• Transform magazine
  • September 20, 2019


Review site Dorsia positions itself as the anti-Yelp

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The fatal flaw in conducting research through a survey is that respondents will almost always respond only in extremes. While it can be efficient to use Yelp for finding a bite to eat or TripAdvisor for stopping by a cool attraction, it’s easy to be misled and ultimately disappointed by the façade of the star-based rating system. Additionally, the dominance of popular restaurants and attractions on these apps leave little room for underrated spots to gain exposure, which can lead to millions of people missing out on an enjoyable experience due to the notorious and unfortunate mob mentality.

Andrew Armenante, founder and CEO of Dorsia, has dealt with the frustration of this experience firsthand. With his new platform, he intends to provide a more professional, accurate and streamlined source of information for exploratory tourists and new residents. Instead of aggregating the opinion of the underqualified yet omnipresent Average Joe, Dorsia takes the opinions of established food critics, travel experts, and bloggers and uses those to form the cornerstone of their personally-tailored recommendations.

Dorsia’s branding – developed by full-service creative agency Ueno – is already promoting its mission cleverly. Its slogan, ‘Embrace the Urbane, Escape the Mundane’ coupled with its logo of the iconic chef’s hand of perfection, perfectly encapsulate everything that the brand is about. The website uses the device of a hand holding up its pinky, this visual pun depicts Dorsia’s “pinky swear” promise that it connects people only with the most interesting, underappreciated locations. The website manages to live up to the theme of escaping the mundane, as it details the 16 cities it currently covers in a relaxed, witty tone at the forefront of a color palette that combines cream and orange to provide an aesthetic that is easy on the eyes.

Make no mistake, the Dorsia brand may want to be the hipster’s Yelp, and it supplements this desire by populating its website with minimalistic drawings of its cities’ highlights in an eye-catching way.

Dorsia considers are those of locals, who have been around long enough to sift through the riffraff and find the real gems of their neighborhood. In doing so, Dorsia aims engender a new generation of people who travel so they can say they enjoyed it. Competing against Yelp and TripAdvisor will be a steep uphill battle but seeing as how Dorsia wants to help the underdogs, maybe that’s exactly the way it should be.