Appy Monday – City Mapper
(Thopon Chowdhury @ThoponChowdhury)
At one point we’ve all been lost, or found ourselves staring at a tube map thinking, “right how do I get to the green line from the red line, maybe the blue line?” or similarly standing after a night out freezing cold thinking “is there a night bus nearby?”
Google tells us that the number of smartphone owners has reached 72% in the UK. With a device in hand and the availability of services like Citymapper, will we ever be lost again?!
Citymapper provides coherent, easy to follow directions for city dwellers, whether its walking, the tube, bus, cycling, cabs or even catapults, Citymapper will find your route in an instant. Another startup that simplifies our lives and saves us time, great news.
Despite the novelty of Citymapper, Google Maps has remained the most used map service. Though it primarily was based around GPS technology for vehicles, Google Maps now offers walking and public transport information in real time. Citymapper has managed to expand incredibly quickly, possibly due to the ease of use of their app, the companies fun take on things or simply because their service is preferred by many city folk. From a personal point of view, the arrow pointer on Citymapper is far better at directing me when I’m walking then Google Maps has ever been so it’s wins for me.
If you’re confused between whether City Mapper is for you, we can hopefully help. This is our review on the app:
The looks. With a plain green background and white buttons, this design is laid out very simply with recognisable icons. It’s clean, it’s simple and effective. I would say however that, the google interface in comparison looks far more professional and modern. However maybe that’s the charm of Citymapper?
With all map services, user experience is vital! The app has to be user friendly and simple so that people can navigate to their destination efficiently. I would say Citymapper is incredibly simple and intuitive however first time users will often complain that things aren’t as clear as they could but as soon as you’ve used it effectively once, it’s very simple. Further to this, the placement of repeat journeys, home journey and saved journeys are great additions to speed up the process.
Considering this app gives you information about travel and destination, you wouldn’t expect it to be ‘fun’. Yet thats not the case with City Mapper. The app has a catapult or jetpack feature that shows an animation of a character catapulting to your destination. It also gives the estimated time it takes to catapult. Don’t try this at home kids! Fun elements that makes it more light hearted than it’s rivals.
Addictive / Reusable
In terms of reusability, the app sits high up on the scales. People use this app to gain information about their journey. It successfully directs you from one location to another which is all that user is looking for in the app. As it meets it’s own aim of successful journey’s, many users will come back to use it in the future. Yet there is a problem. City Mapper is only based in certain cities which is not ideal for long journey’s which it’s rival, Google does. This has a huge effect on their audience and impacts the app massively.
In terms of costs, not to worry, City Mapper is free! The app holds massive value to its users. It informs them of their bus times every day, train times, cycle durations and journey time and lengths. Its is a tool that some have adopted in everyday life. The Verb team all seem to be City Mapper obsessed, maybe its because we all live in Central London, but we’re all digital / app obsessed designers and developers so it must be good right?
Overall City Mapper succeeds on its goal. It provides an information service that assists people in their journeys. The app would receive negative points for the fact that it doesn’t cover that many cities yet, however it’s growing fast and it’s relatively new so we’ll let it off.