Yellow Brick App

2015  •  Co-Founder  •  Mobile APP  •  Case Study

Map-based app for bar and restaurant promotions. Co-Founded by Anthony Kincade, Chris Corsi, and Graham Caro in 2015.

Finding Deals Around Campus

As a broke college student, finding food and drink deals around campus is a part of life. There is no existing solution for discovering real-time, location-based bar and restaurant promotions and rewards.

Yellowbrick acts as a virtual billboard platform by displaying promotional deals that are within proximity to you on a real-time and time-dependent basis, allowing users to save time and money at their favorite places. By promoting bar and restaurant deals, Yellowbrick will broaden its users horizons at an affordable cost to both users and businesses.

University of Pittsburgh Awards

Pitt Mobile App Challenge
The Pitt Mobile App Challenge gives Pitt undergraduate students at all campuses the chance to develop their app ideas and compete for up to $4,000 in Amazon.com gift cards.

Best Idea
$50 Amazon Gift Card

2016
• Winner of 145 teams

Best Mockup
$250 Amazon Gift Card

2016
• Winner of 145 teams

Randall Family Big Idea Competition
The Randall Family Big Idea Competition is an experience-based learning opportunity for Pitt students with big ideas to take startup creation to the next level and compete for a grand prize of $25,000.

People's Choice Award
$1,000 Cash

2016
• Winner of 75 teams from undergrad and grad schools

Application Features

The main focus of the app was time. The following questions sparked during the ideation phase: How can time be displayed in a simple but quick way? What time dependent process already resonates with millions, maybe even billions of people everyday? Traffic lights quickly came to mind: green is go, yellow is caution, red is stop. These three simple procedures were established as the colors that surround business icons, indicating how much time users had left to benefit from a promotion.

Business icons were used to indicate the type of deal was being presented. It was intentional to not have business logos present on this discovery page in order to prevent behavioral biased when selecting a deal and to encourage user behavior for clicking a deal for more details.

All deal apps to date have used list based views. This approach is antiquated and requires more input from end users to decipher where, when, and how much time remains to get a deal. The solution to this was to visually display deals on a map view to stimulate discovery and empower users to quickly make judgement at a moments notice in a familiar way.

Consumers

Virtual Billboards

Visually see what deals businesses are running within your local proximity.

Time-Dependent Deals

Deals are time-dependent. Watch the business popup icon to be sure you don’t miss a great deal.

Time Filters

Don't get out of class or work until 5 PM? The scroll bar enables you to see what deals are available at any time!

List-View

Not within proximity of any deals? Want to venture out instead of eating in the same neighborhood all the time? Switch to the list-view feature to view deals that may be out of range of the map function.

Personal Profile

Visit your personal profile to access your favorite businesses, claimed deals, Yellowbrick Rewards, and more!

Businesses

Virtual Billboards

Users can visually see what ads your business is running.

Time-Dependent Ads

Real-time advertisements alert users when and where to find the best promotions. These time-dependent ads encourage users to act fast and claim promotions in a given timeframe.

Time Filters

Time filters enable users to see what deals are available at any time throughout the day.

List-View

If users aren't within proximity to your business promotion, or if they prefer a list view verses a map-view, it is easy to switch.

Business Profile

Create a business profile to provide users your business website, menu, hours, contact information, and more!

App Store & Google Play

To maximize adoption of the application, Yellowbrick was available to download on both App Store and Google Play, developed via Facebook's React Native framework. The intention was to simply highlight key features and important areas of focus for user activity. The following screen preview screens were for display when downloading Yellowbrick on App Store and Google Play.

Each preview was segmented into four categories:

Go-To-Market Strategy

The competitions at the University of Pittsburgh in 2016 greatly helped garner user interest. We leveraged our large network of friends and university groups via word of mouth and dispersed marketing flyers outlined in the section below. Prior to doing all this, we went door-to-door to 30 local businesses in Oakland Pittsburgh, PA and collected existing deals to input into Yellowbrick, ensuring there was enough data populated for end users using the application. The application was officially launched in February 2017.

Marketing Material Design

Marketing material dispersed for business onboarding and user adoption, respectively.

Lessons Learned

There were several big challenges when working on Yellowbrick. Initially, it was designing the best medium for promotion discovery: map view. Second, identifying a way to demonstrate the concept of time in a novel yet familiar way: green, yellow, red bordered icons. Once these two challenges were solved, the remaining design came together rather quickly. It turns out, however, that the design challenges were not the biggest challenges for starting an application.

The two largest challenges for bringing an app to fruition and executing adoption boiled down to the following:

  1. Very difficult to promote user adoption for two user types in conjunction: person and businesses end users
  2. Very difficult to build out two inherently different yet related business functions: advertising and rewards platforms

A second iteration would focus on user adoption of one user type and would solely focus on advertising events. Visit Yellowbrick for the 2020 redesign.