asOne

Chimehack is a hackathon hosted by Twitter to promote hacking for change. Over the weekend, my friends and I built an entire iOS app in 48 hours. We named our app asOne because it helps keep a big group of friends together when out at the bars or traveling.

Jeff

I wanted to convey harmony and a feeling of relaxation by combining warm colors

Overview

Topics: Social, Safety
Team: 1 designer, 4 engineers
Duration: 48 hrs

Vision

asOne is a low effort way to communicate with people you are out with. Instead of overwhelming chat groups, we share information about each member's location, battery level, and the time they want to go home without waiting for a response.

Jeff

I wanted to get my designs to the engineers asap so I focused on the primary flow

Design goals

1. An easy way to get a simple a status update

2. An easy way to check in with everyone without calling them individually

3. Seeing where they are instead of asking where they are

4. A way to make sure their phone isn't dead

Creating trust and protecting privacy

Usability and the onboarding process was a key concern in my design. Nobody was going have this app at their fingertips, if it was hard to sign up, log in, and immediately delivering value. Because we were at twitter, we received fantastic feedback about the challenges facing products that only works when many users buy into the system.

With that in mind, it became clear to me we weren't here to build yet another social media app. Having a social network was only the means to our end of which was making it easier for college students to look after their friends. We didn't need to create our own user id system, if we integrate facebook profiles using their SDK.

The key drawback to with leveraging existing profiles is potential concerns over user privacy. Our remedy was a system where formed groups only last until the next morning. To use the app again, a new group must be created. To minimize friction in this process, we included recent and nearby friends at the top of the contact list.

Jeff

Users seeking privacy can leave the group early

Creating a distinct visual style

Inclusiveness was a major theme throughout both Chimehack and the mission our technology. Using our app is essentially making a pact within your friends. To embody this feeling of warmth, unity, and trust in a visual language, I designed a logo with a symmetrical heart pattern that blends warmly together.

Collaborating with engineers

Usually when everyone's ready to go home, there's that one person that nobody can find. So I designed a detailed extension to the group view. Tapping on the friend brings you to more actions such as sending a push notification and enabling audio. Additionally we automatically set the true north of the inline map to that of the selected friend.

Jeff

The individual dash combines visual data with a panel of actions

Conclusion

We built this app because this was a tool missing from our everyday lives. For the rest of the summer we would often use it as a tool to ping and find eachother. Since then, similar apps such as Friend Finder and Companion have made their way into the market.

In retrospect, the technology wasn't earth shattering, but this is a great example of how fast a talented team can work decisively when there is good chemistry. In one weekend, we shipped a polished product that could have taken some people half a year.

Jeff

Some of the minor polish that I'm proud of