Eat.fi, a Finnish website that let’s its users rate restaurants and bars and show which ones are open at a given time, is about to get a serious face lift. The folks at Eat.fi emphasize that the new site is in Beta and unlike Google’s Betas this Beta is really just to test out the functionality, thus all the reviews should still be written to the old site or they will disappear when the new site goes live.
The new site is build on Google maps and the new mashup has really improved the user experience. The site is easier to use and more intuitive from the get go. The functionality has also improved significantly. The website has a new bar on the right hand side of the screen which is quite handy showing the top rated restaurants which are open at a given moment. The ‘top rated’ bar of course changes based on your query, thus filtering out for example all the other venues except ‘Asian food’ if that’s what you’re after.
The smart folks at Eat.fi figured out they could use Jaiku’s active user base to get feedback for their Beta (here). This is an ingenious and many times very effective way to get feedback for your web service due to the vocal yet colorful user base at Jaiku, thus giving you passionate opinions across the board from professional designers and user experience geeks to your average Joe.
The new Beta site and activity at Eat.fi leaves me wondering if or rather when they are taking the concept abroad. It turns out that the same Jaiku thread partly answers that one as well: