Huggg is a unique mobile app that allows you to send small and meaningful gifts (or 'Hugggs') to your friends via a simple text message. After three years of fundraising, prototyping and development, the app has now launched in the iTunes and Google Play stores.
For Huggg to be a success the act of sending a ‘Huggg’ needed to be as easy and natural as saying ‘I’m thinking about you’. Through iterative development and lots of prototyping our design and UX team arrived at a simple and elegant solution that allowed the user to send a Huggg in just a few interactions.
Whilst simplicity was the touch-word for our design approach the back-end build was extremely complex.
The app presents users with a varied choice of gifts from a large number of merchants. Merchants need the act of fulfilling a Huggg to be as frictionless as possible and to integrate with their existing (and varied) EPOS systems so we needed to build a system that was both versatile and efficient. To do this we built an API that manages the sending and receiving of Hugggs and then connects to a third party service that provides the desired redemption method for each individual merchant. Payments are automatically split between the merchant and Huggg. We also built a custom CMS so that Huggg admins could manage merchants, offers and users as well as being able to see a list of transactions.
We are currently working on an iMessage version of the app which will also be available in the very near future.
At the time of writing Huggg is undergoing a public beta in the Bristol and Bath area of the UK. With a choice of products from 8 brands (including national chains like All Bar One, Byron and Turtle Bay), the app is already demonstrating the power of using Hugggs to connect the people of Bristol and Bath with just 26 outlets. A national launch is planned in late 2017, for which Huggg has already doubled the brand presence, accelerated outlets to c.2,500 nationally and raised venture capital.