UX-Rethink Yelp

Yelp might be the most popular restaurants finding app nowadays because of its huge user base and rating systems.

The user experience of first few generations of yelp however is way below most users expectation. I’m a yelp elite myself and also a UX person.

Here is something I think that is import when trying to redesign it.

  1. About search.

– The main purpose of the app is it’s a search engine on restaurants and local business and also provides user rating.

In order to maximize that, it needs to be a system that can provide more flexible and intuitive search methods.

The thing bothers me is that every time I wanna search a restaurant in NYC,I have to type the main categories input the field. And then go to the filter page, toggle all things currently matters to me and then search. The search result will be listed on the map with mark or just a simple lists by your choice. If the result returns 40 restaurants. I then need to click into each one to see the rating, pictures and menu. It took >5 mins to just look through all those because when you click one others will disappear. It’s also frustrating the menu of most restaurant does not have any photos and price. It’s hard to get an idea. Then you go ahead browse all the user posted photos. It took a while for all of them to load.  Finally you get some idea by doing around 8 mins search.

Is that what you really want?Don’t you want a more efficient and user friendly app to search?

If so , here’s what I think could do to improve the experience.

1. About the information hierarchy 

The app should provide a clear navigation by regrouping the information into different panels.

Page 1 – Categories grid + Bookmarks +  Friends button + Checkin button + About me button

Friends button sub page – >

  •      your friends list + add Friend button + Friend feed button
  •      swipe left on single friend to enable delete button on the right to          delete
  •      double click to go to friend profile
  •      click friend feed button to see the checkin and reviews from your         friends

About me sub page  ->

  •      Basic info
  •      Headline
  •      useful /cool /funny votes 
  •      compliments
  •      Badges from checking in

Checked-in sub page ->

clicking check in button should mark it’s checked in and redirect the page to checked in sub page. The sub page  should list all business that user has checked in. And clicking on each one will go to review page.

Bookmarks sub page – >

  • Lists of the bookmarked business

2. About the search

 Simplify the search interface by making pre-grouped category grids

Make categories into a grid.If the first page already listed the different categories for you in a grid. So you can just type the block you want to enter. Then second page will ask you where and provides all the filter options for you. When you are done selecting all the details. The third thing is to show the feeds based on your selection. To save user’s time. Once you set it up the second page, the app should remember the page two settings. page one should go to page three directly and with a button on top of page 3 to reset the filter options.

Build easy back and forth map navigation and browsing experience

The map view in mobile, it’s hard to navigate between all search result.

Currently you need to click back and reselect the mark on the map to go to next one. And it’s easy to lost track which ones you clicked on already.

To solve this.  The app should divide to the top view and bottom view. Top view will be map view and bottom will contain one business with summary info and aligned up in one row. User should be able to swipe the bottom view left and right to change business and corresponding marks should be light up to indicate which one it is. And double click on the bottom view should enlarge the bottom view into full screen. Swiping left and right of fullscreen view should be able to navigate between different business too. When user wanna switch back to both top and bottom view in one window. User can swipe down to make it shrink back to where it was.

Filter and none-filter flag in one view

when you have the filter one, you never know which ones will not be shown in your search and sometimes user may not sure how filter would affect the result.To solve this, the app can list all marks in color A and  differentiate the ones that is the filter result with color B. so user may easily know what they options are and choose based on that.

3. About Audience

People check it instead of google because it has more comprehensive detail about the local business and can know right away how other people like it. But the problem people has different standards. The 5 star place for group A might be a 3 star for group B.  If the app already know the taste of the user and help this group to find what they like most, would it be a more accurate search result on the user that is behind the phone.

So let’s go back to the topic of the map view.

The order for the bottom view should be default to the result that reference from the logged in user’s own rankings. It should also provide buttons to sort by distance/overall ratings etc.


Just a thought about how to improve the yelp mobile UX.






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