I know this has been a focus of mine in some recent postings, but I like to exhaust looking at a site and using it as you would, everyday. Then giving my feedback, opinions and summaries. Foursquare has a place in the market with a future, that I am sure. When it will catch on is yet to be seen. This is what is missing right now from taking the next steps in my usability eyes
- A client, other than the mobile web, for mobile devices and smartphones. The iPhone is the place they will start. The BlackBerry and Android should be soon to follow. With the native client I can interact faster, add far more integration into the device itself and provide an experience based on the device, not the website.
- Enable site tagging from the mobile interface. See above first in making a proper client. I already have fields for name, address, cross street, phone numbers and even Twitter accounts for the location. How about one for tagging? Having this only available via the web leaves most places with no definition. You have search enabled for tagging, but not entering. No wonder there are so many empty.
- Allow me to find my friends in any city as a toggle. Just because I am not in NYC that instant doesn’t mean I am not headed there or want to locate someone. The mobile web only shows me the local people. A great choice for default, but expand it, allowing me to see everyone in my network when needed.
- Open more of the great stats found online to the mobile device. A native client would make this simpler but just adding this would add some interest. Even when exploring other people. How active are they, where do they go most. (Almost moves toward stalking, but they have to approve you first anyway)
- Speed the process of creating new badges. I liked the idea of being able to outline and submit ideas for new badges. It was hard to find, and many I asked didn’t know you could do it. But a great way for businesses to have their own. Think of sports teams making a badge for those that check in at their venue a specific number of times. A great incentive that could have awards behind it. The same stands true for restaurants as well.
As I add more friends and am able to see how they interact, I still wonder where the revenue model is unless ads are a short time coming. I am not talking intrusive ads, but ones where a sponsor is able to place an ad around where you check in, meaning you have an interest in that already. Not just wildly placed ones that had no bearing on my likes and past visits. Yes, this is how FourSquare also acts being able to create a pseudo history of places you go and how they are tagged. All learned behavior. Look out for something like the Facebook Credit Card coming along base on those same premises.