Creating a digital identity and a
mobile experience at Squeel.

Simply put, our goal with Squeel was to build a sports trash talking app that brought people together through trash talking each other about sports. It was a crazy mission, but for a short amount of time, it succeeded.


CEO, Cofounder, & Lead of UX/UI


2 Full-Stack Developers
1 Social Advertising Lead
10 Brand Ambassadors


September 2014 – February 2018

The Challenge

  • Understanding where our users were and what they wanted.
  • Designing a seamless & simple enough product to not confuse early adopters.
  • Making sure user needs were communicated to developers.

Our Approach

  • Researching sports fanatic’s needs by conducting interviews and creating user personas.
  • Practicing team culture & leadership, agile design & development workflows, and test-driven
  • Design, test, and build 5 useful features with Marvel App, Sketch, & Ionic Framework.

Gathering research, understanding our users

Shots from East Lansing Startup Weekend 2016 preparing for our pitch

To do early research, we decided to conduct a little under 30 surveys with potential users around Michigan State University’s and University of Michigan’s campuses.

We learned these 5 things:

  • Our users wanted College Football.
  • They were interacting with sports roughly 5 hours per day.
  • They mostly used ESPN to track their sports.
  • The market was much bigger than the rivarly between MSU & UofM.
  • Our users were going to use this app more-so as students trash talking other students, versus what we thought – sports conversations.

From this point, we started manuvering our branding and advertising language to fit our user’s desires. We then created a couple user stories and started sketching out and brainstorming some of our beginning ideas for the product.

“In my role as a sports trash talker, I’d like a feed to trash talk other fans.”

“In my role as a sports trash talker, I’d like a way to recognize witty posts and reward them for their wittiness.”

These user stories were created to help us develop a product to fit our user’s needs

First iterations

When it came to designing our first iteration, we had a crazy mission with a lot of
random features that we eventually slimmed down. We started off by sketching and breaking down screens and features, ultimetly creating some flat low-fi screens.

Some of the features that stayed in our final version were “trophying” or liking posts and categorizing “trash talkers” by teams and games.

Some of our early mockups and ideas

Finalizing our mobile experience

The way the product started off was a simple idea, yet a complicated design.
From choosing what sports you like, versus what you don’t like, to then choosing games you want to talk about, we just felt like the overall process could be simplified.

So we set out on a mission to create a seamless user experience. All of the design choices we made were intentional. With bright attractive colors, a decluttered & simple user interface, and engaging features that match exactly what our users wanted, we felt as though we accomplished exactly what we intended to do. We had reason to believe so, within our first week after launching, our Twitter-esque type app gained us the attention to be in the Top 500 Grossing Apps on the Apple App Store for a week.

Want to try it out?

Test out the full prototype to the right or

click here to download the Android app.

East Lansing Startup Weekend 2016

In 2016, our team went to East Lansing Startup Weekend. For 55 hours, we got a small team together, planned, and executed a simple product to pitch to judges at the end of the weekend. Check out the video to the right to see what our experience was like and what working on our team was all about.

More shots from East Lansing Startup Weekend 2016

Our Final Why

When we first started Squeel, our 1 simple goal was to bring people together, even through their differences. Squeel was a stepping stone for us to continue bringing people together through other projects. While it was a fun project to work on, the team wasn’t passionate about the product, only the mission. So after 4 eventful-filled years, we took a step back from Squeel, and started exploring other products and ideas we had, all under the same umbrella – bringing people together.

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