Yellow Pages New Zealand

by admin on 03/07/2007

New Zealand’s Yellow Pages have relaunched their website. The costs involved in the relaunch were a mere NZ$10 Million (approx. EUR5.8 Million orUS$ 7.7 Million!), so I expected something really big. I played around with it a bit and surprisingly the first real challange was finding the page. I expected it to be available under, but this just referres to a british provider of personalised wines and champagnes (no, I haven’t checked the details on what a personalised wine might be). Maybe it was my mistake – how can I assume that they would write their domain name with a dash? Finally ended in the result I wanted, although the official URL they advertise is simply I personally don’t think that this is the obvious domain the average user would try first, especially as the term “Yellow Pages” is a well established brand, but at least you can reach the web presence in two different ways. And if you get frustrated during your first try you could always order a bottle of personalised wine instead – that’s better than nothing ;-)

The website itself doesn’t look too different from the old one on the first sight, but there are a couple of cool new features that are really helpful. Let’s start with the first thing you would do on a Yellow Pages website: searching for something. Although the search box doesn’t deliver auto suggestions when you start typing, it offers a list of recent searches. So in case you want to look up the phone number of the fancy restaurant you’ve been to last week, you can do this pretty quickly without typing the whole name into the search box.

But there some really wicked features, too. They definitely deserve some brownie points for offering an overview of opening hours in addition to the usual data you can get about businesses (eg address, phone number, short summery of what the busines offers), and it is also possible to use the opening hours as a search feature to find out which busines is open now, open late, open 24 hours or open on Sundays. Additionally you can search by distance and exclude places that are too far away from your starting point. You can register with your home and work address to narrow down the radius search, but either that doesn’t work properly or they assume that I will always spend my daytime in the office – as soon as I search for Cafes within 1 km, they show me what’s around my office, not what’s around in my home suburb.

For each serch result they show a little map to visualise where you need to go to find the busines you are looking for. You can enlage the map and for Wellington this works pretty well, but I have no idea how it works for really small places in NZ. I tried to search for Cafes in Tuatakere and Roxburgh, the last-mentiones didn’t show a map. So I reckon that they have covered the bigger places in New Zealand pretty well but if you’re looking for something in a rural area you might be lost.

If you have problems to decide which of the available businesses to chose you can narrow down your choices by comparing all the features of a business in a list. That’s a nice feature, too.

Overall I like the new online-version of the Yellow Pages, but there is one big disadvange: it needs a lot of resources!!! I assume that there won’t be any difficulties on a high-tech machine, but my computer at work (union equipment, therefor not the latest fashion model but usually stable to run and probably comparable or even better than what most New Zealanders have at home) creates a couple of warning and starts shutting down programmes just because I’m running Outlook and Skype at the same time as an IE window with the Yellow Pages website. And although I think that the website is a quite useful one I doubt that the target group really enjoys the hassle that comes with it. And don’t forget about the 10 Million dollars price tag on it – it’s facinating that there are still companies out there who pay so much money for what is becoming web standard and definitely doesn’t cost that much in development. I feel really sorry for all those smaller companies who would have loved to build this page for 2 to 5 Million Dollars.

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