::urban insider

Urban Insider is a cross-platform web app that gets New Yorkers outside to be on the inside. The app allows users to learn quick, easy, useful tips and tricks based on their location.


Urban Insider (formerly naTive new yorkers) is a mobile web-based application that answers those city-specific questions that can only be answered by true natives. Find out the best way to fish your fallen wallet out of the subway tracks, why there are no cabs available between 4pm-5pm, or the cheapest way to sound-proof your walls to muffle the loud, late-night activities of your neighbors. Got a better answer? Prove it by adding it to the app. The only way to become a native is to lay your roots and the only way to do that, is to learn how to build a stable foundation here. If you can obliterate a roach infestation and know the best section of the train to ride for all of your destinations, then you’re a valuable expert contributor.

Since content is community driven, we decided a mobile web application would be best suited (instead of a native app) since it is free and accessible to all. This means we do not have to design it for multiple platforms and instead just build the site and set it to work with mobile screens and usability. This will be a simple user interface using the kind of interaction that sites like Wikipedia and Quora use.

We wanted to build something simple (think WTFSIMFD) that was easy and quick to consult both at home and on the go. We want the app to be both useful and serendipitous.

Construction and Wireframes

Below are our wireframes for the app. Each tip is randomly generated based on your location. The more positive feedback a tip gets, the more likely it is to appear. Users can up vote good tips as well as comment on them to help others learn the ropes of their city, better.

Here is our Midterm Presentation powerpoint on Urban Insider. I am currently building the site using Ruby/Sinatra/Heroku which should launch soon.


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