The 1%

Personal project


This was a chat application that I designed as an experiment to learn more about spending behaviour in mobile games.


My hypothesis was that people will spend money to increase their status in games, and will spend a ridiculous amount in order to guard and keep that status.

I needed to control the environment as much as possible, so I needed to answer "what is the least amount of 'game' that I can make, that encourages people to spend money for their status?".

A close up of two mockups from the 1 Percent app.

The "Game"

It's a simple chat application, but every time you send a message, it displays your name, your location, and your level. If you want to increase your level, you must pay a dollar .

Messages are posted in white text into the chat, but the top 1% of the users who have the highest level will have their message displayed in blue text . That's it. If someone bumps you out of the 1% by having a higher level than you, you lose the blue text on your messages. So the idea is that people that get bumped out of the 1% will then spend more to get back into the 1%.

A few mockups of the major screens in the 1 Percent.


As this was a project I came up with, I knew I would need some help as I'm not great at UI Design, and know nothing about implementation.

Here you can see some of the wireframes I made and communicated to the UI Designer, who made the final mockups . It is a small app and there are only about 5 screens and a few edge cases I had to consider.

Two wireframes of the The 1 Percent app.

Extra Stuff

I ended up finding someone to build this with me, and while the backend was being worked on, I busied myself with everything else in the process of releasing it to the world.

I taught myself how to build the front end, I researched the submission process, how microtransactions work, legal stuff, and the website.

Here is the splash page we were going to use online.

A screenshot of the splash page for the The 1 Percent app.


Though the app itself was never completed, I would love to see it finished one day. The designs are done, so if you would like to see the rest of them, or want to build this yourself, just ask and I would be happy to share.

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