Standard Candy Co. makes an amazing candy called Goo Goo Clusters. Nashville natives and Cracker Barrel visitors have been enjoying these treats for years. The only question surrounding them was “Where can I find one?” That’s why Standard Candy Co. asked us to help by creating an iPhone application that would locate the closest cluster. I’ll give you a look at some of the key questions we had to answer to pull this app off.
1. How do we get the locations?
We already built a Goo Goo Finder on their website using Google Maps, including a way for visitors to submit stores that aren’t listed, making sure the list stays accurate. Google Maps was accurate enough for what we needed to do, so we decided to use this same data for the iPhone app to make sure the website and the app are in sync. Using a custom API, we were able to submit a request to the website and get a JSON response of all the stores within a certain radius of the specified location. We then used a JSON parser library in the app to store our data.
2. How do we meet branding standards?
While it’s not possible to change the look of Google’s map itself, it is possible to change the markers. We already designed custom map markers for the website, so we carried these over to the iPhone app as well. We also tweaked some colors of the native iPhone controls to match the brand while still giving it a native iPhone feel. These touches, along with a custom-designed loading screen, help make the app feel like the Goo Goo brand while giving the user the familiarity of native iPhone application controls.
3. How do we make it simple for the user?
Apps that try to do too much or that aren’t organized well will most likely end up in user frustration and bad reviews, even if they’re free. We avoided this by offering three different ways to find a cluster: Map View, List View, and Augmented Reality. The app does exactly what you think it should do. It opens Map View by default and pin points the locations where Goo Goo Clusters are sold based on your current location. List View uses the same locations, but lists them out, making them easy to read. The locations are marked in both views by letters, with “A” being the closest store to you. The Augmented Reality view opens the iPhone’s camera and overlays a button on the stores.
We also made sure that everything was located and behaved exactly as the user would expect. We noticed that if a user is looking at the map view in a landscape orientation, the visible portion of the map was greatly reduced. We solved this by hiding the search box and the navigation controls when in landscape. This maximized the viewport for the map, allowing users to see all the marked locations.
4. How do we make it fun?
Granted that simply finding a Goo Goo should create enough excitement for the user given how tasty they are, but we wanted to make using the app as fun as eating a cluster. We decided to tackle augmented reality. Initially, we started out looking at pre-existing AR frameworks, such as Wikitude or Layar, but we determined that these weren’t as customizable as we had hoped. Instead, we built our own framework from scratch. Jesse Bunch did nearly all the heavy lifting on the framework, making it fully customizable and easy to implement. Now users can impress their friends and find a Goo Goo all at the same time. How sweet is that?
Have I made you hungry for that peanut, chocolatey gooey goodness? Good! Download the app and find the closest store near you.Share Article