Hypedrive Logo

GPS-Based Loyalty Promo App


Summer 2016 - Fall 2016; Cambridge, MA

Company Overview

Hypedrive is a mobile application that uses your GPS location to offer you promotions from nearby venues ranging from bars and restaurants, to theaters and sports arenas.

My Role

UX Researcher, UX Designer, UI Designer, Illustrator, Graphic Designer, QA Engineer

Hypedrive had previously built a client-side web application. I was brought in to help bring the customer-facing mobile app to beta release acting as lead UI/UX Designer. I also provided marketing expertise and designed print collateral.


Android and iPhone App


Basecamp, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, Github


Back-end Developer

Context and Challenge

Problem Statement

The goal of this project was to work with the development team to determine key features, design an easy-to-use interface, and finish production on the app.


Auto Check-In

One of the first things I tackled once joining the team was reevaluating how users go about using the app/service at venues. According to the current development plan the idea was for venues to use QR codes in marketing materials such as posters, fliers, coasters, and table tents to entice the user to download and use the app. Users would then have to scan the QR code in order to “check-in” to the venue. I used my marketing experience to convince the team against using QR codes and instead suggested a more modern approach; GPS location.

Our biggest concern was making sure we had a way to drive revenue. We wanted users to “check-in” in order to track their usage, and only then would we display our special “in-app-only” promotions. Our initial plan hid the promotions behind a “check-in” wall in order to entice venue visitation. This would benefit both us and the venues signing up to promote through our service.

However, through user interviews, we determined that one of the major factors that drove users to a venue was knowing the specials that they could take advantage of. Under my new solution, we would use GPS location data to serve up the venues within a certain mile radius and automatically “check-in” users to the location using a more finite gps pinpoint. Thus our “map” function was born.

You’ll notice in the screenshots that we kept an option to “scan” QR codes for additional marketing materials for the venue. This is something we still planned to test the validity of as we worked to refine the ability to “check-in” to a location.


Getting users to check-in was one of our main goals because we wanted an exclusive way to show short-term promotions only to people that visited the venue, but we also wanted to grab the statistics for in-app venue promotion. If we were able to collect information on how many users were in a venue, we could show how popular that particular venue was. We could then use this attendee information along with other data to entice users to come to the venue. In addition to attendees, we started to look at other data plot points that we received from user interviews and settled on adding cover charge, capacity, number of bars, beers on tap, the number of men’s and women’s bathrooms, and the dress code to our list of stats that we would provide for each venue. Each venue would also be required to submit basic information upon registering such as name, location, phone number, hours, website, and of course their promotions.


The last objective we tackled was app navigation. We wanted an easy way for users to jump between screens without the necessity of a pesky “back” button. When the app opens we start the users on the “map” screen where they can see all venues within a set radius. All of these venues within the radius can also be accessed from the “venues” screen. Opening a venue from the “map” or the “venues” page will bring you to the stats tab of that particular venue. And finally if you go to the “promotions” screen you can see all the promotions and clicking on any one of them will open the venue it belongs to and jump to the selected promotion on the promotions tab.

Without realizing it we had created a sort of "card" aspect to the application. We had multiple parts of the app that carried their own specific navigation. No matter where you were in the app if you saw a venue card, you would know that it would open the venues screen. Using tricks such as this, we were able to add to the flexibility and ease of use of the app.

By having the map, venues, and promotions accessible from any point in the app we were able to eliminate the need for a back button entirely. However, upon further testing we opted to add a back button back in solely on the venue’s profile page, with the idea of tracking its usage as we rolled out implementation. This would allow the user to maintain control and freedom.


With the user interface for the mobile app all polished up, the next wave involved seeling the app to venues while building the user-base. We quickly found that we had a chicken-and-egg problem. We needed venues to buy in to the app and provide promotions in order to draw in users, but we also needed users to justify use to the venues. With our prospective salesperson falling short of expectations, and our realization that this had not turned out as planned, we closed up shop on Hypedrive.

Yet not all was lost, the Hypedrive team introduced me to another side project. This one had much greater potential than Hypedrive with which we knew it would be a struggle to gain traction without venue usage.

Little did I know this project would gear me up for my real challenge, Qanairy.