Mobile Local Evolutions: A Conversation With DexOne

ScreenHunter_03 Nov. 05 09.40

We’ve long had an ax to grind about mobile products that simply port over online experiences to a smaller screen. This can be said for apps, as well as advertising. The latter too often inherits the creative, targeting and campaign objectives of its online forebears.

This also goes for local apps, and IYPs in particular. Lately we’ve seen a shift away from the first generation of IYP apps that mostly made the Yellow Pages smaller. Recent notable examples of good mobile apps include Supermedia, Yellowbook and YPMobile.

In this sense, the big 4 are are now complete with DexOne’s newest line of mobile apps and Web sites. And in doing so, it’s leapfrogged many competitors in design principle. This features an interface that accentuates city guide-like categories that one is likely to search while mobile.

These include things like gas prices, movie tickets, events and taxis. This reminds me in some ways of Poynt, one of our favorite and top-rated mobile local apps. Categories are laid out in different squares, dubbed Chiclets, which automatically scroll in animated fashion.

This animation gives the app components of another mobile success factor we espouse: Discovery. In addition to searching for things on demand, the scrolling categories push information to the forefront such as local suggestions and tips.

According to Deborah Eldred, DexOne director of mobile and personalization, the company has formed new content partnerships to bring all of these pieces together. Best-of-breed content aggregation is another thing we espouse, and was examined in a recent report on YP mobile strategies.

For now, content partners include OpenTable, Fandango and Opis (gas prices). These categories will continue to build out and likely include other usual suspects for local search and discovery, such as parking, hotel reservations, Wi-Fi hotspots and online ordering/menus.

“We’re always looking at what mobile users are searching for,” says Eldred. “We’re not just taking the top categories from the Web site. We feel like we’ve gotten out of the whole Yellow Pages look and feel and moved forward with a new design, and new way of thinking.”

The overhaul has been made across iOS, BlackBerry and Android platforms, as well as HTML and WAP. You can watch a video of the app in action here, or download it for free in the App Store.

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