In today’s article, I’ll share my plans for some upcoming features and updates for Coffee Radar. Some of these are more complex to build than they look like. They will probably require months of work to be implemented. Even though I don’t have a precise timeline right now, I plan to add new fixes and fixes every single day.
I’ll take you on a detailed walkthrough of the improvements, such as the implementation of awards and tags for coffee shops, inclusion of specific café characteristics like brewing methods and coffee brands, and more.
These upcoming features aren’t set in stone; user feedback is crucial in shaping the future of this specialty cafés database 🙂 so if you have any idea or suggestion for Coffee Radar, feel free to use the feedback box right in the bottom right area of the screen.
In addition to what’s been covered in this article, I’m actively working on a myriad of smaller enhancements for Coffee Radar that haven’t been mentioned here.
Plans for the single café template
In Coffee Radar 1.0.2, the single café template is still quite basic. Here’s a preview of how it will look like in the upcoming months (click on the image for a high resolution version).
This design is highly subject to changes, since users may share other ideas that can affect the development of Coffee Radar. But, as someone who loves coffee and works remotely, this is how I imagine a good café listing. Let’s take a closer look at each feature.
Awards and Tags
This is the first big (and quite complex to build) feature. Right under the address, there are a list of labels associated with the place.
The labels or tags can be of three different levels:
- Level 0: common perks that you can find in many cafés. Stuff like: Laptop-friendly, Fast Wifi. Things that are useful to know, but also not too difficult to find.
- Level 1: semi-rare characteristics of this specific place. Maybe this café is in an historic building, maybe they have a semi-unique homemade product. Or perhaps they have one of the best skyline views in the city.
- Level 2: these should represent either something absolutely unique about the café or an award. For example, Caffè Florian, is recognized by many as the oldest café in the world still active today, established in 1720. I think it’s essential to recognize unique features from cafés and give them the credit they deserve. Level 2 labels will also represent awards automatically assigned.
The idea behind this feature is to assign an award (or more) to a place either for a specific beverage or their general rating. An example may be “Best Cappuccino in the City”, or something like “Best Café in Town”.
These awards will be automatically assigned based on the review data shared by users. E.g. if a place consistently gets 5 star ratings for their cappuccino, they will get the award for this.
Of course here I mean abstract “awards” which will be displayed as a label right on the top area of their page.
Brewing Methods, Coffee Brands and more
Here are some other details that will be included in each café page.
Essential both on a single coffee shop level and on the search screen, so users can use this to filter locations.
This is part of a larger plan, in the long term, to start gathering information also about individual coffee brands. In any case, it’s fundamental to know the coffee brands served by a café, because as customers we can get an immediate idea of what our experience with this place may be.
There’s a huge difference between a bar that servers a generic coffee brand, like Illy, or Lavazza, vs a café serving only coffee from very specific top-class roasteries. With this field you can also get an idea about the available coffee variety in a place.
It’s a very challenging feature to build and maintain. I’m still not sure how we can keep track of this specific information. One thing I don’t want to do at this stage for Coffee Radar, is forcing café owners to constantly update information on this site.
This is a fundamental piece of information to know about a place. Using a top quality machine like Marzocco or Kees Van Der Westen vs a generic one heavily affects the quality of your coffee. Some coffee shop owners and certified coffee experts mentioned that this is one of the first thing they look for when they’re trying to find a good specialty café.
More details about the location
Right now a challenge for Coffee Radar is getting users. This project will really show its potential only if users share their opinions and reviews.
I can however include some information that users outside Coffee Radar have already shared via other apps. So we can provide some interesting information about a café, even without user intervention at this stage.
For example the wifi speed. I already developed a field for this, but at the moment it depends strictly on data shared by users. There are services that can provide data about wifi speed on a city and street level.
So we can get an (inaccurate, but decent) idea about the wifi quality of a coffee shop. Getting wifi speed information on a city level should be quite cheap, and that’s likely something that I will include, as a separate field visible on the page.
So Coffee Radar will have a field for wifi with data sourced by its users, and another wifi field, with less accurate data sourced by third party services.
There are also services that share data about foot traffic in a specific place. This could be useful to display how much a place is busy or to suggest the best time to visit a café. How many times did it happen to you to go to a place, only to find it full an unable to sit? This feature may help to prevent this!
Of course there isn’t a magic service that tells you in real time how many people are there and if there’s a free spot to sit. The services I found, just try to make forecasts, and can’t be perfect. But maybe it’s better than nothing.
Detailed coffee-based drink review
Right now, to keep things simple (or at least try to), I’ve organized beverages into 4 categories: Espresso, Cappuccino, Filter, Other Coffee Drinks. The last two are quite broad and generic.
I’m trying to think of a way to represent this in a more detailed way, so we may have a specific average score for V60, another one for macchiato, another one for the siphon brewing method and so on.
User text-based reviews
Finally, the template should include text-based reviews. Right now this is something I’ve postponed. I think reviews with a little bit of text are super useful, but these are also quite common on other apps.
In any case we need them, as they may help to share more details about a place that otherwise would be impossible to mention in other fields.
Questions and feedback
If you have any suggestions, feedback, or ideas on how to improve Coffee Radar, leave a comment down below or use the feedback form. If you use the form, you will need to enter an email address. I will use your email address only to reply to you, if necessary. It will not be added to any sort of mailing list or notification system, and it will never be used for any kind of marketing communication.