First Impressions and Features
When launching the app I first noticed that it had a clean and simple interface. I wasn't blown away by the colors that they used, but it was well-organized and I love an app that is in order and easy to use. Next, I noticed it was broken up into four categories: Localmind, My Questions, Local Activity and Profile. In order for me to begin using the app I first had to pick my preferred check-in service. They gave me the options of Foursquare, Facebook, Gowalla, Twitter and GMail. If you choose not to check-in you still have to choose what service you want. I chose Facebook because that is the only one I use.
Now I was ready to ask and answer questions. I first decided to search my favorite chain restaurant Chili's Grill and Bar to see if it was busy. Unfortunately it only showed me someone who checked-in at a Chili's 121.8 miles away about one month ago. Then it gave me a list of all the other people who lived nowhere near me and checked-in weeks ago at a Chili's. I was a little disappointed because I wanted to see how it worked right away, but I understand that it's a new app and that the word needs to be out in order for it to be a successful one.
There are a lot of things I like about this app. First of all it's a great way to find local spots to eat at when you're out-of-town. It's like you have inside knowledge about the hottest bars and nightclubs in town. Second, I like how you remain anonymous. I don't want strangers seeing my picture, or knowing personal information about me. For the users that don't want to remain anonymous there is the option to reveal your identity. Third, it makes you feel good to help someone out. The other day I was sitting at the park with my kids and someone asked me where the best park was in the area. I have been away on business trips with my husband and wish I knew where the best parks were to take my kids. It felt great to help a fellow parent out.
Another unique feature I liked was how they give you "Karma points" for checking in, answering questions and tracking if the questions are helpful or not. They make it like a game, and who doesn't like games? They even have a leaderboard and expert venues category under your profile. In a new update they now offer an amazing feature where you can answer a question with a photo. If someone asks you what the bar looks like, you can answer them with a photo beside a text. This feature gives users an incredible visual of what they want to see. Also included in their update is the ability to add your thoughts to past questions that are from other users. I am not too sure how well this feature is going to work out, but I am interested to see what happens with it in the future.