Tech Talk: A Call for Beauty in Apps


Find the Tech Talk Tuesday archive here.

Most weeks, in this space, I review apps.

But this week, I interrupt that, despite a bursting “to review” folder on my iPad, to bring this call to action to all of you who have any contact with app developers.

We need beauty in our apps.

Beauty can be defined many ways, but as an avid app user, I find myself having less and less patience for things that are not beautiful.

At the same time, I’m almost begging some of the app developers I know to use ideas I have. How do I tell them, when all I’m offering is the currency of ideas and not the currency of cash, that I don’t want them to even try it if they’re not going to make something beautiful?

In my attempts to better define what beauty means in the context of an app, here goes:

1. Beauty means intuitive ease of use.


2. Beauty means pretty.

Yes, I said pretty.

I’ve had a number of apps lately–useful, easy-to-use apps–that have left me almost disgusted with their lack of pretty.

I can only compare it with my experience of walking into the Catholic Church as a non-Catholic early on an Easter morning, smelling the incense and seeing the light streaming through the stained glass windows, and feeling full.

Full of beauty. Full of pretty.

Dear app developers, you are doing a wonderful service to us. You are such an important part of the New Evangelization. Don’t shortchange us–or yourself–by settling for anything less than the most beautiful.

Copyright 2012 Sarah Reinhard


About Author

When she’s not chasing kids, chugging coffee, or juggling work, Sarah Reinhard’s usually trying to stay up read just one…more…chapter. She writes and works in the midst of rural farm life with little ones underfoot. She is part of the team for the award-winning Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion, as well as the author of a number of books. You can join her for a weekday take on Catholic life by subscribing to Three Shots and follow her writing at Snoring Scholar.


  1. Claire L. May on

    Here are some of my favorite apps for my Apple devices. I love them because they are very pretty. Eggster: an artist designed match 3 game with 4 seasonal themes, and collect beautiful eggs. Bees: a pollen gathering game where you fly through fun themed gardens, including seasonals, breeding new bees, and e-mailing pretty jars of honey you fill. Pretty Flowers and Pretty Butterflies: you use your finger to add color to line drawn flowers in the former, and your finger to remove black screen to reveal butterfly photos in the latter. Both are like fingerprinting. V-Flowers: dozens of individual flowers and leaves are there to tap and add to design your own bouquet and text for an e-mail or texted bouquet. My 3-D Aquarium: amazing life-like fish, corals, plants and bubbles. I love to leave this on and just enjoy the joys of an aquarium without the hassles of the real thing. Pacific Surf/Stress: people took live video and sound of the ocean, one scene fades into the next. This is amazing. Great to relieve stress. Like having a window on the ocean with rocky coastlines, etc
    These are all beautiful, I use them on my iPad even if some are for iPhone, I just tap the x2 button, they look fine. I love all of these. Enjoy! God bless.

  2. I’m with you on the “pretty.” Yes, I judge a book by its cover in this case. And, yes, a beautiful church definitely helps me lift my heart a little easier.

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