We were recently joined by year 10 student, Ben, for a week’s work experience. As part of our wider schools programme, we’re working with young people to demonstrate how great apps aren’t just about technology, but about creativity and curiosity.

We talked to Ben about a couple of year nine students we recently spoke to, who built a (now award winning!) food waste startup, EatMe.

So rather than getting Ben to make the tea and do the filing, we set him the challenge of designing his very own app-based startup.

Validating the problem

The key first step in product development is figuring out if anyone actually shares the problem you’ve identified. 

Ben’s idea revolved around the problem of queuing. He felt that queues for food at big stadium events were too long and people often ended up missing part of the event. This is a problem we’re very familiar with, as it’s already being tackled by Simpleweb portfolio company, Ordoo!

To validate the problem, Ben decided to survey the Simpleweb team. His results showed that 85% of respondents agreed that queues were too long at big events, and those 85% had experienced missing out on a part of the show due to queuing.

Building a prototype

Having validated his problem, Ben set about prototyping a solution. We recommended Marvel, a simple prototyping tool, and started trying to train Ben how to use it… only to realise he didn’t need any training!

Screenshot of EventerooBen prototyped an app called Eventeroo – the Deliveroo for large stadium events and gigs. With Eventeroo, event goers can order food from their phone and have it delivered right to their seat.

Retention and referrals

Ben designed a genius mechanic that we all got a bit hooked on… Every time they order, a user is given the chance to play a simple game – guess what number the app is ‘thinking of’. If they guess the right number, they get their order for free. While it might not be economically viable to do this on every order, we thought the gamification aspect was a really neat way of keeping users engaged. It’s already got us thinking of ways to test similar mechanics in the near future…

He also thought about referrals, offering users a 10% discount for rating the app out of five. The use of this referral mechanism went down really well with the Simpleweb team, in fact we see many apps not taking advantage of mechanisms like this to retain and acquire users.Screenshot of Eventeroo on samsung phoneThe whole team were super impressed with the work Ben did with his time at Simpleweb. Not bad for a week’s work experience!

“Ben immediately fitted in and impressed us with his creativity and ability to just get on with it” said Simpleweb MD Mark. “The retention mechanic he came up with was genius and we’d have him back for sure :)”

Ben’s Mum, the fabulous Sonja of Valuable Content said “Thank so much for taking Ben through the process last week. He loved his work experience with you. Simpleweb rules.”

And finally, Ben himself said he “enjoyed making the prototype for the app” and thought Simpleweb was a “very nice place to work and it makes it look like working life isn’t as bad as I first thought.” We’ll take that. 😁

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