Client & Brief

A young startup commisioned us to help them create a "daily specials" listing site on a shoe string budget. Their target market was the student community in Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa. Having successfully used Facebook to get some brand awareness, they needed a mobile friendly website that was easy to browse and discover daily specials for breakfasts, meals, happy hours and other entertainment.

Research Findings, Process & Solution

We realised that a mobile first approach was the obvious solution in terms of platform. Students would browse the site for specials on the go. Sometimes even while sitting in class. We did not have the budget to build a native solution and our solution would be a javascript Vue.js front-end with a custom built section for managing content and ads. As with all listing sites, speed and a pleasant, easy browsing experience is pinnacle. An easy search componant would strengthen the user experience, but above this, an user would need to easily find a "special" type for "today". We decided to make the main focus the current day keeping it consistant with a diary type approach and design pattern. Every day, your current day would be front and centre for your search, once you selected your category. Other days would follow sequentially, like a calendar or diary on your phone or computer.

We selected whacky colours for every category to differentiate. The new swipe type browsing experience made famous by Tinder was a big influance in how we designed the browsing for Spezilist. Google maps links makes it easy to navigate to destinations. All specials per establishment can also be viewed on the establishment/special profile page.

The app is straight forward and simple and accomplishes what it needs to do in a fun ans very practical way. We make a play on FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) by having student have to browse the sections to find good deals.

Early Concepts and Mockups

Originally meant to be called Uniblu, we had a much more visual experience in mind, but ultimately simplicity and a no fuss and fun navigation was selected. The current options needed to be front and centre with large "sweet spots" for selection.

 

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Success in Driving Outcome

A shoe string budget and less than a month, we needed to plan, design, create and launch this app very quickly. Our browsing experience has made the way students find specials and food deals super simple using the design pattern used on their phone's calendar/diary.

What we learned

Researching the user's browsing habits concerning finding suitable eating and entertainment spaces. Due to time and money contraints, we could not do user interviews and other tests. We learned to be dependand on reputable research found on the internet. This is always a good alternative and many times, for small projects, the only option.

It was the first time we applied the swipe & card (material design based) browsing pattern as the main navigation method. Our aim was an accurate touch swipe with smooth transitions. The user had to have an "as close as we can" native experience with Spezilist.

Summary

Product Development - UI/UX Design
HTML5 & CSS3, Material Design & Flow
Mobile First Approach
Javascript using Vue.js & JQuery
Administration Back End

Technologies & Tools

HTML
CSS, Propellor Material Framework
Vue.js, Javascript & JQuery
PHP for security & back-end
Sketch for UI Design
Git for version control