The saying goes that if you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life.
But then again, maybe you’ve just been to one pop-up-street-food-fest too many.
Regardless, there’s a whole host of event apps out there trying to convince you that there’s still so much left to do.
The question is – how do you decide which app to use?
I’ve decided to take a closer look at three of the biggest.
Here’s a run-down of what makes them interesting.
Launched in 2014, Dojo is the newest app out of the bunch, and unlike the others, it solely focuses on London (very sorry, everyone else).
With its integrated flash video and slick layout, the homepage is intuitive and easy-on-the-eye.
As with most event-apps, it is location-based, so it will automatically show the places that are nearest to you.
It also allows users to search by day or via its categories tab, which I found to be the easiest and most interesting way to navigate the app.
From ‘get fit’ to ‘beer gardens’, its specific nature means that it helps give ideas as well as narrow down the user journey.
There is a search option, however as I assume most people tend to use event apps to browse, this isn’t so important.
The category pages themselves are nicely curated – I especially like that you can see how far away a place is, along with the nearest station and current status.
This is all at a glance too, which means users don’t have to click through to find out the information.
Another effective part of Dojo is its engaging use of copy. It is personal and pithy in tone, providing a good amount of information along with a bit of humour.
Sadly, one aspect that is definitely less than par is the fact that it doesn’t allow users to directly book or buy in the app.
This means that it will take you to the external website if you want to do something like buy a cinema ticket or reserve a table.
While this is not disastrous, it certainly disrupts the fluidity and makes the user experience less enjoyable.
On the other hand, Dojo does include some convenient features like its integrated options for Citymapper and Uber.
Similarly, the in-app map allows you to see what else is going on around you, making Dojo especially convenient for on-the-go users.
A company that originated in New York, Fever has found its way to seven other cities since.
Unlike the aforementioned Dojo, there is more emphasis placed on the user as an individual – someone with unique tastes and interests.
Upon opening the app, it will ask you to sign in via Facebook or Google, and to ‘define yourself’. This means selecting certain ‘hashtags’ or categories, which will impact what type of events show up in your feed.
All in all, it immediately feels much more personal, giving the impression that users are being shown things that are unique to them.
In terms of search and categories, it allows the user to filter by ‘now’ or ‘trending’, as well as by place, time and specific category.
The only downside I would say is that the amount of categories isn’t very extensive, which makes it feel like there is less choice.
However, Fever does allow users to purchase tickets in the app itself, using the ‘get it’ call-to-action to encourage spur-of-the-moment plans.
Alongside standard location-based features, Fever also ramps up its personalisation efforts with individual profiles.
The Facebook login option allows users to follow other accounts (including both people you know and big brands), as well as create a unique profile.
Here you are able collect tickets, find rewards and, much like Instagram or Twitter, see who else is following you.
Lastly, Fever also includes an editorial or ‘inspiration’ section (also known as SecretLondon).
Including news, roundups and the like, it’s definitely a nice touch. Again, another way to increase value – it helps to ensure that users will return.
One of the first apps of its kind – YPlan is arguably the most well-known. The fact that I already had it on my phone probably confirms this.
So, is it the original and best?
With its Instagram-like imagery and well-defined categories, I certainly find YPlan to be the easiest to navigate.
Simply scrolling on the homescreen is enough to find the various types of events, often grouped together by category or certain days in the near future.
Similarly, when users are narrowing down the search, there is an option to filter by ‘free’ or paid. This focus on money is definitely a bonus for cash-strapped city dwellers.
Like the aforementioned apps, YPlan includes an integrated map, which enables users to see the search results in a more visual way.
One of the most useful aspects of YPlan is that, like Dojo, it also allows users to buy tickets in-app.
With options to set up an account via PayPal or debit card, the process is quick and easy and again means that there’s no need to visit third-party sites.
Another option to sync user accounts to Facebook makes personalisation a key selling point.
This feature allows users to view previous tickets, change interests and view a friend’s activity, making it a good organisational tool as well as a place to buy.
Lastly, by allowing you to save the events you like the look of, the ‘wish list’ feature is particularly effective for incentivising repeat visits.
While all three apps are a great way to find out what’s going on in the city, each one offers the user something different.
For location-based features such as finding out how to get to a restaurant or viewing events on-the-go, Dojo is probably up there.
However, by continuously taking the user to third-party sites (where the booking process might not be mobile-optimised), its user experience falls flat.
With excellent personalisation and easy navigation, I found both YPlan and Fever to be far superior.
The editorial aspect of Fever certainly makes it stand out, and if you like using apps to browse more in-depth content, it definitely delivers extra value here.
However, I did find it a little fussy to use, with the filtering system sometimes failing to offer up many results.
In contrast, YPlan is fluid and fast across the board, meaning that I’ll probably stick with it in future.