ManUpThe Ultimate Challenge App
ManUp is a record of user generated challenges and achievements.
Designed for friends to create and set challenges for each other; keep track of winners and losers for non-stop banter.
ManUp was imagined and conceived by Paul Peters. The concept was to create an application and brand which is fun and exciting, intended to reach an audience similar to “club 18-30” though not limited to.
The idea was to provide a platform where users can create and record challenges – initially it was born from the idea of two guys in a bar, making jibes about each others football team. Resulting in a “gentleman’s” bet, which may include a monetary reward or the risk of a forfeit for the loser. Paul wanted a place to keep track of this bet/agreement so it could be referred to if the loser tried to deny entry into the “contract”.
We were challenged to create an experience, which seamlessly mixed both serious and fun-loving competitors in a way which offered a risk-free alternative to gambling, while maintaining its edge with a sassy sense of humour.
As the concept is actually so simple, to connect with friends and challenge them to compete, we needed to visualise an experience which users would respond to and find simple enough to be preferred over more conventional methods of recording data.
We were also faced with ensuring the app was not pigeon-holed as a gambling platform. The wager side of things is such a small part – and including money handling within the app created so many hurdles it simply wasn’t practical, on so many levels – so we needed to create a system which awarded users as well as gave a sense of risk.
We needed to keep track of a challenge – assign rules, conditions, adjudicators, rewards, forfeits and PROOF… All wrapped up in a social network to keep people connected – with mild friction. There was a lot to consider.
The vibrant colour palette and sassy tone of voice immediately grabs attention. We took a risk with the title and the brand as it suited the project so well, and we decided from the moment a user registers they should get a sense of empowerment. We managed this by creating a list of achievements and starter challenges – All the time communicating with wit and banter to keep tone of voice.
It was the very connection with the story of ‘friends bickering’ which set the tone so well. We used that relatable environment to feed the app. It’s not a ‘serious’ app, but it is… it needs to take things seriously but in a fun and inviting way. “Banter” is the keyword which resonates throughout.
We aimed to coax users to get involved and show them how to get started, while at the same time creating a sense of competition in what they’re doing.
We designed a challenge dashboard which provides a host of content from start-up and quickly grows as users connect with other users. We opted for a simple tab navigation system with tidy UI.
Due to the tone of the app we felt it was really important to open the app up to be something of a social media application, allowing users to communicate directly within the app to keep the competition tense. Each challenge has a chat history and the ability to view each claim and result.
We use push notifications to update each challenger with news relevant to each challenge, comments, new finishers, winners and of course… losers!
Read more here: manupchallenges.com
Technical & UX Considerations
One of the biggest challenges with any social app is ensuring there is content for users when they first sign up. This was tricky as we needed to give users the sense of real challenges, but be able to check they’d completed properly and not ‘faked’ it. The client couldn’t commit manpower to manage manual adjudication via CMS in early days, so we opted for clever use of device functions, such as camera and GPS to auto-adjudicate claims. This allowed us to use challenges as a sort of walk-through of how the app works, tying in the reward system all at once.
Another common hurdle is the reward system itself, finding a balance for a points system. We needed to introduce a way of monetising the application which offers value to the user but at the same time steer away from an in-app currency which could be misconstrued as gambling.
We also wanted to ensure the dashboard was filled with credible challenges and not ones manufactured just to farm points into the system.
We tackled this by asking users to purchase challenge packs. This forces users to be more serious with their challenge creation, to make them count. In return the challenge master gets points from every person who enters and each entry gets a chance to double their stake if they complete the challenge.
Ergo, the more points someone has determines them a challenge master by competing or creating or both. Each challenge is rated in difficulty and the amount of points staked relates accordingly.
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