Urbany – Designing the Ultimate Mashup
Which service do you turn to when you look for a nice restaurant or bar? Every one of us probably has one preferred service: Foursquare has awesome information about our friends preferences, community sites like Yelp or Qype have tons of well written reviews from users, premium content providers send out their well-trained locations scouts and reviewers, and people talk about places on Facebook. And there are so many more.
But using all of these services is cumbersome, because their information is siloed. We wanted to change that, using our API linking platform at hand. So we set out to design a mobile app that can unify all the location information you care about into one beautiful interface. The ultimate location mashup: Urbany for the iPhone.
Urbany aggregates your favorite locations services. Built on top of Foursquare’s amazing venue database, we enrich every venue object with public content from other services. Locations are categorized into food, coffee, bar, and music:
Let’s look at search results around Berlin Mitte, where we’re based. The app show popular places on top, and each venue displays a primary food category, a list of icons for all the information sources we automatically pulled content from, and some ratings data. The rating data may included star ratings, or highlight that this venue is featured in the Lonely Planet for example. Everything you need to give you a quick overview of which venues might be interesting to you to explore further.
Another cool feature of this result list is the faceted filter bar on the bottom of the screen. There you can filter the results based on food category. It displays only those categories that are actually available in the list, showing the most popular in the area at first. So you see only food categories that you can actually get in the area, which we consider much more helpful than starting your search with a category filter only to find out that there are no such restaurants in your area.
Found a venue that looks interesting? Tap it to open the details screen. You can swipe the review-section to the right to read ratings, comments and reviews from many different services just in that screen.
We hope you like the Urbany app, it is available on the App Store for just $1.99. Let us know what you think about it: firstname.lastname@example.org .