Whynott — have fun with the people around you!
Whynott is location-based app for communicating with people around you. And it is rather not a case study, but an honest story of the creation of an app Whynott.
Whynott — have fun with the people around you!
Whynott is location-based app for communicating with people around you. And it is rather not a case study, but an honest story of the creation of an app Whynott.
How it all started
2 years ago, Starter guys Oleg — future CTO and Andrey — Business Owner came to our office and decided to get an estimate for a mobile project related to wine, proximity sensors, and restaurants.

Later, the idea transformed into geo-chats for people to meet. And finally transformed to "Here and now" geo-location-based chats! With coupons for user engagement, loyalty program, gifts and challenges for socialization in the venue. The main idea — check what venues are near you, what events are there and who sits there. That helps you to decide whether to join a venue and go there or not. Also, you can join the chat only in a certain radius away from the venue, so that is the catch on why you should go into the venue,

That's how we started a project together. A couple of draft ideas and designed screens, the back-end was not even started, but we already were doing some work on the project, mocking the API calls, doing the most agile project in Chili Labs history. A year and a bit more later, we've got a project with a completely different design, app concept, and business focus, but hey! It's how you build a startup :)
What we did
  • Development
    Android & iOS apps

  • Initial design — (need some screens)
    Example of design

  • Redesign programming
    Staarter team in cooperation with MacCann (overpriced) design company decided to create a brand new identity for the app.

  • Design review

  • Coding of the mobile part
How it all started:
2 years ago, Staarter guys Oleg — future CTO and Andrey — Business Owner came to our office and decided to get an estimate for a mobile project related to wine, proximity sensors, and restaurants.

Later, the idea transformed into geo-chats for people to meet. And finally transformed to "Here and now" geo-location-based chats! With coupons for user engagement, loyalty program, gifts and challenges for socialization in the venue.

The main idea — check what venues are near you, what events are there and who sits there. That helps you to decide whether to join a venue and go there or not. Also, you can join the chat only in a certain radius away from the venue, so that is the catch on why you should go into the venue.

That helps you to decide whether to join a venue and go there or not. Also, you can join the chat only in a certain radius away from the venue, so that is the catch on why you should go into the venue,

That's how we started a project together. A couple of draft ideas and designed screens, the back-end was not even started, but we already were doing some work on the project, mocking the API calls, doing the most agile project in Chili Labs history. A year and a bit more later, we've got a project with a completely different design, app concept, and business focus, but hey! It's how you build a startup :)
What we did
  • Development: Android & iOS apps

  • Initial design

  • Redesign programming: Staarter team in cooperation with MacCann (Overpriced) design company decided to create a brand new identity for the app

  • Design review

  • Coding of the mobile part
Team involved
Business, marketing, idea — Staarter, Design — Overpriced,
Development — Chili Labs.
User Flow
Technically, each venue is an XMPP MucSub room along with extra metadata (provided by REST API) such as venue name, description, logo, etc.

Users are only able to join the venue if it is nearby (within a certain radius around their current location) to motivate them to visit the venue.
Technical complexity we've faced:
  • Developing and documenting XMPP protocol extensions ("likes", "deletion", "reply", "hello" messages) to be used by apps.

  • Offline message history sync against the Message Archive. Every time the application reconnects to XMPP, it has to check for messages, received while being offline.

  • XMPP connection lifecycle management — handling cases whenever the app goes into the background. XMPP has to be shut down & brought up again when the user puts the app back into the foreground again.
  • Data migration between the different application versions — handling the case if SQL table model changes, users on older app versions have to be migrated to the new schema, without losing the data.

  • Designing efficient SQL data model with proper indices/relations for the maximal SQL Query performance e.g. a user may have thousands of chat messages stored on a device & the app has to select only those belonging to specific chat/conversation.
  • Development: Android & iOS apps

  • Initial design

  • Redesign programming: Staarter team in cooperation with MacCann (Overpriced) design company decided to create a brand new identity for the app.

  • Design review

  • Coding of the mobile part

Results
Chili Labs can proudly say that this project taught us A LOT not only about XMPP chats, geolocation, and all of that technical stuff.

But we learned how to work in a startup environment, deliver products to clients' expectations, receive honest feedback and live launches.
It's a truly memorable project for Chili Labs, as we've never before been so dedicated to the app delivery.

Whynott apps have been released into the App Store, Google Play and launched for 2 countries — Belarus and Latvia in a year from the initial meeting. Currently, there are more than 800 venues in the app, huge development plans and scaling in the upcoming months and a story behind…
Chats & Technical complexity
Chat is the core functionality of the app, it's functionality is backed by the XMPP - an open protocol for real-time communication (WhatsApp uses it). Smack in the library of choice on Android for handling the XMPP Message exchange & XMPP connection state. iOS had to work on a lower level than Android since they did not have an equivalent of Smack library.
Technical complexity we've faced:
  • Developing and documenting XMPP protocol extensions ("likes", "deletion", "reply", "hello" messages) to be used by apps.

  • Offline message history sync against the Message Archive (every time the application reconnects to XMPP, it has to check for messages, received while being offline).

  • XMPP connection lifecycle management - handling cases whenever the app goes
into the background. XMPP has to be shut down & brought up again when the user puts the app back into the foreground again.

  • Data migration between the different application versions - handling the case if SQL table model changes, users on older app versions have to be migrated to the new schema, without losing the data.

  • Designing efficient SQL data model with proper indices/relations for the maximal SQL Query performance (e.g. a user may have thousands of chat messages stored on a device & the app has to select only those belonging to specific chat/conversation).
Coupon types
Technically, each venue is an XMPP MucSub room along with extra metadata (provided by REST API) such as venue name, description, logo, etc.

Users are only able to join the venue if it is nearby (within a certain radius around their current location) to motivate them to visit the venue.
Redesign
Staarter team in cooperation with Overpriced design company decided to create a brand new identity for the app. The main inspiration was — dark theme and trendy illustrations.
Main idea - that app would attract young people and would look fresh. It is not another telegram or WhatsApp, it is a tool that would help people to socialize and be less awkward in public places. Meet each other online, get familiar, chat, get free stuff and have shared coupons (randomly selected 2 people who will get free drink or coupon on something).


We live in a new paradigm, where people are just sitting in the cafe's and not talking to others, but sitting in their phones. Instead of creating obstacles for people (no wifi), we decided to give them a better way to communicate with the usage of modern technologies and good old fashioned talking :)
We live in a new paradigm, where people are just sitting in the cafe's and not talking to others, but sitting in their phone.
The Results
With minimal investment, the tech startup gained an understanding of which parts of their product concept were not working or not being understood by users. We uncovered which commercial contexts worked better than others and brought to light some weaknesses in their product proposition for new users.
Managing risk by learning fast
Whynott apps have been released into the App Store, Google Play and launched for 2 countries — Belarus and Latvia in a year from the initial meeting. Currently, there are more than 800 venues in the app, huge development plans and scaling in the upcoming months and a story behind…
Design — Overpriced

Development — Chili Labs

Business, Marketing, Idea — Staarter
Release on Android and iOS
Team involved
Let's build products
together
Let's work together, interested?