The awesomeness of simplicity

Philipp Eichhorn • • coding

Last month at FauDroids we released SigLocate, an app for finding friends in the cafeteria of our university. It consists of only one feature: a map of the cafeteria where users can select a location, create an image from that map and share it via any other app (WhatsApp, Facebook, …). As such it is by far the smallest and simplest app we have developed so far.

Funny enough we have had this idea of finding each other during busy lunch hours for a couple of months, but never really did anything with it. Mainly because we couldn’t agree on how do determine the position of a user. GPS indoors was out of the question, which left us with putting up QR codes all over the place (and hoping that we wouldn’t get sued in the process) and Wifi triangulation. While the QR codes seemed simple and cheap enough, it would have come at the price of reduced user experience (you have to find that sticker first after all) and would require us to update the stickers every once in a while when the cafeteria management decided to move tables again. Indoor navigation via Wifi sounded cool, but we were put of by the huge amount of initial leg work required to gather enough Wifi data.

Eventually after talking to enough people about this idea, one friend suggested to have a simple map where people could click to have their location set. At that moment I was slightly shocked by the simplicity of his proposal. It was just so … easy and at the same time so very awesome. Instead of spending hours trying to get Wifi positioning to work we finished June’s app early without compromising our goals. Simplicity is awesome!