writes copy 19 Apr 2021

Keep design in mind: Cast your vote for UX Design of the Year at the GeekWire Awards

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A good user experience (UX) goes deeper than visuals and how applications look '” it’s creating an entire experience that is meaningful, usable and delightful for the end users.

Now in its second year, the UX Design of the Year category at the GeekWire Awards will recognize one startup for its well-designed user experience. This year’s five finalists are Boundless, Joon, Qumulo Core, Tagboard Producer, and Voodle. Last year’s winner was Skilljar.

Nominees were asked to describe their design and research process, and how their product benefits the end user. Judges in this category were Arif Gursel, global alliances manager for Google at Netflix; Julie Kientz, professor and chair of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington; John Cook, co-founder of GeekWire; Celeste Bernard, vice president product experience at LPL Financial;  Geoff Harrison, chief design officer at Blink UX; and Laura Barboza, research director at Blink UX.

Community voting is now underway across 13 GeekWire Awards categories in our 13th annual celebration of Pacific Northwest tech. Community voting, which closes on April 30, will be factored in with feedback from more than 20 judges. On May 20 we will announce the winners live at the  virtual GeekWire Awards, presented by  Wave Business.

Submit your votes below, grab your tickets, and keep scrolling for descriptions of each finalist for UX Design of the Year, presented by Blink UX.

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(Boundless screenshot)


  • The product: Boundless offers tools that help immigrants apply for green cards and citizenship. The Seattle-based startup, which spun out of Pioneer Square Labs (PSL) in 2017, also closely follows evolving immigration policies and publishes guides to help navigate a notoriously complicated process.
  • Judge’s remarks: Product UX solves for barriers to adoption by creating a clean, simple UI of a very complex, time-consuming (and likely frustrating) process. Judges found it indexed high on building trust with tools, resources, status trackers and help/chat features.
(Joon screenshots)


  • The product: Also a PSL spinout, Joon provides teletherapy for teens and young adults via a mobile app. In addition to therapy sessions, the startup offers interactive mental healthcare tools for users and resources for parents and guardians.
  • Judge’s remarks: Product UX is simple, trust-building and affirming for pandemic-weary teenage users and gives them daily tools to use along with one-on-one therapy sessions. Judges appreciated that the solution considered parents as well as works to coordinate therapist schedules.
(Qumulo Core Image)

Qumulo: Qumulo Core

  • The product: Qumulo Core is an enterprise tool for storing, managing and building workflows for large scale data. Typically used by technical leaders, cloud and solution architects and IT operation teams, the current version was released last year. Qumulo launched in 2012 and is one of a handful of 'œunicorn' billion-dollar startups in the Seattle region.
  • Judge’s remarks: Makes interacting with and capturing key elements of a data-dense dashboard intuitive with smart features and functionality. Judges noted the live data aspect of the tool and the ability to interact with data representations to see deeper insights.
(Tagboard Image)

Tagboard: Tagboard Producer

  • The product: Originally launched as a tool for curating social content via hashtags, Tagboard expanded its platform with Tagboard Producer, a cloud-based platform for producing live programming. Tagboard Producer allows for remote production and the incorporation of graphics, social content and audience engagement. The startup works with the MLB, NBA, CNN, Fox and others.
  • Judge’s remarks: Beautiful blend of technology, tools and guided user flows across dynamic and realtime) platforms. Judges scored high marks on the novel solution & delightfulness scale, as well as overall product value to users.
(Voodle Image)


  • The product: Voodle brings a TikTok-like app to workplace communication. Using short, selfie-oriented videos, the social-inspired communication tool is meant to replace long video calls or text-based notes. The video clips are searchable and come with transcriptions. Led by former Pixvana execs, Voodle is used by companies such as Mystery, Leasable, Killer Visual Strategies, Loopie and others.
  • Judge’s remarks: The ideas and insights are “brought to life” asynchronously in a quick snippet is unique inside of workplace tools. They thought the app made videos easy to create and consume and uniquely brought additional power with transcriptions, idea aggregation and search.
A big thanks to our longtime awards presenting partner, Wave Business, for supporting this fun community event. Also, thanks to gold and category sponsors: Blink UX, WSGR, JLL, EY,  Premera, Dreambox Learning, BECU, WestRiver Group, ALLtech and First Tech Federal Credit Union. And to our silver sponsors BCRA and Kingston Marketing Group.  If interested in sponsoring a category or another component of the GeekWire Awards, please contact us at advertising@geekwire.com.

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