Tags: ratemyarea

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sparkline

Rating and launching

Rate My Area describes itself as:

…the new and easy way to find, review, share and discuss all that’s good (and not so good!) in your area.

The name is a little bit confusing. You don’t actually rate your area as such, you rate the businesses in your area. But Rate My Cafés, Pubs, Takeaways and Everything Else would be a very long-winded name.

Anyway, the reason I mention the site is that Clearleft had a hand in it: information architecture, visual design, and front-end build. That last part was where I was involved; markup, CSS and JavaScript. Although the site launched just this week, we finished our work on it finished quite a while back. We were beginning to wonder if it would ever see the light of day. Now that the site has finally launched, I can see where the time has gone: they’ve been seeding the site with oodles and oodles of good data. It makes quite a difference: instead of launching a ghost town, it feels like a vibrant, active place.

I had another concern with the launch of Rate My Area: after all this time, would any of my markup have survived intact? I needn’t have worried. Although there’s been plenty of extra work done on top of the templates we provided, the attention to detail has remained consistently high. As most front-end developers will agree, it’s not often that you can proudly point to a final site without having to add disclaimers about late additions that messed with your nice, pristine markup. Rate My Area looks like being an exception. As well as maintaining Paul’s beautiful and daring visual design, the site has a solid foundation of semantic markup stuffed full of microformats and enhanced with unobtrusive JavaScript.

My congratulations (and thanks) go out to Mike and Rory, the lads with the Rate My Area vision. Right now the site is confined to areas in Dublin but it will expand; the rest of Ireland, then the UK, and then …the world. Mwuhahaha!

Oh, one more thing: the site has an iPod version (not Clearleft’s work). Alas, you are directed automatically if you visit www.RateMyArea.com on your iPhone/iPod. I much prefer a separate subdomain like m.twitter.com and m.pownce.com. Still, it’s one of the nicest iPhone sites I’ve seen.