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.





Top 10 Most Popular Web Fonts of 2013

10) Proxima Nova
Proxima Nova may well be the most commonly used web font on the internet. I’m placing it at number 10 because it feels like it may be on the way out for 2014. It seems like every new startup sets its headers and navigation in uppercase Proxima Nova bold with slight letterspacing. It’s a popular font for good reason and the fact that it is popular shouldn’t necessarily stop you from using it – if it makes sense for your project then go for it. However, it might be worth looking at other fonts to use for your next design in 2014 if you want something more unique.
9) Gotham
H&FJ were late to the game with their web fonts service. Gotham has been insanely popular for years in the offline world but just recently has been made available as a web font. I think part of the reason Proxima Nova became so popular is because of its similarities to Gotham. Gotham was used throughout Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and since then can be found absolutely everywhere. Proxima Nova was available early on as a web font when Gotham wasn’t, so its growth online took off while Gotham was left behind. Fortunately all the time H&FJ spent working on their web font service was worth it – their fonts have been redesigned for the screen and render beautifully. In 2014, expect to see way more H&FJ fonts used on the web like Sentinel, Archer and Whitney.
8) Roboto
Roboto is a grotesque sans-serif that feels like something in-between Helvetica and DIN. It is a free font that is available in six weights with matching italics – it acts as an excellent alternative to other free sans-serifs, such as Montserrat, that lack italics. Roboto renders crisply on the screen at small sizes, so it works great for setting readable body copy.

7) Inconsolata
Monospaced fonts like Inconsolata continue to be popular with designers. Although originally designed for on-screen use and specifically for programming applications, monospaced fonts can be found everywhere. They can give a design a very sparse and “undesigned” feel. I see monospaced fonts used a lot on designer’s portfolio sites. Inconsolata is very well-designed for a monospaced font and looks great in the right context. It doesn’t include italics so it isn’t very well suited for body copy – a nice alternative to Inconsolata is Anonymous Pro (designed by Mark Simonson of Proxima Nova fame) which contains full italics.

6) Avenir
Avenir has been a personal favorite font of mine for years. I remember using it all the time in my design comps in the mid 2000’s – back when we had to slice up graphics to use nice fonts on the web. It seems like Avenir is emerging as a popular alternative to the ubiquitous Proxima Nova. Avenir has a very organic and welcoming feel for a geometric sans-serif and I’m sure its popularity on the web will continue to grow in 2014.
5) Futura
Futura has been around since 1927 so it feels a little weird including it on a list of the trendiest fonts. It’s a classic font that was much loved by Stanley Kubrick and Wes Anderson. Futura is clearly not going anywhere and will continue to be a popluar typeface on the web.
4) Montserrat
Montserrat is a free font which no doubt is part of the reason for its popularity. I always see it recommended as a “free alternative to Gotham”. It may have a similar feeling as Gotham but I think it really stands as its own typeface. It has a distinctive uppercase G and J which lends it its own unique character. Without italics it’s not the best choice for body copy, but it makes an excellent font for headlines.
3) Brandon Grotesque
Brandon Grotesque is a geometric sans with a “1920’s New York” feel to it. It works wonderfully in the right context, however I personally feel I see a lot of sites using it where it doesn’t really seem to fit the design. Uppercase white Brandon Grotesque set on top of a darkened blurry photo background has to be one of the most common design treatments I’ve seen in 2013.
2) Apercu
Apercu is yet another geometric sans-serif but with a much more distinctive twist to it. It has quirky characteristics that make it instantly recognizable yet it still retains a classic feel. On Typewolf, I know I’m guilty of featuring any clean design set with Apercu, as something about this typeface just seems so refreshing. Will it become played out in 2014? Yeah probably, but for now I’m really digging Apercu.
1) Open Sans
Open Sans is the new Arial. For a completely free and open-source font, it contains a surprising set of weights with matching italics making it an extremely versatile font. It works well for headlines as well as body copy and it renders excellently on the screen and at small sizes. The web has completely embraced Open Sans as it seems to be the default font for every recent open-source project. The newly-released Zurb Foundation 5 switched to Open Sans from Helvetica as the default font for its framework. Google is using it on many of their redesigned pages. I was always partial to Adobe’s similarily open-sourced font, Source Sans Pro, but that font hasn’t quite taken off like Open Sans has. I fully expect Open Sans to be as common on the web as Arial over the next few years.

Total Assets vs Market Capitalization

Total assets and market capitalization both help you evaluate a company, but they tell you different things about it. One is a measure of company size and reach — how much “stuff” the company has. The other is a measure of value, as determined by the market — that is, how much the company is actually worth.
Total Assets
“Total assets” represents the combined value of all assets owned by a company. You can find this number on the company’s balance sheet. An asset is anything that can provide future economic benefit and whose value can be measured reliably and objectively. Cash in a company’s bank account is an asset, of course, as are items in its inventory; its accounts receivable (that is, its IOUs from customers); stocks and other securities; and land, buildings, vehicles and equipment. Companies have intangible assets, too, such as patents, trademarks, brand names and other intellectual property. Some of these appear on the balance sheet and are included in total assets, while others don’t appear and aren’t included.
What Total Assets Tell You
Total assets can give you a sense of the “size” of a company, but this measurement doesn’t tell the whole story. Many companies have substantial intangible assets that don’t appear on their balance sheets because there’s no objective way to measure their value. One famous example is Mickey Mouse. The trademark for Mickey is worth billions of dollars to The Walt Disney Co., but since the character was developed inside the company, its value can’t be reliably established under standard accounting rules. If Disney sold the trademark, though, that would establish an objective value.
Total assets also don’t take into account a company’s liabilities — its debts and other financial obligations. A company with $50 billion in total assets and $30 billion in liabilities is likely in fine shape; one with $50 billion in total assets and $80 billion in liabilities may be on the brink of bankruptcy. Finally, total assets don’t tell you how efficiently a company is using its assets to generate revenue or profits. Businesses and financial analysts look to ratios such as asset turnover (sales divided by total assets) to gauge efficiency.
Market Capitalization
Market capitalization is the total value of all of a company’s outstanding stock. You calculate it by multiplying the current stock price by the number of shares owned by stockholders. So, if the price is $50.45 per share and the company has 100 million shares outstanding, the company’s “market cap” is $5.45 billion. Any publicly held company’s market cap is readily available on financial websites.
What Market Cap Tells You
In essence, market capitalization is the stock market’s overall assessment of the value of a company. Almost invariably, a company’s market cap will be different from its “net assets” — the value of its assets minus its liabilities. Since market cap is directly related to the stock price, it takes into account things that don’t appear anywhere on the balance sheet — not only unlisted intangible assets like Mickey Mouse, but also management expertise, growth prospects, market share, the company’s reputation and the psychology of the market itself. A company’s market cap can soar or plummet based on perceptions completely unrelated to its performance. A whole “school” of investors, called value investors, make their money by identifying and buying into companies whose market cap is lower than their net assets indicate it should be.