Eduardo Santana recently launched Weech One

Overwhelming choices: there’s an app for that

Visiting Saanich exchange student hopes social media site helps friends choose

Bar hopping is common with university students, but it was happening too often for Eduardo Santana.

The 22-year-old computer engineering student was courting his current fiancé in their native country of Brazil last year when her indecisiveness began wearing on him.

“We would go to one restaurant, or bar, then another. By the third place my fiancé would say, ‘Okay I like this place, we can stay here,’” he said.

Santana would attempt to expedite the process by contacting friends with his smartphone, but one day a new concept clicked – post a multiple choice survey question on an open media platform and get immediate feedback from friends.

Now Santana and development partner Caio Ferreira are hoping others will see the benefit – and fun – of posting or answering multiple choice question with instant results by using Weech One (a play on words for which one), which the pair launched July 1 at weechone.com. The layout is slick and the answers are chosen through clickable images.

“I wanted a fun way to ask friends before we went out: ‘which of these three or four restaurants should we go to,’” Santana said.

Santana and Ferreira built the site while living in Saanich over the past year, studying as exchange students at the University of Victoria on Brazilian scholarships. They picked up some skills at UVic to build the program.

“It’s soon to hit smartphones with apps … on the way. Each question can be localized through a hashtag and the answer options can be an image or text,” he said.

Is it a game changer? Too early to tell, but social media sites often take years to find their niche.

“We innovate on how the results are gathered in real time and on how intuitive and friendly our interface is,” Santana said.

Meanwhile UVic is keeping pace by offering an app development class for 2014-15, CSC 130, which focuses on mobile web technologies.

There’s also support on campus, the UVic Web Development and Design club, among other clubs, and the Innovation Centre for Entrepreneurs, an incubator for startups.

reporter@saanichnews.com