I began the project with two studies. For one, I gathered screenshots competitor food apps; on the other, I looked at non-food apps in line with the client's early brand requirements. I quickly determined that there were few, if any, food or social apps that were achieved the desired “gut feel.” Instead, a few unrelated apps, like Soulcycle and Dark Sky, felt more in line with the brand vision.
To further hone our branding discussion, I assembled a moodboard of 75 UI screens from various apps. I guided the client through an analysis of UI patterns across this moodboard, to converge on elements that felt in-line with the brand.
Ultimately, the Spoter team decided that their app should convey a sense of sophistication and understated style, while maintaining a sense of modernity and chic. Achieving a sense of elegant simplicity – without feeling “basic” – was a priority.
Textual content was core to many of Spoter’s key screens. Spoter decided on Open Sans early in the design process. As such, my primary challenge was around enforcing hierarchy to balance the high volume of textual information on key screens. I carefully studied the UI of peer apps that I felt achieved successful hierarchy, and incorporated lessons from this study into design decisions for Spoter.
Spoter is about finding great food near you. As such, I felt it important to find a map style that felt proprietary, visually pleasing, and easy-to-use. Working within the constraints of the Spoter “p” map pin and “washed-out” blue, I conducted an extensive exploration of map and pin color options before deciding upon a winner.
Decisions to conform to iOS Human Interface Guidelines were deliberate, in an attempt to achieve the clean and coordinated appearance that was so important the Spoter brand. I utilized 1px strokes for iconography, and followed the iOS recommendation for 44px buttons wherever feasible. Tab bar, navigation, and UI elements such as sliders and toggles were iOS standard in form, with subtle variations in color or detail to convey brand voice.