Oh Hey World is a travel web app I’ve been working on for the past five months. Drew Meyers and Eric Roland hired me last summer to act as lead designer. Since then, we’ve been building several prototypes (both web and iOS), scrapping designs, adding features, and adapting to find the best way to break into the travel space.
Last week, we brought the site into a limited beta release. I’m going to quickly highlight some of the app’s current functionality.
Oh Hey World is partially a check-in service, like Foursquare. Unlike other services, you can only check in at the city level. Once you’ve arrived in a city, Oh Hey World will let you post your arrival to Twitter and Facebook.
You can also send emails and free text messages to US numbers. There are always people (friends, spouses, parents, event organizers) who’d like to know immediately that you’ve arrived safely. But always having to send “Hi, Mom, yes, I’m in Beijing, everything is fine” can be a pain in the ass. Oh Hey World makes it a little easier by remembering your contacts and letting you send one message to all of them using both text and email.
After you check in, Oh Hey World displays a city screen. The city screen shows you other Oh Hey World users who have publicly checked in to that city. You can also see Facebook friends and friends-of-Facebook friends who are currently living there.
This information is actually surprisingly hard to find on Facebook itself. It’s one of the most useful features of Oh Hey World, and one I use all the time.
Oh Hey World allows user to tag themselves with keywords (think hashtags) that are searchable to other users. These keywords will also help us sort and match more relevant people you might like to meet when you land in a new city.
When we say “beta,” we mean it. There’s a lot of functionality that is being toyed with and added. Every day, new bugs and frustratingly hard problems pop up that we have to solve in the best way possible. So while I encourage you to try it out, please keep in mind how young this product is. Real life user data is invaluable, but I want to make sure you guys have the right expectations.
If you’re interested in testing the app out, you can use this sign up code. There are a limited number of uses for that registration code, so if it runs out and you still want in, get a hold of me through email or Twitter and I’ll let you in.
Published on March 19, 2013