Every city or town has something to offer to its visitors. Be it the local church, historical city square, café run by one family for over fifty years, restaurant with local food, or that stylish hotel near the lake that offers the best breakfast.
Having a mobile guide helps the visitors find these attractions and learn more about the history of the city. Effortix enables you to pack your app with pages about points of interest, local services, famous people and other content. On top of that, each entry can be accompanied by an audio recording.
We will cover every part of the creation process and the result will be an app that is useful not only to city tourists but its citizens as well.
So let’s start building our travel guide!
The planning stage
You should start by making a list of all the points of interest for your mobile guide. After you finish, sort it and put the most famous or important to the top of the list.
Depending on your strategy, you can either do the same with local services or sell the opportunity to be listed in the mobile city guide to the business owners.
Then, you should write some general information about your city and it’s history or get it from public sources on the web.
Think of the events, that happen in your city often and make a list of these as well.
Research local famous people to add them to another list, these could be artists, architects, war heroes, local celebrities…
Having a plan like this enables you to track your progress and ensures that you won’t forget anything in the process of actually creating your app.
Also, you can create the first version of your mobile guide in a shorter amount of time with only the most important content done and then work on the rest and update it later.
Creating the app
Points of Interest
The majority of every printed tourist guide consists of Points of Interest. And it’s not different for most of the mobile guides built by our users.
Write an engaging description for every POI. Keep it around 100 – 300 words and make the font bold. Then add any additional information that might interest some people who are more into history, people who like to read a lot etc. in the normal font.
The tab “Facts” is best suited for some really interesting things from the history or the myths that are told about the place. You should add two or more.
If the POI is a museum, a park or anything with an entrance or another fee, list them under the “Prices” tab and add opening hours as well.
To make your guide really great, narrate a story with fitting music in the background and set the mood with the audio recording. Audio content is a great way to make your visitors really enjoy your attractions because they can keep their eyes off their phones and look around themselves.
Take or find professional photos of POIs. You want your visitors to look at these photos and say “I must see this for myself” and the best way to do it is with short, engaging description and beautiful photos. Attach three or five of them. You should also make sure to keep the aspect ratio consistent across all the images and use smaller dimensions to keep the file size low.
Putting contact information and links to connect your guide with content on the web will make the search for details easier for your users.
Make sure you insert the location of all entries you will put into your guide. All POIs, services etc. with coordinates are automatically added to the map along with trip routes etc.
Tourists and citizens of your city should be informed about the latest news and upcoming events. They also want to enjoy the best services your city can offer, learn about the history, go for trips around the area and generally have a good time without feeling lost or confused. The mobile guide can help with that.
To support local small businesses, add them into your app and partner up with them! Offer coupons to users of your app to drive them to local pubs etc.
For bigger cities, though, it’s almost impossible to include ALL of the restaurants and hotels without cluttering the app and paralyzing the users with too many options to choose from.
There are two ways to solve this – sell the spots in your app as advertising OR add only the ones you know are the best in your town and worthy of visiting by tourists.
However, avoid listing services in the city center only, and try to space them all evenly to make sure visitors can reach the nearest service easily wherever they are.
When creating the listings, keep the description short as you did with POIs, add 3 – 5 photos of the interior and don’t forget to add at least one photo of the exterior!
Add contacts & links, opening hours, booking/menu on the web if applicable and GPS coordinates. You can also add simple price lists with a few items so visitors can quickly compare the price ranges of different services.
This pub is full of people and you can be certain that some of them are there because of the mobile guide!
News & Events
Anything interesting happening? Add it to your mobile guide!
Keeping users informed with the latest information and having a list of cultural events in the app makes your mobile guide useful to the locals as well.
Make sure to keep your mobile guide up-to-date and add news frequently. Also, don’t forget to delete old news. Nobody wants to read about something that is not relevant anymore because it took place a month ago.
City History & Other Information
To please all history enthusiasts, create a text page and call it “History of the city,” then add a basic timeline with important facts and interesting things from the history of the city.
You can use the text page components for any other information you might want to present to your users – it’s all up to you.
Guess what, adding the map into your mobile guide is the easiest part of the building process. Just add the map, rename it if you want and you are done.
Every POI, service and trip are automatically added into the map and you don’t have to do anything else to make it work the way it’s supposed to!
Got lost? This picture is history thanks to mobile guide with interactive navigation…
Trips are a great way to guide the visitors around the city with your custom route. To create a trip for your app, you need a KML file with the route data.
Create a route with Google My Maps and then export it into .KML and upload it to your app.
List the places the user is going to see while following the directions and write an accurate and engaging description to convince tourists to take the trip.
Add length and difficulty of the trip, admission fees and opening hours of paid attractions on the trip and upload a few photos taken on the route.
You may have heard that content is king. When it comes to mobile guides audio content is the new king.
Producing high-quality narration with fitting music in the background might be time consuming and expensive but it will enhance the experience of your users a million times.
Reading from your smartphone screen in the afternoon sun is not the most pleasant thing to do in a crowded historic center of your city – listening to interesting facts from your own headphones is a much better experience.
What is this man going to listen to? Of course, it’ll be a story about your city played by the mobile guide!
If you decide to add audio content into your app, consider which items of your guide will benefit the most from it – record a few samples for your most important POIs and work from there. You can add audio continuously at your own pace and update it anytime you want.
If you’ve followed all of the steps above, then that’s it! Your mobile guide is ready to be published and used by your citizens and tourists.