Grababite is a conceptual phone app that simplifies and facilitates the act of inviting a group of friends to grab a quick bite together on a short notice or at a specific date and time.
Born out of the frustration that my friend was having in organizing a quick lunch with friends, I worked with him and several other people who shared the same struggle into creating an app to solve this problem.
Concept & Flow
We started off by sketching out how the app would work, what kind of screens we would need, and the general flow of the app itself. We wanted the flow to be as frictionless as possible.
Categories & Search
The user is immediately presented with categories to quickly choose where they want to meet up. Searching brings up their most recent searches, as well as recommendations of where to eat based on friends recommendations, or what’s popular with the locals.
Maps & Invites
Once a location is selected, the user can easily see who is in the area. These friends are automatically selected. The user can adjust the invite radius directly from this screen. Once the invites have been sent, the user can easily track the responses and where they are.
Friends & Clubs
In addition to adding friends on the app, the user can also join or create Clubs. Unlike groups, Clubs can be either public or private. If a Club decides to meet up somewhere, all members are notified and the responses can be tracked by the Club Owner. Discussions and suggestion polls can help Club Members decide where to eat and promote a sense of community.
After creating some initial screens and putting together a working prototype of the app, I sought to gather some research on how people would react to it. My main concern with this app was “will anyone actually use it?”
The app itself was received very well from users who were generally very social in their lifestyle. Other users not so much. From those users, Facebook Events was mentioned several times as an already established form of meeting up with friends, which I knew we were going up against.
The frictionless aspect of the app was still received from the less social users. They liked the ability to quickly create meetup events with very little effort, and loved the messaging and tracking features.
Some concerns were brought up about the tracking feature — something we had considered during the testing phase of the main app features. Others pointed out the possible misuse of this feature to “spy” on someone through the app, since one is able to see their friends’ location in the app once a place is selected.
We considered several other options for the tracking map, such as letting the user decided to “place” themselves in areas they frequently visit, such as work and home, and to be alerted when a friend decides to create a new meetup near those place. Another option was to only gather the last known location of the users’ friends, but this led to confusion about who was really nearby and who wasn’t.
Fortunately, the users who were more social didn’t mind the tracking aspect of the app. They were already open about posting where they were, and didn’t mind if their friends knew their exact location.
Currently, Grababite is still a work in progress. I am still working with the original creator of the idea for this app to come up with some intuitive solutions to some of the unexpected problems we’ve run into while developing this app.
Overall, this project has been a blast to work on, and I can’t wait to see it deployed some day.