ASU students develop addiction.to app, look to connect people with common interests

Scott Buscemi, a software developer working with ASU students, is releasing a new app to bring friends together using their interests. (Photo by Axel Everitt)

Scott Buscemi, a software developer working with ASU students, is releasing a new app to bring friends together using their interests. (Photo by Axel Everitt)

Addiction.to is a mobile application that aims to feed users’ greatest desires by connecting them to others with the same “addiction,” creating a network of individuals with common interests.

ASU alumnus Scott Buscemi and software engineering freshman Zach Christopoulos created the app together, though they have never met in person or heard each other’s voices.

Buscemi said he would often see people post on Facebook that they were addicted to something, which made him wonder why there was no easy way to connect with people who have the same so-called addictions. At the time, Buscemi worked on producing websites for various consumers.

 

 

Buscemi took to Twitter, which he found to be an unconventional, yet effective source of recruitment. Through this method, Buscemi hired Christopoulos.

“I’m blessed to have the opportunity to already be developing,” Christopoulos said. “Creating mobile applications have been what I’ve wanted to do ever since Apple launched the App Store.”

The application was created with the intent to “Fulfill your life,” Buscemi said.

The user-friendly application takes up to 10 “addictions,” which are common interests, and connects the user to events called get-togethers related to their addiction.

Bobby Giangeruso, addiction.to’s designer, is a 16-year-old high school student who lives in Lyndhurst, N.J. He said he wanted to make sure the interface was easy.

“What drove the app to have its current design is mainly what was best for the users,” he said.

The user-oriented application was made with a minimalistic approach and is aimed toward push notification use, Giangeruso said.

“We didn’t want users staring at their screen for hours,” Buscemi said. “Instead, we wanted them to pull out their phones and see a notification for get-togethers going on.”

The team’s overall dynamic is unique. Buscemi and Christopoulos exchanged ideas through text and social media sites. They’ve stayed in touch through communication application HipChat and stayed in unison with each other using project management system Asana.

The development process was a year-long trial that witnessed a troublesome website launch, a clash between generations and an overhaul in design. The website that launched a year ago was a difficult time in the applications history.

Buscemi said his partner during that time was an older man who understood code in a different way that he did. The conflicting viewpoints led to an eventual shutdown of the site. From there, Buscemi decided it was time to adapt to the current needs.

“It was a lot heavier when it started up,” he said. “We worked hard to streamline the application to make it more mobile and have an overall lighter feel.”

Buscemi and Christopoulos are launching the application Feb. 27, exclusively at ASU on the IOS system.

Reach the reporter at hfrodrig@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @hans_rodrig