We hope everyone had a great Fourth of July. We certainly did, but it took us a few tries to find the right bar. Next year, finding the best spot for fireworks will be a lot easier with WutzGood.
Now, the June Updates:
Application Development: The core foundation is almost finished! This is the underlying framework that manages the user data, displays the screens, and basically makes the app an app.
The map functionality is starting to look better, but it still won't be a top priority until August. Because we are developing on Xamarin, we are using the native map API of each platform (for iPhone, it's Apple Map; for Android, it's Google Map; and for Windows, it's Bing Map.)
Photos and videos are tricky in cross-platform development, but we are making good progress on this front.
Our buttons are starting to look pretty. It may seem strange, but default buttons on each platform (iOS; Android; Windows) are very bland. To make them pretty, we need to describe them in each platform. Ours will have some nifty abilities.
Server-Side Development: The server structure for content storage and delivery is almost complete! We're currently in a "tweaking" stage as we establish connectivity between the front- and back-end.
Core networking is looking good. We have the ability to send and receive data packets to a server. In July, we will focus on optimization.
We've begun developing a new, heavier server structure for handling business analytics. More details to come soon.
Our intern, Molly, has begun the preliminary design for our internal administration site.
Usability Testing: Usability testing will be an essential area of focus; a lot of research indicates that usability is the key to a mobile application's success. Source. It is this process where we will ensure that users find WutzGood to be easy to learn, user-friendly, and adaptable to their lifestyle. We want to make sure restaurants can quickly share content and easily measure its effectiveness and users can seamlessly locate and browse restaurants and post moments. It is throughout this process that we'll look out for the earliest signs of strengths and weaknesses within the WutzGood UI. The end goal of testing is proof of concept.
In July, we are focusing on formulating our tests and determining our key performance indicators ("KPIs"). Potential KPIs include: Number of Moments Viewed; Number of Moments Posted; Weekly Active Users; and Activation Rate. To assist with this process, we are consulting with Alex Binder, a fellow Beachwood High School alumni, who has experience with UX/UI design and software testing. Once finalized, we will send out the testing outline and diagram breakdown of the metrics.
We are projecting In-House Testing to begin August 18-21 and Usability Testing, August 22-26.
Trademark: Our trademark application for "WutzGood" has been suspended due to a likelihood of confusion with another pending application for a mobile app named, "What'sGood". Our deadline to file a response with the USPTO is November 9th.
What'sGood's application is itself being challenged by WhatsApp, a Facebook-owned company. This is both a positive and a negative for us. If WhatsApp wins, our application will no longer have to compete with What'sGood's. But, in turn, it's likely WhatsApp will challenge our application.
In July, Ethan is focusing on researching the potential legal outcomes and weighing our options. We will need to consult with a trademark attorney at some point, so if anyone knows a good one, please email their contact info to Ethan.I@wutzgoodapp.com.
Snap Map: Snapchat introduced a new feature, on June 21st, called Snap Map, which allows users to view snaps by location and tracks users' locations. This feature appears similar to our concept, but we believe WutzGood has key and unique competitive advantages.
First and foremost, we are focused on the restaurant industry, while Snapchat has a very weak presence among restaurants. A recent survey showed Snapchat was the preferred social-media platform of 0% of restaurants. (For more information on this survey, see the previous blog post, "Restaurant Industry News--Head-Nodding Statistics".) Thus, despite surface-level similarities, Snapchat remains an indirect competitor.
The advantage of our restaurant focus is evident in the UX design differences between WutzGood and Snap Map. Snap Map's heat-map design renders it almost totally unusable for the purpose of finding and viewing restaurants. In contrast, WutzGood's pins clearly identify nearby restaurants. And Snap Map's global scope further limits its usefulness to restaurants. In contrast, WutzGood's limited map radius is designed to facilitate local exploration of restaurants.
It is unlikely Snapchat will attempt to pivot into the restaurant industry or will be successful if they do. Previous attempts by Snapchat to localize its content have failed. Less than a year ago, Snapchat removed its local-story feature and laid off the entire team. Source. And Snap Map's success is far from guaranteed. Also less than a year ago, Instagram removed a map feature because it was rarely used. Source. The pattern of successful apps adding features that no one uses is so common that there's a term for it, "feature creep." Source. And Snap Map has already faced significant negative feedback, with its friend-tracking feature being widely described as "stalkerish." Source. WutzGood, with its focus on user privacy, will not be subject to those same concerns.
Snap Map is further evidence of the trend toward location-based visual content, which WutzGood is positioned to be at the forefront of. And Snap's acquisition of Zenly, the maker of Snap Map, for $250-350 million shows the amount established app companies are willing to pay to stay ahead of the game. Source.