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6 Smart Sites/Apps That Might Make Holiday Shopping More of a Breeze

The holiday shopping season is upon us (yippie! no?), and the team at Designing North Studios has compiled a short but helpful list of sites and apps that have a UX that might just make things easier. From helping you navigate the mall parking lot, to finding the perfect gift, we’ve got you covered.


Fancy.com offers a beautiful UI, with the killer combo of intuitive search functions, painless checkout, and stellar product photography. Offering very unique merchandise – from clothing and accessories, to things for your furry friends, food, cars, travel and destinations, this site curiously has it all at your fingertips. Fancy also allows you to “chip in” with friends and family on a gift for someone, where everyone pledges an amount. Crowdshopping, I guess.


Another great and well-known one-stop shopping experience is Fab.com. With a rotating, easy to search, more modern catalog of gifts and its super smart checkout experience, you can find something crazy for everyone on your list. The site’s product photos, easy to read product details and reviews remove the guesswork from your gift buying, while free shipping and returns (and white space) make it a great overall shopping experience. Yes, it’s Fab.

Warby Parker

Looking for something for the fashionista on your list? Try Warby Parker eyeware at warbyparker.com. The clean UI makes browsing glasses and sunglasses frames pretty neat. The experience takes the guesswork out of the equation. By uploading an image of the person you are buying for, you can virtually try a pair of glasses on them using a simple set of tools to reposition, scale, and angle frames and arms until they fit that person’s face! (What? yep.) Once you have the positioning just right, the site remembers the settings, so you can try pair after pair and find the right look. For you’re friend. (long pause) Or For you. (Stop shopping for you!)

Tadd Car Finder

If online shopping isn’t your thing (like, you’re an alien), and you’re hitting the malls instead, this free app for iPhone and Android is hilarious and helpful (both good mall emotions). Tadd Car Finder will actually help you find your car in the parking lot. This handy and easy to use app uses map annotations and notes to help you remember where you parked, and the exact location of your car, in detail. Note to self: How did I ever get home without this app?


Giftster is an app for iPhone and Android and a website that can be thought of as an online gift-registry that is not store-specific. By signing into one group account, you, and those in your group, add things they want along with gift preferences (sizes, interests, etc.). The platform links with sites like Amazon, Target and other stores through your web browser – allowing you to add items to your list with a simple click and drag. It also allows you to mark a gift as reserved or purchased, avoiding duplicate gifts.  Instantly, you have all the information you need at your fingertips to get your holiday shopping crossed out done. Kinda like that old folded up Christmas list you carried as a kid, gave to your mom who then mailed to the North Pole. Kinda.


Need to drop a few (or many) hints about what you really want this holiday season? Check out wish.com (also available for iPhone or Android). The straightforward design and UX of the site and the app allow you to shop, collect and share products you are wishing for with friends and family. It’s like Pinterest for wishers vs. pinners. There’s a lot of ‘wishing’ going on here at the studio. Back to work people!

So what kind of shopping experience do you look for during the mad holiday dash? Quick? Kind? Beautiful? Simple? One-click? Mind reading? We’re kinda curious this season. Good luck out there.

Chris Mohler is a Creative Director at Designing North Studios. She loves the holidays, her cats, and has nasty case of insomnia at the moment.

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