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Gilt City's Cleverly Designed iPhone App

Gilt Group has rolled out their new group-buying / coupon site Gilt City to six cities (New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and Chicago). With it comes the Gilt City iPhone app. There isn't much to write about about the couponing model as it is very much like others in the space (see Groupon, LivingSocial, Yelp, etc). Over time, we will tell if Gilt Group is able to win share through unique offerings, integration with Gilt Group, etc.

I did want to quickly touch on the application's design... which as you would expect with Gilt Group, is glossy and very visual. The background of each city page is themed respectively. Below, for instance, is Gilt City San Francisco - which has a vivid picture of San Francisco scenery. Big, splashy images are becoming very popular (see my post on - and, with a relatively straight-forward product offering, it is one way to stand out, localize the experience and stay on Gilt's brand.

And with the emergence of big screen devices like the iPad, it is again a reminder that design and color are play an important role in the experience:

The Power of Statistics & Dashboards ( as an example)

In May of 2008 I wrote that statistics - specifically around referrals and influencers - could be a sizeable business model for Twitter. Last week, launched publicly. It's a gorgeous site creator that allows very simple page creation and automatically pulls in content from your social presences: ie Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Wordpress, etc. You can view mine at

Much can be written about this - SEO, self-branding, social aggregators, etc. But I want to return to the premise that my 2008 article about Twitter and statistics... because one of the great features of is their "dashboard":

First, the dashboard gets users to return to the site... making it "sticky" in an environment that might not otherwise encourage daily usage (after all, the service automatically updates all of your presences!).

Second, it is addictive... in the same way that game mechanics make other sites sticky and why Twitter's follow count can be credited with some of their early growth.

Third, it encourages promotion. Want more views and visitors? Promote your page via Twitter, Facebook and email (of course makes that easy).

Fourth, it is really useful and interesting... and unique. There are statistics on visits, views, etc - but more interesting, there are stats on the number of status updates pulled in, your total reach, the @replies, etc. Powerful ways to unite the data around "influencers" and your page will emerge over time.

So how can you apply similar mechanics and a "Dashboard" mentality to your experience?