ohello: project breakdown

For Dutch startup Qlickr, I designed their first product: the ohello-app. It’s a very Dutch app, meaning it’s very direct and no-nonsense: designed for the sole purpose of meeting new people as quickly as possible. But not in a seedy manner or anything, it’s just a swift and kind ‘hello’, always in a local bar, which is handpicked by the app’s algorithm.



Since the client wanted to emphasise that going on a ‘hello’ is not a traditional date, a typographic version of the logo was chosen as an ambitious attempt to claim the word ‘hello’ as to give it a new meaning. The logo is a simple derivation from the by now classic Coquette font. Within the app itself, it is complemented by Apple’s San Fransisco.


The user searches, selects a few likeable figures, and the app sets up a place to meet within the hour. It’s not possible to chat beforehand, but it’s got a rating system to keep the creeps out. A thing I like about the app, is that it allows the user to specify its gender as ‘who cares’ and to search for ‘who cares’. After doing some research I was astonished to find this completely lacking in most social apps. These days, I do think some people like to identify themselves with their gender in a more fluid manner and apps should reflect that as not to discriminate.

The frontend was written in [not at liberty to say-coding language] using the [not at liberty to say-framework], for both Android and iOS. This was a new language for me, I’m not a coder, and I have to say, it was quite a trip down the rabbit lane. I spent many nights on Slack and Skype learning from the brilliant CTO/architect, [not at liberty to reveal the name of the architect], who is based in the US.

As we worked with junior frontend developers, I decided to keep both the design and the animation simple. The app itself is built from primitive shapes and five vivid colours. Because the app is all about curiosity, any animated elements are based on eyes looking around drawn in fat outlines. I found it hard to keep it cute, without it becoming childish, keep it cheeky, without it becoming creepy. The eyes in the top menu literally follow the user throughout the app.




As soon as the developers started chasing for bugs, I started on the online campaign. Together with my intern, Rick Imambaks, we developed a series of 20 GIF’s for Instagram. Each GIF focuses on a single quality of the app, either direct, absurd, or sarcastic. These gifs as a whole, seen in a grid, make for a continuous tale. Here, a few examples:



It can be downloaded here for iOS or here for Android (for now, in The Netherlands only).


Unfortunately, I had to abandon the project. Culturally, the client and I turned out to be a mismatch. Maybe the app will be huge, which would be lovely, perhaps it will fade into oblivion, a lot of apps tend to do so. Either way, as I left the project and have no control of the final designs and the course of the campaign, I can’t take credit for this project. But I did learn a lot about cross-platform app-development, and I’m super thankful for the opportunity.