Lately I tried Mastodon client Mona. This is just a first impression, but I think Mona shows how special an app can be when you put your time into how it works first and what it looks like second.

Visit a user profile screen and check out the “…” menu in the corner. Actions are included here even if they can be done from the body of the screen. It’s so complete that it reminds me of a Mac app that does the Menu Bar right, which I’ve never seen attempted in a phone app.

On macOS, you might treat Mona like a single-window, single-tasking app, but you can also create as many windows as you want and group them as tabs. (Looking at you, Slack.)

Drag and drop works, even on phones.

There are all manner of options related to accessibility and usability.

Actions like “Add Divide View” may be a bit far afield, but progressive disclosure keeps them out of the way until you want them.

Mona also seems to have revived Tweetie for iPad’s sliding column stack. It’s a bit unstructured for my taste, but I enjoyed finding the pattern in the wild again, and it’s time well spent on behavior.

One place they could spend more time on appearance is the app icon. I don’t understand its meaning. It does suggest familiar UI, but bits of UI chrome are the edges of an app, not the center.

RSS legend NetNewsWire is my other go-to example of “plain” iOS user interface done well.