Using Emotion Design to improve findability

Gravy- Events Findng App (1)

The Story

Gravy is a mobile app that shows users things they love to do near where they live, work and play. "Gravy" is street slang for awesome.

As one of the largest and most comprehensive resources for events across the United States, Gravy makes it easy to know what’s going on every day. Reaching over 20 million people every day, Gravy lists local events for 1 million businesses helping with event-driven experiential marketing campaigns for brand partners like L’Oreal, Universal Pictures, GAP, Eddie Bauer, CBRE and others.

Gravy wanted to relaunch their brand and refresh their app’s core navigation feature: event searching. Gravy was looking to build loyalty and retention by creating a tool that users wanted to return to and rely on for their event planning.

The Challenge

The largest challenge for Gravy’s app was being able to organize their wide array of information in a way that helped users meet their goals. They had to make it easy for people to find the right events at the right moments for social planning.

They needed an elegant solution to a complex UI problem and they needed it fast. Not only that, but all of this had to be done on the mobile user interface, meaning as few clicks and as little work as possible, since users are not necessarily loyal to event planning apps. This solution had to transform their features into engaging and relevant tools for the users.

woman-making-modern-app-interface (1) 1

The Strategy ​

The strategy was to evaluate the different possibilities for organizing events and building the user interface to see what guiding principles rose to the top. Experience Dynamics set out to create a way for users to discover events that not only was enjoyable but had a high probability of matching them to mood based searching for events. Experience Dynamics sought to create a novel experience that was both fun and useful, in order to build the loyalty Gravy was chasing.

The Turning Point

The big revelation came when Experience Dynamics brought the method of emotion design to the table.

It was no longer about organizing the events by location, time or category but it was about showing users events based on what they were in the mood to do. This truly got the users engaging with Gravy and produced highly relevant event suggestions.

Also see What is Emotion Design?

The Execution

Gravy had initially requested an Expert Review; a service Experience Dynamics provides that provides an assessment of issues and opportunities. After the Expert Review, Gravy asked the team to bring the cutting edge UX ideas to life. To bring the emotion-based event matching to life, Experience Dynamics conducted rapid wireframing and prototyping. This combination of user experience design and visual design helped guide the Gravy team to quickly transform their app into one that met their criteria while helping their users easily find events in a way that made sense.

gravy_wireframe_flow 2 (1)
Group 38867

A terrific pivot in our product strategy, we didn't think of how users might want to search for events by the mood they are in. Enlightening.

-Gravy Head of Product Management

Group 37728

The Results

This project had a profound effect on Gravy’s business. The emotion focus became part of their brand positioning and helped them build a point of differentiation in a competitive market. This approach ultimately led to an increase in users and large-scale investment deals.

In addition to the business results, users were able to more easily find events that matched their needs with less navigating.

After launching the new UI improvements, Gravy saw a 4X increase in user adoption (from 20 to 100 million users in less than one year).

gravy_visual_small 1

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