When I roam around a city (which rarely happens I
promise think) I often find myself wishing there was a good way to search for local services (coffee shops, bars, restaurants).
This unicorn has never appeared though. Local seemed to be impossible with current tech.
Then I was on the subway this morning. And a tweet lead me to Google Mobile, below the search bar I found something odd...
It said log in. And it asked for my location (sorry about the Swedish btw, I'm in Sweden so Google assumes I prefer the deprecated language over English).
Now I've used Google Places before and I was not impressed. There simply isn't enough aggregated data in Stockholm for it to work. Well that's what I thought.
I logged in and pressed the icon marked "Cafe's". Lo and behold! Google quickly returned Coffee shops close to my location, on a map even!
Now this is impressive. But what is a lot more impressive is what happened next. I scroll down the list and instead of just finding aggregated information, which I come to expect from Google, I'm shown an impressive interface of detailed information and functions for each location.
Not only can I call the location directly from the app, I can also find reviews directly. But this is the most impressive part: the item on top of the list is shown on the map (which stays at the top as you scroll) and an overlay button appears letting me find Directions to the location...
This post is quite probably the worst I've ever written, and that is because I'm completely blown away by the UX of this SERP.
Google has really understood what I want out of a local search and given me the tools I need to use the information they present me with. A level of user experience I've never seen from Google and would only expect from the very best Apple products.
Google, I salute you. Keep this up!