Inside the App: REX.

Your Favorite Recommendation Curator That Matters

This post is part of a series on an endless journey to intimately explore, record findings and provide actionable insights to products that seek to reach the hearts and minds of users globally. In this installment I present REX, the mobile app that allows you to share recommendations to friends. To set the tone of the post it’s important to share the following vision from the creators of the product Chris Smith and Ashley Lent Levinson on the problem they intend solve:

At REX, we think the best recommendations come from people you trust.
That’s why we built our iOS app to be the easiest way to connect with friends to share your favorite movies, music, books, TV shows, videos, restaurants, bars, travel destinations, and anything else you like.

As I go through the journey of REX, I’ll walk through the product as a registered user navigating through the app.

REX App Image

Feed

The intended problem REX is looking to solve with the Feed Feature is to provide a trending content of users you follow or featured content by the REX platform. The Feed feature is a common approach for relevant apps where their focus is predicated on sharing content. Overall, the design was well done and allows the user to engage with the content on their feeds. What I’m curious to understand is will there come a time when the 2 tabs can be consolidated into 1 tab to limit the context switching for the user. In addition, if the decision is to keep the content seperate then I think it would be a great opportunity to give the user an option of defining or define on their behalf what content takes priority ranking featured on their feed based on personal interest.

Areas of the Feature to Explore:

  1. What’s level of engagement at which users like, bookmark or repost content trending under the following and/or feature tab?
  2. How much time users are spending between the following and feature tab?
  3. Between text, facebook, twitter, email, copy link or more link, whats the distribution method(s) users are more likely to share content.
Screenshot of the Feed Feature in iOS

Explore

In my humble opinion, this is the most intriguing feature of the entire product considering the usefulness of it. Exploring by category gives the app an opportunity to address a pain point of millennials and mobile first users to discover new content given the saturation of information on the web. What makes the explore feature unique is the integrations with 3rd Party apps. Overtime the driving principle to incorporate new 3rd party integrations will assist with driving scale to the product depending on the the integrated app’s customer segment(s) aligning with REX’s target users.

Areas of the Feature to Explore:

  1. Which the search method users are more likely to explore content amongst people, post and tags?
  2. How often are users likely to explore content by location?
  3. What’s the percentage rate of content that has been discovered via explore post vs. location vs. trending?
Screenshot of Explore Feature in iOS

Activity

The Activity feature applies similar design pattern of popular content sharing apps a la Pinterest and Instagram. Given the pattern has been validated by the usage of the aforementioned products it’s safe to follow what’s been proven in the market. As the great Pablo Picasso has been quoted by saying “good artists borrow, great artists steal.”

Areas of the Feature to Explore:

  1. What’s the conversion rate users storing new content into their vault via Activity Feed?
  2. How long is the average user spending on the Activity Feed?
  3. Which tab are users spending the most time and how engaged are they between the Following and You tabs?
Screenshot of Activity Feature in iOS

Vault

The array of tiles presented to end-user gives them the ability to view content based on category. When the user clicks on a tile of interest, the UI displays a list of items stored into that specific segment that will unlock content curated by the user. Interesting when going through the vault the categories are predefined with no ability to create custom vault categories. Having predefined vault categories is a good strategy because your product metrics will have clear measurables on how users are curating and sharing content. With these metrics one can iterate over the feature and optimize presentation of experience based on usage data.

Areas of the Feature to Explore:

  1. How often users create vaults based on current location per visit?
  2. How often users create Anything vaults per visit?
  3. What type of content (ie. video, photos, new articles) are most likely users storing in their vaults and by what time of the day?
Screenshots of Vault Feature for iOS

Recommendation

This feature is useful from the standpoint the user has the ability to select a category for the recommendation. This allows for the opportunity for other users to view and/or save your recommendations to a vault thus creating viral effect for specific content that’s being shared. What’s also really cool is that while posting your recommendation you have view and/or follow other users who’ve recommended the same content. It’s kind of like the saying goes “Great Minds Think Alike” and so that a way of thinking would also apply to sharing a recommendation.

Areas of the Feature to Explore:

  1. Across which categories are users most likely to post recommendations?
  2. When user post recommendations, what’s the primary channel in which the content is shared?
  3. Whats the conversion rate of often users following other users based on posted recommendations?
Screenshots of Recommendation Feature for iOS

Wrap Up

Overall I’m a huge fan of REX. The app follows common design patterns for your everyday user will reduce the amount of time they will have to become acclimated with the product. The tech I feel is evolving and I'm curious to see how REX continues to improve the content discovery experience. It’s critical to the product’s success to focus on delivering relevant content to users. The positioning of the product from a strategy point of view makes sense given the psychology of recommendations to purchasing decisions which Amazon and Etsy have gone great lengths to optimize and has proven to have traction in the market. The same approach is being applied in REX with the desire to build a community of recommenders which can then turn into partnerships with brands selling their goods and services through the app. In closing, if you feel curated recommendations matter with regards to movies, restaurants, books, articles, musics etc. then REX is the app for you.

Download the REX app here

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