We could not have been more excited when the team at Google
Maps approached us with an opportunity to concept, design and develop an
experience that could generate Maps App downloads on iOS.
Smarty Pins was pitched as a game that would put trivia on
the map. A mobile-first experience with
companion desktop and tablet versions, it aimed to playfully showcase the
Google Maps interface and design language from within a web browser (avoiding
that dreaded barrier for entry, the app download). Knowing in advance that there would be no paid media driving traffic to the experience, we worked closely with the
Maps team at Google to design and balance a game that was accurate, shareable (naturally)
and above all, fun.
At its heart, Smarty Pins asks players to answer trivia
questions by dropping pins on a map – an immediately approachable task. To keep players engaged, we wrote over 2,700
items of content and carefully sorted them into six categories. Each trivia question was tweaked and rated with
its own difficulty. New players were
served easy questions to build their confidence. Advanced players were served soul-crushingly
difficult content until only the most seasoned trivia elite could compete for
the diamond pin trophy.
Upon launch, the game was an instant success with 3.2 million plays in the first few weeks and average play times of over five minutes. With minimal banner presence to direct players to the
experience, we relied heavily on the press who thankfully jumped on the
experience, publishing 416 articles including highlights from Polygon, The
Verge, Tech Crunch and The Huffington Post.
Check out the experience at http://smartypins.withgoogle.com/.
- Smarty Pins
- Mobile, Tablet & Desktop
- 2700 Trivia Items
- 4 Localized Versions