YPlan

mobile-first event discovery and booking service

I was hired as the creative director for the early founding team of YPlan in 2012.

- Apple Editor's choice, with +5 Million downloads 
- Featured several times on the Apple App Store and Google Play store

Context

Upon joining the company, I was faced with the challenge of putting together all things design related, from creating an identity from scratch to app prototyping, overseeing the design implementation and collaborating with the marketing department to create promotional materials. YPlan was one of the main pillars of the business, the app launched when iOS6 was live, by a product team of 2 (design and iOS dev leads). For the 3 following years, we hired 2 more designers while I remained the hands-on creative director. YPlan became the first mobile app on the market that allowed users to discover, book and go to tonight’s best events in two taps. Shortly after leaving the company, the business pivoted into web and YPlan was acquired by Time Out London.

Identity Creation

The YPlan logotype was designed in collaboration with Claire Coullon. I took care of the creative direction whilst creating the base colour palette. We ended up with a memorable and well drawn "Y", easily identifiable as a stand-alone icon.

Onboarding the user

Personalisation was key to provide a customised experience from the very beginning, people were more likely to trust the curated event selection from the very start if they told us upfront what they were into.

Engaging the user from the very start with curated events

On starting the app, users were presented with a list of curated events. At the very beginning that list was as small as 10 events per day, each one of them representing a different category. As the business and partnerships evolved, the app adapted to host a bigger inventory and users were presented with a list of curated collections to draw inspiration from.

Book in 2 taps

A seamless booking flow
Changing the way people discovered and booked events presented a difficult task. The moment the user got a ticket “virtually” printed on their mobile phone The 2 tap booking experience helped retain users and grow organically.

Allowing the user to access the full inventory

For the very specific use cases the initial collections could not cover, the search functionality provided an elegant way to discover events, providing the ability to filter by time, cost or location. The map functionality played a crucial role for the users who sought events by proximity.

Building brand personality through consistent illustration and iconography

The addition of visually consistent illustration and iconography helped convey the brand’s tone of voice.
Conceptually, we drew inspiration from Saul Bass and his “Man With the Golden Arm” movie poster, alluding to the handing out of tickets upon entering an event’s doors.

Managing event quality

Asking the user to review the events and venues quality helped with how the company selected future partnerships and collected reviews for repeat events so other users would have it as a reference.
Also allowed to follow up bad experiences from users who didn’t explicitly complain to customer service.

Make it Social - Adding social sweeteners to events

On the event list, we’ve added a social validation component to incentivise the user towards creating a plan with their friends. The sweetener was an important step towards making the app more social and make the experience less lonely.

Make it Social - Allowing tickets to be shared

We’ve also added the ability to share tickets with your friends or your best half. This not only allowed for a better user experience so that each person had their own ticket when going through the doors, but also increased user acquisition in an organic way. Users would buy multiple tickets and send them to their friends.

Make it Social - How to plan an event with your friends

After conducting user interviews, we noticed a pattern on the way users shared events with their partner or group of friends. Sharing was being done via WhatsApp screenshot on a group chat.
With the event planner, we brought them back to our app and improved the overall user experience of going out in a group.

One more user acquisition channel, the website

I’ve worked on the creative direction for the website and design of key screens to be taken over by the development team.

Inspired by this project? Showcase projects you’ve worked on and inspire other people.

Like what you see? Be the first to leave a comment for Joao!

Add comment