Play for food: the challenges of creating a Snapchat lens

20.04.21 | by Fernanda Vales

During the second half of 2020, our amazing motion designer Facundo and our developer whizz Nhan worked together on one of the most playful and engaging Snapchat lenses we have created so far: ‘Play for food’. 

With lenses, brands can create memorable and shareable experiences using augmented reality. And through gamification, users can interact with our brands and products in a really fun way. 

In this game-based lens, Snapchat users are challenged to choose their favourite dish and score with the correct hand gesture. 

It looks like this:

While it may be great fun to play, creating it wasn’t without its challenges. In this post we are going to take you through the journey, step by step!

A very clear brief

Before we could begin, we needed to think about who we’re designing for and what its purpose is.

In the case of ‘Play for food’, the lens was created specifically for talabat, one of Delivery Hero’s brands in the Middle East, active in over six countries. Snapchat is heavily used across the region and users frequently interact with it, while gamified lenses have been proven to perform higher and be more engaging than the more basic versions. 

When it comes to the focus of the lens, talabat wanted us to create a concept around user interaction and gamification, always considering that a lens created for talabat should appeal to multiple markets.

A powerful idea

After fully understanding the brief and the needs of the brand we started looking into different lenses and possibilities using Lens Studio, the platform that Snapchat provides for Lens creation. Facundo and Nhan came up with an idea of a game: users pick their favourite dish and are challenged to follow the food item through different rounds using hand recognition technology. When the game starts after the selection, their hand should match the gesture on the screen three times to win.

From the beginning, we knew the idea had a lot of potential and was great for user engagement. Gamification and interaction were central and it is flexible enough to meet the needs of different markets – a perfect solution for the brief! The only thing left was to design and develop it, which turned out to be a challenging but also an exciting and collaborative process!

Challenge accepted

With the idea decided, we needed to refine every detail in order to bring the lens to life. This required further developments:

  • Game structure and logic: This is where we defined the game start, development and ending, as well as the screens, function and layout of all the possible outcomes. Plus we had to keep in mind questions like: How do we make the selection of the food visually clear? What happens if the user wins? And what if they lose? We needed to make sure the selection of food and the scoring or failing was visually and audibly clear & easy to follow.
  • Game complexity: The game became even more challenging for the user after receiving feedback from talabat’s team, who loved it but wanted to take it to the next level by adding a timer to count down the seconds left and the play again button.
  • Message: A lot of information needed to be displayed clearly and concisely, without distracting from the task at hand. The user needed to understand the game quickly to maintain an engaging experience.
  • Design of the game stages and assets: Deciding how many choices of food would be available would allow a clear and clean design, while adding additional complexity. We needed to be able to incorporate food illustrations from the brand, design a score bar to reinforce the game progress and create “correct” and “incorrect” visuals for the possible results. We also had to make sure the brand presence was felt and – last but not least – all the assets had to be suitable for different phone models.
  • Mechanism: The game required coding expertise in order to set up all the logic and develop the food selection, the gesture shuffle and the hand gesture check.
  • Adaptations: Even though the lens was created for talabat, we would then launch it as a lens available to other Delivery Hero brands in other markets. Therefore, we had to always keep in mind that it should be adaptable to different visual identities and audiences.

Teamwork = done!

We’re happy and proud to say we jumped over all these hurdles to create a winning end result. The creation of the lens required a lot of time and effort, with many hours spent in meetings, brainstorming, reading and learning, and multiple feedback rounds and tests were also part of the process. And it wasn’t just Facundo and Nhan involved; many members of both Delivery Hero’s central marketing team and local teams helped solve the above challenges from different angles and made the final lens even more complex. 

We think this is a great example of how team work can really make the dream work – and the greatest solutions always come through collaboration! 

Want to have a go? Scan the code below to play!

20.04.21 | by Fernanda Vales