Beer Mode

Design Director, 2013

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.

― Beer Mode Look & Feel
Beer Mode is an automatic social bot that preys upon the better judgement of friends who unwittingly participate in a pragmatic ruse for anti-social technophobes.
― Select Application Screens
― Beer Menu

Brand Ethos

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.

Product Design

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.

― App Icon
A GIF driven menu painted the picture of each flavor profile with IBU and ABV meters that animated based on the beer's actual metrics.
― Beer Menu & Sort Filters

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.

Role


Design Director

Services


Research, Design, Prototyping

Partner


Made

Status


Retired, 2016