As a Minneapolis web design agency, it goes without saying that we're huge fans of “The Great Minnesota Get Together”, also known as the Minnesota State Fair. In the true spirit of “Minnesota Nice”, we decided to bring our most creative teams together to create a Minnesota State Fair iPhone app that allowed us to use the amazing experiences we've had at the State Fair to help others experience it the best way we think possible. And of course, that has everything to do with what you eat there.
The back story
The entire iE office jumped at the opportunity to create a mobile app for the Minnesota State Fair. When the idea popped up a few weeks ago, we met immediately and began discussing the viability of getting an app approved and launched within such a short timeframe.
The Minnesota State Fair folks built a killer app and we were excited to join in on the fun. We also wanted to create a mobile app that offered fairgoers a truly unique experience.
We asked ourselves the following questions:
1) What is the best thing about the fair?
2) What is the worst thing about the fair?
As it turns out, the answers to both questions were the same: The overwhelming amount of food options.
As frequent fairgoers, we know that finding that perfect food is a daunting task because there are so many unique foods to be had at the State Fair. Figuring out where you need to be and arriving there to receive these wonderful bounties can be a real challenge.
We've all been there. You're on the prowl for some crazy food-concoction-on-a-stick. With the density of attractions at the State Fair, your original priorities run the risk of becoming a distant memory. Before you know it, you are watching a cow give birth to a baby calf, and have long forgotten you were en-route to get a deep-fried double bacon cheeseburger on-a-stick. Maybe that's not the most appetizing choice after seeing just how darn cute those baby calves are. “Aww… He just fell over.”
In other words, the indecision a hungry person experiences while standing on Judson Avenue surveying their culinary options can be difficult to deal with. Fair Shake was created to change that.
What the app does
Creating an app that curated all the overwhelming choice of food items at the fair was the way to go. Fair Shake gives users hand-picked selections at random in the category of your choice and then guides you to their booths with GPS integration.
First you select categories from the homescreen below. Then give your phone a shake.
Fair Shake will select an item out of the categories you've chosen and then give you the GPS coordinates to its location on the fairgrounds.
Too full from that deep-fried bacon-cheddar-mashed-potatoes-on-a-stick to walk across the fair to hit that next suggestion? Burn a few calories, shake it again and pray that it finds something tasty close by.
Development steps into the ring
A lot of little things can come up during app development, like the submission process. To read more about our experiences developing this app, read our content strategist's blog post about it here.
Thankfully, our CTO, Joe Osburn, has been lifting weights in the iOS development gym for a few years now. He was just waiting for a project to come along and say something bad about his skills. Unsurprisingly, he conquered this app development like Rocky conquered that training montage.
This was also an exciting time for everyone at iE. iOS devices were shaking, cowbells were ringing, stomachs were grumbling, and Pizza Luce was being ordered. (We have found that eating Pizza Luce results in 50% higher productivity in crunch time.) Our awesome and talented staff conquered every hurdle that presented itself, and we managed to develop what you see today.
Give it a try for yourself, and tell us all about your experience using our app at the fair. Leave us a review, give us feedback, and don't forget to have a blast at the fair this year!
Download the app from the iTunes store here.
We also want to give a shout out to the incredible administrative staff at the Minnesota State Fair. They were an awesome bunch to work with!
If you are interested in harnessing the unique functionality of a mobile app for your next web project, our mobile development team would love to help. Contact us: email@example.com and tell us a little bit about your big idea.
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This is great guys! Nice job and way to keep the business in our home town state!
Brandon Crowley Visual Web Group
Thanks for the kind words, Brandon!
We love Minnesota – and we’re just happy that we had the opportunity to build something for the local crowd.
Now I want a corn dog…
As do I, sir. As do I.