If you’ve never heard of OpenTable, I’m guessing you don’t live anywhere near a city. It’s the real-time online reservation system that lets you book a table without having to call the restaurant.
I dine out a lot and I tend to be the planner in my group of friends, so OpenTable and I know each other very well. It certainly isn’t the prettiest website, but it’s incredibly quick and easy to use, and that makes it one of my favorite tools.
Last month I was on my iPad and needed to make a reservation, so I pointed my browser to opentable.com. Take a look at what I got:
When OpenTable recognized that I was browsing on an iPad, I was automatically redirected to this page. “Hey, nice iPad!” got my attention, followed by a no-frills indication that OpenTable now has an iPad app available for download — with a one-click way of getting it. It also provides an optionto let me keep browsing in Safari, if that’s my preference.
I’m really impressed with this interstitial because it’s useful, utilitarian and to the point. It’s not some fancy, high-design, in your face marketing page with big graphics and buzzwords. It’s helpful, not showy. OpenTable’s product is so good, it doesn’t need to be.
The code required to see if someone is browsing on an iPad is trivial. It’s obvious. And yet so few companies are doing it as a way to redirect users to their apps. It’s as though one platform is completely unaware of the other. That’s a foolish way to build a business, let alone create an experience.
I hope to see more products embrace OpenTable’s smart approach.
Have you seen other examples of this? Please share in the comments, images welcome.
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