Discovering new drinking holes is a special moment. A proud moment. When you’re halfway through a pint, laughing with your friends and everyone’s said “we should come here more often” multiple times. Bar Voyage aims to deliver new and exciting bar crawls, instantly. Simply drop your starting point, decide where you’d like to end up and adjust the number of bars you’d like to visit en-route. Bar Voyage will plan your route and the bars you’ll be stopping off at (without information available for them all) – and away you go!
I was approached by CookiesHQ to climb aboard as the UX Designer for this app. The team had already developed a fully-functional version during a “Cookies Lab” session. The goal of this app was not to reach millions of users or to make a profit, but to learn. The team achieved their goals, but once the app was launched they wanted to see it with some visual polish. My first action was to clean up the user journey and set a hierarchy to the elements currently in place. After a discussion with the team, we settled on what was important to simply use the app and I set about designing the user interface. We wanted to stick to common design styles that people were already familiar with (users are often drunk), whilst giving it a personal touch so it didn’t feel like a business app.
Customising the experience
The journey worked. Planning a crawl was a simple two-screen process with an additional screen for details. The next step was to add features that weren’t crucial to using the app, but making it something fun. This involved editing the route settings and removing venues so that users weren’t locked down to what the app provided.
Later phase: Desktop
During the discussions of what this app does now and what it should do in future we grouped a lot of features as “future phases”. Desktop was a target for future, but as people on a pub crawl don’t (usually) carry a laptop around with them, we explored how the website would work in tandem with the app. Using the website as a “planning” and “collaborating” platform seemed fitting for Bar Voyage as users are likely to plan ahead and with friends. Finishing with time to spare, I mocked up some ideas of how the website would work at home when you’re planning the wild weekend with your friends. We decided as a team that 100% of the screen should be the desktop tool itself, with promotional info for the mobile version “below the fold”.
Let’s get drunk!
Bar Voyage is currently available on Android and iOS for free. At the time of writing, my new designs have not been implemented. CookiesHQ is currently handling a very busy schedule and focusing on clients, but hopefully we will find the time to re-work the app with my work on the user experience and interface in place.