from the very beginning to be make use of your fingers, and the app ends up being even prettier than the regular version of the site. Things like no page refreshes when clicking a link, and built-in slideshows make it functional and beautiful.
Fluther. Got a question? Avoid the mean green of Yahoo Answers and check out Fluther's soothing aquatic-themed questions and answers site. Besides having a jellyfish mascot who wears glasses, the design is wonderfully simple, and pulls you into reading what others are talking about right away. The site's iPhone app ain't too shabby either.