Knowsy App Game


A mobile app game using compulsive behaviors and viral hooks to drive social sharing and increase user acquisition

On the Markkit app, users interact with products and other users to drive repeat impressions and each other’s intent to buy. An active community of 100,000 style and beauty enthusiasts, aged 14–34, play merchandise-based games to close the gap to conversion. Markkit’s lightweight social interactions enable peer-to-peer awareness, viral social consideration, and repeat style validation. Knowsy is a quiz-style game, aimed at driving these compulsive, simple interactions and increasing virality within and outside of the existing Markkit community.

Client: Markkit
Date: December 29, 2014
Role Head of Design + UI/UX
Services Mobile App, UI/UX Design


Markkit had great user retention, but user acquisition had stalled — we needed a reason for new users to onboard and for our current users to spread the word and invite their friends to join.


User Interviews

We conducted user interviews to determine what would motivate them to share their Markkit content, and what type of game would keep them coming back for more.

Data Analysis

Alongside the Lead Engineer, I defined what data we had access to and what information would be most important to users — namely, their friends (besties) and their style (look).

Sketch + Wire

We went through an aggressive concepting and design phase, where the team collaboratively created a crazy number of variations on a quiz-style game in an equally crazy short amount of time.

Iterate, iterate, iterate

I took the data and feedback and created what felt like thousands of variations on a quiz-style game. We implemented the first iteration as quickly as possible, evaluated the results and iterated again and again.


Our users told us that what motivated them was our best asset — free merch!

We couldn’t exactly give our merch away for free — we still needed to turn a profit — so we offered deep discounts instead. The viral hook came with who actually received the discount. Instead of giving the user playing the game a discount, we decided to flip it and give the discount to the friend with whom the user was playing. For example, if I were playing Knowsy to see how well I know you, and totally nailed it with a perfect 100% score, you’d get a discount on your next Markkit purchase. Cool, huh?


For the most part, the design of Knowsy is simple — a clean interface while playing and big, in-your-face colorful celebrations. I used color (or lack thereof) and copy to drive user interaction and create ‘moments of delight’ for the user.


Numbers don’t lie

We immediately saw an increase in Daily Active Users (DAU) on the app — a huge jump from 5,000 to 11,000.

An increase in game actions (users playing more frequently and for longer periods of time) meant that we had accomplished our goal — create a compulsive game that everyone wants to play!

What happened next?

We continued to analyzie our user data and iterate on the design of the game. Throughout Knowsy’s short but sweet life, we added deeper discounts, optimized social sharing, leaderboards, more intuitive instructions at the onset, and a ‘Gifted’ tab. The ‘Gifted’ tab displayed the total dollar amount (or actual merch, if applicable) that the user had won for other Knowsy players — a way of showing how generous they’d been.

Created using Photoshop, Illustrator, Google Analytics, Mixpanel, and Markkit users