Local Search & Discovery


For over 3 years I have observed and validated a problem, there is friction in how we search for things to do with our time. Plenty are the resources for exposing us to things to do and places to be, but limited are the ones that help instill confidence in our journey. Without confidence, it is unlikely we will become the planner. Friends, family, and strangers all need a planner to come together. Empowering the planner creates more opportunity for coming together. For 12 weeks I focused on how people search for local events and locations, and how to create simplicity around the entire process.


Two area in which my research recognized opportunity were filtering and, if properly constructed, a smart algorithm. A review of potential competitors revealed that filters are a prevalent tool in sorting through events and locations. However every example proved to be rather cold, strictly utilitarian. By exploring options, I arrived at an approach comparable to Apple Music or Airbnb.


The name, Happnn, centers around one simple question, “what’s happening?”. The color choices? Vibrant & exciting. The first 3 being triadic colors and the green serving as an action color. Overall, the app is centered around social fun and should reflect that tone without distracting from the purpose it serves. The logo is symbolic of how surrounded we are with amazing places to be, incorporating a softer gradient of colors that speak to the journey of narrowing in.


In order to stand out amongst current market options, I stayed true to keeping information layered. This plays into Hick’s Law which states that the time it takes to make a decision increases with the number of complexity of choices. As users move through the feed on the home screen they are exposed to more without being overridden with information they do not yet need. But for a more specific search they are exposed to more information to allow for quick actions.


As this product continues to grow, I intend on holding to the goal I set early on, to invigorate people to be fall back in love with being area knowledgable. This goal covers many of my topic points from earlier, inserting confidence, diminishing friction, and adding value to the user. I hope that by continuously testing and adapting to new information, local search & discovery will help people become the planner and ultimately increase socialization on a broad scale.



Currently, I am working on my masters at VCU’s Brandcenter.

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Sam Pietrzak

Currently, I am working on my masters at VCU’s Brandcenter.