IDK App went from idea to App Store in less than 2 months. Although it didn't go viral, it was one of the most valuable experiences and I had the chance to build it with my amazing friends: Young, Omar, and Kevin – AKA full-stack legends.
Learn more about IDK and our process below. As of October 2020, IDK is no longer on the App Store.
Problem: Indecisiveness is a universal plague (Virgil Abloh agrees). With an exceeding amount of choices for food, clothes, travel, and entertainment, more and more young millennials and gen-z are relying on their friends to make decisions. But it's difficult to collect opinions and they don't want to spam group chats.
How it's being solved today:
- Messaging friends via iMessage & Messenger
- Instagram polls with friends
- Video-calling super-close friends
- Where should I study abroad?
- Do I buy this X product?
- Who will win this game?
- Are you going to party this weekend?
We launched in Nov 2019 & shipped updates until the end of Dec 2019. We had over 15.5K impressions & 700+ downloads on the App Store, averaged 80 daily active users in Nov/Dec, 600+ polls created, and 3000+ votes. Although these are small numbers, it was fun having friends try out the app and send polls to each other.
Onboarding & Overview:
Create Poll Flow:
The MVP was a polling app that enabled users to send text-only polls to their friends (via contacts). Polls would expire in 24 hours, similar to stories. After hacking on the weekends and not caring about coursework, we released the TestFlight at the end of October and added close friends to our beta.
- I want to add friends who're on the app but I don't have them in my phone contacts.
- When I have 0 or few friends on IDK, I can't really use the app.
- I want to easily send polls to the same inner-circles.
We had to address the cold-start problem as mentioned in #2 above and brainstorm how we might grow the community on IDK. We built the following 4 features:
- Community Polls: Allow anyone to send polls to all users on IDK. The idea was that even if you didn't have any friends, you could send a poll and get votes.
- IDK Team as a Friend: Similar to Snapchat, we default added the IDK team as a friend for all users. This allowed us to conduct "daily polls" and keep users on the app engaged through cultural references such as "What do you think of Kanye's new album?", "Spotify or Apple Music?"
- Notifications: When someone on your contact list joins IDK, we send a notification that they've joined. We considered that this could get annoying but vital for early-growth.
- Activity Feed: We wanted to create FOMO by having a feed of all your friends' activity. It would show who sent a poll to whom. It didn't show the contents but could spark interest.
As we started to do more marketing on campus and tapping into greek life, clubs, and organizations, we started brainstorming how we might grow IDK to become bigger and a fun social experiment.
- Communities: fraternities and sororities, schools, etc
- Status: what are people doing? inspired by Hot Potato
- Confessions: We've seen this happen on FB, can we centralize this for an entire college campus?
- Live school chat rooms: #cs, #hotel, etc
- Adding comments to polls: People want to quickly respond to polls that's been sent to them to have a discussion
- 20 questions for matching for dating
Our final release of IDK App was on Dec 14, 2019. We supported images so people can send polls like: "Which outfit should I wear tonight?", "Which dress should I buy?"
This also made our daily polls from the IDK team a lot more engaging.
Because this was the end of the semester and the team was traveling during the break, we decided to pause working on the app.
End of an era for IDK App.
This was my first time trying to build a consumer product and have real users. It's hard. Social consumer products are especially hard to get the ground running because there's no value-add unless your friends are also on the platform. Looking back, I wish I had thought more deeply about viral growth strategies to gain traction and understand the needs and goals of our target personas: indecisive and nosy college students. We definitely got caught-up with our love to build and ship fast. Maybe B2B is better for our team in the future 😂
Thank you to our IDK users & supporters. Here's a feature of us in the Cornell DailySun.