Fave App — Emerging Media Capstone

Find the Best From People You Trust

Project Summary

Everybody is on the hunt to find the very best but this search comes at a cost. People spend countless hours crawling the web and reading reviews from complete strangers in the hopes that they will find a new favorite. They bounce around from site to site to research entertainment, restaurants, travel destinations and more, all the while losing efficiency and building stress.

The Problem

Scroll through Twitter or Facebook and you’ll see it. People are asking their friends and followers for advice and recommendations more and more these days. Hours are wasted searching through Amazon, Goodreads, Netflix, and Yelp for a 5-star lead that will live up to the hype. Ranking and review sites are so segmented that 59% of participants in a recent survey said that they rely on 2–3 different sites to read reviews before making a decision. Everybody wants to find the next best thing but nobody wants to spend all their time getting there or relying on a complete stranger’s opinion.

Project Features

Fave is currently in the prototype stage. The prototype includes a number of essential features that set it apart from other review sites and apps.

Profile Page showing top 10 Fave lists

Top Ten Lists

Each user has their own profile page within the app. On this profile page they can list their top ten favorites (called Faves) within pre-designated categories (books, movies, music & TV, restaurants and travel) along with any categories they want to add. Fave lists are limited to ten so that users share only their true favorites and best recommendations for each category. The ranked Faves are displayed in a gallery that slides horizontally so users can view the entirety of the list by swiping left and right.

Pop-up window with details, review and links

Short Reviews

When a user taps into a Fave item, the app displays a pop-up window that provides extra details such as authors, directors, locations and photos. This window also includes a short review from the individual that added the Fave. These succinct reviews (approximately 40 words or less) encourage users to get straight to the point when offering their recommendation to further improve task efficiency.

Direct Links

Fave is all about helping people find the best things. Part of this process is letting users actually try the Fave right away. Fave offers direct links to websites where people can take action or learn more about an item their friend has added. Examples of these links connect users to Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, iTunes, restaurant menus and tourism websites.

First prompt in adding a Fave

Add a Fave

The app is driven by crowdsourcing. Therefore it was important that users find the process of adding a fave to be simple and enjoyable. Fave lets you add a fave to your own lists in two ways. If you find something on a friend’s fave list you also consider a favorite you can click the “Fave” button on the details page to begin the process. Additionally, users can click the plus button on the bottom menu to add a Fave. The app takes users through six easy steps that take only seconds to move through. These steps include picking a category, selecting a sublist (if applicable), naming the Fave, ranking the Fave, adding a review and uploading a photo.

Example of the Fave Feed

Fave Feed

Whenever a user adds a new Fave, their friends will see the ranking and review on their Fave Feed. The feed orders the posts with the most recent appearing at the top of the home page. This feed is great for discovering new things from friends and inspiring further exploration within profile pages and categories.

Search Engine

To help users find what they are looking for faster, the app offers a search engine feature. Users can filter their Fave Feed by entering keywords such as book genres, locations, people, etc. to pull up relevant Faves.

Future Features

In later iterations of the app, Fave will incorporate more features to improve the app experience.

  • Direct messaging: users can message friends to ask questions about Faves or seek recommendations in the app
  • Friend matching: users can choose to be matched with others that have similar favorites
  • Geo-notifications: the app will send push notifications when a user is near a business or landmark that has been Faved by their friends
  • Public profiles: users can follow people they are not direct friends with, such as celebrities and other public personas

Prototype & App Technology

Fave is a prototype created with the Justinmind software. Justinmind is a tool that can be downloaded and used to develop the user interface and design of websites and mobile apps. Justinmind was chosen to develop the Fave prototype because it allows for rich interactions, such as filtering contentm and came with prepared layout features and icons. Justinmind can be downloaded and used for free. A paid pro version is also available that offers deeper tools and interactions.

Potential Impact

Fave has the potential to change how people search for reviews and how trends spread in the entertainment and restaurant industry. People will no longer have to search on different websites to find effective reviews. The app brings all of this information to one place and directly to the user’s pocket. Industries will be able to see how they are performing in the market by analyzing their presence on Fave lists across the app.

Lessons Learned (Research, Design, Development)

Initial Research: Before creating the Fave solution, a round of knowledge gathering was conducted. This included a Google Forms survey which was distributed online through Reddit forums. The survey asked a number of questions about how people search for reviews and find new things to try. The survey received responses from 75 participants and learned that people use multiple sites to read reviews, trust their friends and family most for recommendations and are open to sharing and reading top ten lists from people they know well.

First iteration of Fave
  • reconsider the icon bank for adding a new category — the current icons are confusing and do not fill all category needs
  • use icons consistently across the platform
  • make the category filter on profile pages more obvious
  • let users give preference to a certain friend’s Fave list
  • determine how to “bump” Faves in a list when a new one is added (add a prompt letting users know that the added Fave will move items in their list).

Fave Website

Justinmind Website