Social App

A start-up with an idea to change the way social media is done by facilitating genuine connections and community.

---------------------- Case Study


I was doing some design work and a young developer approached me with a start-up idea. He and his friend felt frustrated with many of the dating apps and wanted to create something that would assist others in making genuine, authentic connections. They presented their idea to create Genuine, Inc and I felt a true connection with them and the idea.

The Team

Ryan Decker, CEO
Gunner Enserro, COO, Full-Stack Developer
Michael Samon, CFO, Back End Developer
Alex Guerrero, CMO, Back End Developer
Kate Campbell, CDO, UX/UI Designer

My Role

Front End Development
Marketing/Brand Development
App Design
User Testing


March 2021- August 2022


We knew we had a great idea. We were all passionate on bringing this idea to life. We were inspired by the book The Lean Start-Up and were prepared to build our product from scratch and sweat-equity. We all wanted to change the way things were being done. With stars in our eyes and big dreams we began to dig a little deeper on studying human relationships and get some inspiration as well as find out who our competition was.

 Coming out of the pandemic and seeing the success of other voice chat apps, we thought it would be a great feature to start with.


Our research led us to to change our idea from a dating app to an app that created for anyone looking to make genuine friendships. To monetize, we wanted to include businesses and help promote community development through events.


Voice chat
Users create chat rooms: "Socials"
Text Chat (eventually)
Business event groups

UI Design

Easy to use

The Plan

Start small with an Alpha Version to test
Keep expanding ideas on monetization
Enlist the help of a local Kava Bar to test idea
Develop an algorithm that can help solve our problem


We needed a logo, one that would represent our brand and capture the essence of Genuine. Several ideas were created, but sticking to our typography of Lobster for our brand name, I landed on an idea to create something classic and meaningful.
I went with the lower-case "g" in the Lobster font to symbolize social connection and "old school" values.
Because we were doing a voice chat app; I turned a part of the "g" into a classic looking microphone with five dashes to represent the five founders of Genuine, Inc.
Keeping with colors that represented authenticity and trust, I added a gradient to give it a more modern look.
I kept connection between the cursive "g", and encircled the letter to represent social circles and connection.


We ideated extensively as a team, it was our strength but decided to go through a design sprint to develop a general idea of what we were to create. We landed on a user-flow that met our goals of creating Genuine interactions, with our central feature being the voice chat. We all felt that we first needed to create a product that tested that feature first before we got more into the monetization pieces and larger picture.

User Persona

We wanted to hit a target market of young creatives that would benefit from using the chat rooms to talk about topics that they enjoyed in hopes of gaining more friends and to connect with people with similar interests.
Our market would be for those who were sick of the normal dating and social apps; who were looking for something authentic in meeting others and developing relationships.
We concluded, that the best way to assist in creating a genuine network would be to go through people's interests, as that is what usually brings people together in most social environments,

UI Design

Now that we had determined our user based and user flow; it was time to start on the UI design to effectively communicate our brand values and appeal to our target audience.


We landed on a mix of bright social warm colors and darker colors to symbolize authenticity, trust, and fun.


We decided on adding some fun, modern, funky illustrations to communicate social interaction, and create a relaxed atmosphere that would appeal to our target audience.


UI Elements

  • Rounded corners to create softness and socialability.
  • Large pictures for display to create openness and transparency for focus on socialization and connection
  • Dynamic layout for socials to make it inviting and fun

Alpha Test Round

To test our initial idea, and what we had built already from the back-end to the front-end, we decided to put out an Alpha to test on our closest friends and family. Emails were sent and we got the Alpha up and running to test. It was important for us to test the UI design, the voice-chat feature, and to clear out any potential bugs.

Our Focus

We knew this was a huge project, and in many ways our end goal was much more robust. However, we simplified to test on the features we created. Which were:

1) Does the UI engage users and speak to brand
2) Were users friending and meeting new people
3) Were users creating chat-rooms or "socials"
4) How much time were users spending in the chats
5) What was the best way to send notifcations


What We Did Well

  • Users were friending and did meet new people
  • Users responded positively to UI Design
  • Chat rooms were created frequently

What To Improve

  • We didn't have the number of users we intended; due to the fact we didn't meet our initial deadline for testing
  • Notifications were sent too often and were ineffective
  • Users wanted a voice chat but also a text chat to share pictures and other items

We saw some positive feedback regarding our branding and user experience. We were determined to make improvements for our Beta. We also concluded, that our next test round needed more of a user-base to get any significant feedback.

Beta Version

This is where we started to hit some troubled waters. We wanted to make a better product, and also wanted to start including ways to monetize it. So we started to shift our focus to start to develop communities around certain businesses and promote events. Several ideas and iterations were created; however, personal life changes started to effect the team and we started to lose some dedication as many saw that we were quite grandiose to start with and the reality of creating the app started to set in. But we still moved forward.