Put down your phone and pick up a cold Beer with this anti-app.
We've all got a buddy with their nose in a phone, Facetweeting or Snapgramming through what might once have been an enjoyable human experience. Beer Mode is here to help these smartphone addicts down a few pints without the tedium of keeping up with their social network. Select a personality and a timeframe, and this app will post tidbits of hilarity to your social account and vaguely reply back when your friend's comment. In a world saturated with apps that decrease human to human interactions, Beer Mode stands alone, at the bar, with a cold one. Built with New Belgium at the height of the ant-skeumorphic, flat design trend, this app was designed to be an odd-duck among the app store in-crowd.
New Belgium brewery is a self-made, employee owned stalward of the in-your-face micro brewery movement that swept the nation in the late 90's and early Aughts. Their brand could care less about trends in ingredients or what the most popular IPA might be this week. As such, their digital representation begged to be as different as possible from the look and feel of competitive beer-focused mobile apps.
While the look and feel of Beer Mode was truly one of a kind, the underlying UX architecture enabled a whopping 40% of folks who opened the app to successfully post to Facebook and view one or more beers in the menu. The learning here is that although an interface might be custom or unexpected, with strong experience principles the product can still perform well from an analytics perspective.
What I Learned
Some of my most popular Facebook posts based on Likes and Comments during the last few years have been the absurd posts and subsequent commentary provided by the sharp wit of each automated Beer Mode personality. The QA testing for this product was more delightful than most, to say the least. Rarely in client produced work do you have an opportunity to make a tongue-in-cheek statement about the consumption of social media through the media channel itself, but Beer Mode enabled this sort of expression.
Research, Design, Prototyping