One of my favorite perks at The Buddy Group is Happy Hour. Every month a group or department of Buddies will band together and host an “official” Friday Happy Hour. During each event, you can expect to see unique and tasty beverages coupled with a clever, engrossing activity. The Creative team held a movie trivia-themed event followed by our President’s Happy Hour which boasted a homemade, life-sized Jenga set. So when it finally came time for the Developers and QA to host ours, the pressure was on.
We knew instantly that we wanted to do something interactive with technology – something that involved your smartphone and a constant socket connection. At first we flirted with the idea of a murder mystery-type game but as we dug into the nitty-gritty details, we found the game to be unnecessarily complex; the use of a phone, too gimmicky. We needed something that was easily accessible, sociable, and entertaining.
The answer? An app called "Which Buddy?"
Which Buddy was formed around the idea of, “let’s prompt our fellow Buddies with a compelling question, poll their opinions, and then reveal the results.” The key to making this app fun was twofold: Answering subjective questions and a leaderboard/scoring system to instill some weight, thought, and competition to the game. The title Which Buddy was derived from how the questions would be asked.
“Which Buddy do you think is most likely to be engaged next?” This example question is what sparked the idea during a brainstorm. Once everyone voted, we would then award the winner of the vote (via majority) 3 extra points, and then give everyone else who voted in the majority 1 point. So as you can see, the app brought many layers of strategy and entertainment: Maybe I won’t pick whom I think is the right answer, but ultimately whom I think everyone else will pick to get more points. The questions offered great engagement as after the results were displayed, Buddies would cheer, laugh, or bring up charming stories that demonstrated why that Buddy was chosen.
The next steps were to design the User Interface, create 20 engaging and fun questions, develop the app, and finally test and tweak the app.
Be on the lookout for Part II: Building A Happy Hour App on Mithril and Rachet where our Director of Technology, Brian Birkhauser gives an intricate look into the technology used to bring Which Buddy to fruition.