Drink With Friends

vermontdroningMobile - Wireless

Dec 10, 2013 (4 years and 5 months ago)


Jordan Kravitz

Jessica Mullins

Daniel Garcia







Alex Camargo

Hailun (Helen) Zhou





Drink With Friends

Our group has decided to a create an original mobile application that allows users to search for
bars and get realtime

information on line length, cover prices, and see which bars their friends are at
currently. At present, users would have to use multiple applications to accomplish these tasks. Our
application will provide an innovative solution to this problem. We arriv
ed at the decision to create this
application after getting together to do a brainstorming exercise.

Project idea brainstorming results:

The following are the results from the group brainstorming exercise. Our group followed the
instructions for the gr
oup brainstorming as defined in class. We started by individually coming up with 5
domains and 10 associated words for each domain. Then we shared what we had

up with and found
12 common domains among the group (partying, food, travel, entertainment,
studying, jobs, money,
transportation, games, shopping, recreation, and health). Once we had our new domains, we placed our
description words in the appropriate domains. This allowed us to see which domains related to each other.
We noticed a significant a
mount of overlap and common themes, especially around social, travel, and
food/drink domains. Using these domains we came up with 7 different ideas for mobile applications with
areas we believed could be improved upon. We listed these ideas out and each ra
nked them based on
interest, innovativeness, significance and feasibility. The results are as follows:

All categories out of 25 except total which is out of 100








Bar App







Tinder for




























Nail Polish







Snapchat for







The Bar App came ranked the highest. This app
includes the common themes that arose during
the brainstorming activity (social, eating, drinking, and so on) so it was not surprising as our top pick. The
brainstorming activity allowed us to have great conversation, get ideas flowing and to decide upon a

mobile application.


Our social application will address the issue of quickly finding information about bars in the
Urbana area. One of the current problems present for bar goers is that the cover charge and
waiting times are unknown. B
ar goers can be excited to go out with their friends, ready for a night of
partying, only to be surprised and slowed down by an expensive charge at the door and an unreasonably
long waiting time by the door. These two unknown and varying factors can really

hamper a night out. If
these factors were known beforehand or could be looked up, bar goers could better plan out their night by
choosing a location that is not overcharging and will not make them waste part of their night waiting in a


there are no current solutions which enable user to share real
time information with
friends in the context of social events. Social sites like Facebook allow for events to be created but when
they are actually in progress communication seems to slip

ething that can be very frustrating when at
loud crowded bars. Currently there are many applications that allow users to find information about
different bars. They may use a map application to see which bars are near them, check a review website to
see wh
at others have to say about that bar, or navigate to the company’s website to gain information.
There are also applications that allow users to connect with friends and make plans to go places, but there
is no “one stop shop” application where users can se
arch, research and go to a bar of their choosing with
their friends. Finally, social interactions tend to be different when in the context of bars, yet there is no
social outlet to express oneself when drinking with friends (it would be deemed inappropriat
e on
conventional social media sites).

Our application aims to combine all these features into one to allow users a single place to find
information and connect with friends. In addition, we will also offer real
time information about local
bars. This inf
ormation will include current cover costs, line wait time, and who is currently at which bars.

Analysis of Existing Solutions:

General analysis of marketplace:

There are a handful of applications available which enable users to find data about
local bars and
clubs. Many of these applications are very juvenile efforts with few downloads and mainly consist of the
ability to find local bars nearby

nothing that yelp or map applications cannot already do. None of these
solutions include any notion t
o incorporating your friends or a strong community within their


By far the most developed of any of the other bar application options, this application has
thousands of active users. Some of the features of this application include

displaying the number of
people currently in bars, the average age of people in bars, the male/female ratio, drink specials, special
events, and a “news feed”. This application has received massive criticism from both users and nonusers
due to cameras ins
talled inside bars tracking the analytics of all patrons. SceneTap also lacks any sort of
social presence other than a tie in to Facebook which will post on their behalf. Overall, the lack of social
features means that users will not contribute to the anal
ytics which makes this application successful

application is strictly relying on cameras installed in bars to work both technologically and work socially
by being welcomed into all nightlife communities.


The DrinkedIn application is a pl
ay off the popular social professional networking application,
LinkedIn. DrinkedIn provides bar listings and reviews.

Users can search for bars near them and then view
the information, navigate to or call the bar. The application also provides users with a

drink recipe feature,
which contains recipes for numerous mixed drinks. It also offers members the ability to blog on the site
and to join in forum discussions.

This application provides good information about bars and drink recipes, but the social featu
re is
lacking. While this application does allow users to connect with Facebook, post status updates, photos
and videos, the User Interface is not intuitive and a bit tricky to use. Also, users can’t invite friends to join
them at certain bars or let frien
ds know where they are currently.

Cocktail Compass

Cocktail Compass is a bar happy hour finder app that lets users see a list of bars currently having
happy hour. This list also displays how much time is left for happy hour. Users can also search for ba
using a map view, or a standard text search page. Once the user sees a bar they like they can select it and
look at the bar’s information page. This page contains details about the bar including location, offered
specials, a review by a local newspaper,

user reviews and a price gauge. In addition Cocktail Compass
allows users to save their favorites and even call a local cab if they need. This application provides good
information about happy hours however it is limited to a few select cities. There is a
lso very little social
components, which is mainly constrained to sharing a favorite bar or posting a user review.

Facebook & Foursquare

Facebook is a popular choice for organizing groups of friends for a night out. Their public/private
groups, event ma
nagement, and group messaging features currently go a long way towards organizing a
trip to the bars. Facebook falls short after the planning phase is over or when plans don’t go as planned. If
users are looking for a venue change and need information,

is unable to quickly alert users and
organize them on the spot. Also, user information such as location is unavailable.

Foursquare is an application that allows users to save places and share their location with friends.
A map view allows you to lo
ok for places and see where friends have checked into recently. Foursquare
also provides suggestions for places to visit and deals that may interest you.


These are general review and simple information website/applications. They provide users
a lot of
static information about restaurants/bars including open hours and other miscellaneous information. In
addition, they provide some social features including user/professional reviews. The apps excel at finding
information at a glance but don't rea
lly provide the ability to get very up to date, or realtime information
about locations. They also lack much visible social integration; Yelp has a checkin feature but it is not a
prominent feature of the application.

Our Solution:

While users
prioritize the real
time informational elements of bars, specifically the line length and
the cost of cover for these bars, none of the solutions analyzed above include either feature. Bars are
mostly unwilling to constantly report this information via an
application and consequently applications
have not yet found a good method to obtain this real time information.

This is why we have decided to incorporate crowdsourcing the real
time information from our
users. Users will be incentivized to do this in a n
umber of ways. The first element of our crowdsourcing
platform is that reporting this information will feel natural as the user checks in to a bar. Users are
incentivized to check in by the possibility of obtaining a free drink and to alert their friends t
hat they are
now at the bar. In addition, users will gain reciprocity as they share information. Users will want to see
information provided by others and therefore be encouraged to share. As this application (hopefully)
gains popularity, we will change t
he method in which crowdsourcing is done as we do not need
information from as many of the users.

A big focus of our application will on social community. We want to give users an easy way to
connect with friends and to share information, while also havin
g a sense of identity within the
community. One of the most innovative features of our application is the ability for our users to express
themselves in the drinking/bar hopping social environment. Users give others a sense of their identities
through the
sharing of information.

Another one of the main differentiating features is the ability for users to know where their
friends are at. Through check
ins and geolocation, users will be able to see where their friends were last at
or where they currently are
. By allowing users to connect with friends we will be able to increase the
sense of bond
based community in our application.

Our Users:

Our target user base will mainly consist of college students, bar goers, and local businesses. Our
users will be
passionate about social life, local drinks and food, and of course saving money. People in the
community interested in going to bars will be able to use our application to help decide which bar to go to
while local businesses can use our application to dra
w customers and help promote special events.

Users will gain a tremendous amount of value by using our application. First, this application will
help users save time getting into bars and save money by choosing the right bars to go to. Users will also
d utility by easily finding friends when they are in the context of going out to the bars, as well as
entertainment from looking at the amusing details on their friends’ profiles. Finally users will have a great
way to organize bar crawls through this appl

Businesses will obtain monetary value as their use of this application will draw in more
customers and thus more revenue. They will be able to alert a wide audience of special nights as well as
offer digital coupons for repeat customers.


While the core functionality and consumer pull for our application comes from informational and
social features, we will be using the “users do not know what they want” philosophy to define many
social features we believe will be useful a
nd helpful in both establishing this socio
computer interface and
bring utility to our users.

Our features are as follows:

1 & 2) Ability to view the current cost of cover and line length of bars

When interviewing potential users of this application, th
ese were by far the top two most requested
features for an application related to the bar scene. Currently the solution is to either text friends at a bar
or to go to the bar and check oneself. In an age when everything is online, we believe that basic
ormation such as this should be readily available. This is facilitated through our check
in feature.

3) Ability to view real
time information of friends

Our app enables users to check
in to locations and allows your friends to view your current
on. Users will be able to see their

recent activity from multiple screens. The location/map
screen will display what friends have checked in at each bar; the news feed will also show information in
a chronological format; we also make it possible
to show all the relevant information about specific
friends by accessing a friend’s profile page.

4) Ability to connect with friends

Users will be able to connect with friends via

or phone number. The app can scan the
user’s contact list for registered members and add them automatically. They will also be able to organize
their friends into different social groups. This will allow users flexibility to send information quickly to
rtain social circles or manage different levels of privacy. For example, a user may want to invite their
sports teammates to watch a big game at a bar. The user can also send notifications to friends when
hey’ve checked into somewhere through push notifi
cation or a feed update, or to receive information
when their friends check
in somewhere.

5) Create bar crawls

Our app will contain a “Create A Bar Crawl” feature. A bar crawl is a social gathering with a
group of friends to tour different bars/pub
s, generally within walking distance, in one night. These can be
themed. For example, a golf themed bar crawl would be a bar where each participant dresses like a golfer.
Users can create a bar crawl by selecting which bars will be included in the tour, se
t a theme if they like,
and then invite friends. While other services currently exist that facilitate this planning process, we would
like to expand on bar crawl support with our app. We plan to include additional features like push
notifications and alert
s for when it’s time to switch bars as well as group messaging for everyone
currently at the barcrawl.

6) Ability to self

Users will have a profile page where they will be able to display their name, a photo, show their
favorite bar/drinks/speci
als, current location, places they’ve been, and witty hashtags related to their
drinking styles (for example #Lightweight or #FrankTheTank).

For an additional personalization the user can change the t
heme for the app, such as background
photo or colors. In order to allow the user to manage their social identity they will have options in the
“Settings” page to determine what information is displayed publicly or to which friends.

6) News Feed

The n
ews feed will give users a feel for what their favorite bars and friends are up to. Users can see their
friend’s latest check
ins, ratings, and accomplishments while bars can announce drinking specials and
themed nights. From the news feed, users will have

the option to “star” news, which will add to the
submitter’s user score.


Before we define the implementation details of our application, it is necessary to define the technical
requirements of the interface.

1) Cross Platform Availa

We believe that one of the most important aspects for a socio
computer interface, such as the one
previously presented, is it to be available on different mobile operating systems. Due to the current device
segmentation of the mobile market, we wil
l need to launch this software product on both the Android
(~50% US market share) and iOS (~43% US market share) mobile operating systems in order to
effectively popularize this application.

2) Software Interoperability

Because we are a team of just 5 students (4 CS), if we want to meet the requirements of finishing
the application by the end of the semester and be available on both Android and iOS, the majority if not
all of the code base must be shared.

3) Compliance w
ith native interface design guidelines

Users expect a certain standard in their mobile applications in that they follow the standard
conventions of graphical tools such as tabs, selectors, scrolling and a variety of other actions based on
their mobile ope
rating system. We will need to make slight design variations between Android and iOS
but remain “device agnostic” in terms of the actual features.

4) A fast and responsive UI

With the current state of mobile applications, users not only expect well devel
oped and designed
interfaces, but the interfaces to be as fast and responsive as their mobile operating systems.

5) Fully implemented backend software infrastructure

The groups’ goal in this project is to have a fully working application, so a server wi
th proper
data handling is essential in order to meet our goal.

With the above defined criteria, the group has decided for the frontend to use the PhoneGap platform with
the steroid.js package. The implications of this are that standard web development (
javascript) can create extensive applications which meet all of the above criteria. We have not yet decided
on a backend service/infrastructure but are strongly considering Ruby on Rails.

Work Plan




Submit this
proposal and prepare presentation


Presentation, finalize architecture for backend, start on paper prototype


Start on backend feature work not dependent on UI design changes


Continue paper prototype and backend work


Continue as before


Finish paper prototype, start on functional elements of UI


Backend work complete and interfaces with basic UI


Rework prototype based on feedback and implement into UI


Present changes and UI work


Full stack development complete, start bug


Design poster for presentation, and finalize code changes


Present finalized design

This is by no means an exhaustive list of everything we wish to accomplish, but it shows the general time
frame in which we hope to complete this applicati
on based on the time frame of the class.

Using our research of other applications and talking with potential users we hope to create an
innovative application that is easy to use. We hope to give users one resource that allows them to
accomplish many
tasks. Our application will give users an inviting social community that will encourage
them to be active, which will permit us to give our users more realtime information. Our group plans to
follow the above timeline for milestones as we work to make this

proposal a reality.