Tell us about your app! Flock is a messaging app for making group plans. It allows people to let their friends know of casual plans (i.e. “I wanna grab brunch in the East Village this weekend”) and then figure out the details in a group chat before confirming a specific time and location.
How is Flock different from similar apps? There are a couple main differences compared to group messaging, which is what we see as our biggest competition. Most importantly, you can create plans in 3 taps. Check out this demo: https://vine.co/v/MnqHQ22b9jL. Additionally, you can join or leave the conversation whenever you like. Lastly, the activity of interest is always front and center, so no more endless group chats where you forget why you started the conversation in the first place. We’re trying to get people together OFFLINE, not online.
What went into the design and UI? We worked with a couple different people to help us with our branding and the user interface. We worked with We Are Moving Things (http://wearemovingthings.com/) to help us with our icon. We loved their simplistic approach and think they did a great job of creating a fun and friendly logo. For the user interface, we spent a lot of time trying to make the event creation process as simple as possible. We tried to minimize the taps by giving ppl suggestions for each part of the plan (what, where, and when). For the aesthetics we worked closely with Keiran Flanigan (aka Aeliox, https://dribbble.com/aeliox). He helped us update our design for iOS 7 and improve the user experience as well.
What tools did you use in building the app? Parse.com was crucial in our effort since it allowed us to offset our whole back end development. The Facebook API worked well as a quick authentication and sign up mechanism. As always the StackOverflow community always came to the rescue when specific coding questions arose.
What lessons did you learn during this process? Don’t rely on Facebook. Their API changes annually modifying even the most significant portions with very short back support times.
What went right and wrong with the release? We decided to become a “messaging app” too late in the development cycle and missed the growing trend of moving away from social media based registration and friend discovery. We also didn’t focus enough on making it a good experience for people that download the app for the first time and don’t have any friends on it yet.
Who is on the team and what are your roles? Misha does iOS development, and Adam focuses on web development and product. Misha built the iOS app from scratch, while Adam helped lead the design efforts and built the app’s landing page.
What were you doing prior to creating Flock? We both currently have full-time jobs at other companies, and see Flock as a fun side project to try and solve a problem we both have. Misha is a technical consultant for Southern Company, a fortune 500 utilities co based in Atlanta, GA. Adam is a product focused developer at SeatGeek, a NY based ticket search engine startup.
What other apps inspire you? Adam – My two favorite apps at the moment are Venmo and Camoji. Venmo has made it ridiculously easy to split bills with my friends, while Camoji is a fun way to create and send GIFs to your friends via text message. Misha – Feedly is my favorite news consumption app which I use constantly. Paypal has the most convenient mobile payment system that I’ve used to date.
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