Making plans happen.

Matt & Katie on The Best Day

The Best Day is a service that facilitates get-togethers for small groups. Matt, Katie, and fellow Pistachio Ben Taylor worked with their team to make and develop an iPhone app; and relaunch a web app. Here’s what happened.

Getting together is hard because
everyone has their own lives.

Remember the last time you tried to organise a catch-up with a bunch of friends you don’t see everyday? You probably had to go through a convoluted process of group-messaging, back and forth texting, and compromise.

And hey, people have lives, schedules, and loved ones— organising this stuff is tough. When you get suggestions of places and times, it’s tough to keep track. It’s even tougher to get everyone to agree.

Whitney Komor created The Best Day to fix this.

The mechanism:
put the place and time to a vote.

We worked with Whitney and her team to make a more democratic solution to event planning from your iPhone.

Instead of just saying “it’s on this day” and hoping everyone attends, we can get people involved in the decision about when and where: we ask them to vote for which time/place they prefer.


Sketching for the best idea

In the sketching stage of our design process, we compete for the best ideas. We (Matt, Katie, and the developer Ben Taylor) get together and decide on who we’re making this for, what their motivations will be, and what we want to achieve; then separate and make our own sketches user flows.

We do continuous rounds of three-minute sketching. Just enough time to distill an idea onto paper. At the end of a round, each person presents their ideas. They justify their decisions. Ideas are accepted by merit. The ones that are worthy are accepted into further rounds and make it into the holistic vision for the product.

The cool thing about this process is it’s fast and makes better ideas. Literally, you have three brains of different backgrounds generating ideas. Regardless of who owns the idea, the whole team decides what’s best.

We collectively create the vision. It means during development, everyone—including the developer—is confident to make assumptions and decisions. It’s much more efficient than instituting a hierarchy.


The final result

6: The invite email

Invited friends get this email. This is the most important design of the entire product. This is make or break. We designed it so immediately you know it’s from someone you know. You see their face, their name, their own writing and description. It’s phrased so that he—your friend, a human—wants to know when you can come, not the more objective “website wants you to look at this event”.

7: Voting on their desktop

On their desktop, the friends can review the event and vote. Everything is prioritised to show personalised information (description, cover image), it’s run by humans (the inviter’s face is massive), there are already people you know here (faces of others above the fold), and it’s very simple to participate (click a checkbox.)

There’s social influence in voting. In academic psychology, the “me-too” effect has been observed to very influential. If the majority of people vote one way, people will shift their thoughts toward their social group. They don’t want to be left out.


Injecting design principles

This was a rebrand, too. The existing brand was dating fast and not very cohesive. We made colours punchier; and introduced cleaner, friendlier type.

But most importantly, we helped the team find their voice. A UI that speaks to you like a robot doesn’t inspire confidence. This new UI asks you casual questions. The copy is goal-oriented; reminding you should do this because you’ll get this outcome.


Results

The desktop site is being progressively released, but is already seeing significantly increased engagement and repeat usage. The iPhone app should be released shortly.