Countless online travel guides try to capture the tourist market. Some services are useful and well-designed, but many require digging through heaps of unrelated information to find something that appeals to your specific needs. A new interactive site promises to fix this problem, offering tourists personalized travel suggestions in a few easy clicks. Answer six questions in a slick-looking BuzzFeed-style quiz, and the site spits out a customized travel guide.
DELI was created by Anna Kolk, who, at the age of 25, is the founder of Amsterdam creative agency Perspektive Crossmedia and hospitality branding consultancy The Hotel Lab. Kolk created DELI after seeing the disconnect between reviewers and users of recommendation websites. “We [wanted to] focus on our users instead of the other way around, we don’t tell people where to go or what to do based on our own opinion or preference, but let them take the test which will create a tailored experience,” she told PSFK.
DELI’s pilot site for Amsterdam is already online, and the company plans to launch DELI in Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, London, Copenhagen, and Stockholm in the next six months, plus, eventually, in the U.S.
The quiz asks questions like “Which shoe fits your style?” and “On which spot are you likely to be seen on a casual Saturday?” DELI’s custom algorithm, developed alongside University of Amsterdam and University of Stockholm, then processes the answers to craft suggestions for where users should eat, go out, and more. My personalized suggestions included dance parties at music venue The Sand and a trip to the famous cheese shop de Kaaskamer.
The results are then visualized in an interactive infographic that has the muted hues of a Wes Anderson film. “The platform is designed in a minimalistic way–using simplified illustrations, basic colors, and a few interactive elements,” Kolk tells us. “We aimed to create something very user-friendly and intuitive.”
The website has banner ads in place, and Kolk plans to offer the site’s services for free. Giving people a personality test automatically allows for hyper-targeted advertising, which could be a boon for brands trying to capture valuable travelers’ attention.
The site is not without flaws. The introductory quiz works like a flowchart, with your choices determining which options you are presented next. When I took the test, the options I was given for “favorite drink” included beer, shots, or wine, making me wonder how DELI accounts for non-drinkers in its algorithm. “We do have ‘soda’ for the non-drinking people,” Kolk says. “But you get that option after having chosen for sporty shoes–which implies you’re a sporty, healthy person.”
The idea that those who abstain from alcohol are invariably into running is pretty questionable, but Kolk assures us the algorithm is still under construction, and the company plans to partner with a big data research center to keep improving it. If Kolk works out the kinks, DELI has the potential to become a great resource for those tourists who want to travel slightly off the Lonely Planet path.