Nerdy Day Trips is a site which caters to the travelling geek. The crowd-sourced world map is full of nerdy destinations perfect for a one day trip. Starting out with a focus on the UK, the site has quickly filled up with destinations all over the world.
Nerdy Day Trips is the brainchild of Dr Ben Goldacre and Jo Brodie. It started life as a simple blog and has grown somewhat into it's current manifestation. Their plan was to "build a giant, inclusive, user-generated nerd map" and that's exactly what they've succeeded in doing. This is a fun and refreshing site for people on the look out for and share places of interest to visit whilst out and about in the big wide world. There are nerdy destinations to visit ranging from 'Bawdsey Radar Station' in Felixstowe, Suffolk and the 'Crich Tram Museum' in Matlock, Derbyshire, through to the 'The Nikola Tesla Museum' in Serbia. The list of geeky possibilities seems almost endless.
This is a very simple and intuitive site to use, so no complaints there. However, the main problem here is using the map on the homepage. The idea is that the user can see and hover over yellow markers on the world map, indicating nerdy places to go and visit. This system works to a point but, especially over the UK, there are so many markers clustered there, that it's almost impossible to see the suggestions on offer. I think the easiest solution would be to have an alternative list view available that allows the user to scroll through and click on places of interest, maybe even an option to filter the results by specific areas would work as well.
The overall look and feel of the homepage is very nice indeed. It's very much in keeping with the overruling theme of travel that ultimately flows through the veins of this site. The choice of colour and texture is excellent, I especially like the teal hue used for the main navigation area, with it's subtle tints and shades gradating upwards. The yellow of the logo juxtaposes perfectly against the aforementioned, without ever compromising on taste. Unfortunately, the other pages such as 'About' and 'Blog', don't follow suit. The header stays consistently the same but the rest of these pages seems to have been considerably dulled down, with the magic from the homepage drained away. The font used for the headers looks stretched and has very little breathing space, whilst the backgrounds have become opaque and very blocky looking. Don't get me wrong, they don't look terrible, it's just a shame that the precedent set at the start doesn't carry on; this would have made it a site to marvel at.
Despite the obvious flaws in the site that I've outlined, It does actually state in the blog section that there are plans to make various upgrades to N.D.T. that will ultimately improve the user experience. I genuinely think the concept here is great and I can see the usability of the site grow in much the same way as the nerdy suggestions it houses.
In their own words, the guys at N.D.T. state, "Our fantasy is that on any given road trip, you will be able to find a nerd stop somewhere along your route, or perhaps even plot out a nerd odyssey across the UK." I would presume that this statement is now quite old, because the sites popularity appears to have spread from the UK right across the world! There are literally trip markers all over the globe.
Worldwide nerd odyssey anyone?