How might we encourage more social engagement within the Yelp platform?
Through conversations with people around me about Yelp, I found that there was a divide between two kinds of users on the platform:
1. Active users who post reviews and engage within the Yelp community
2. Passive users who only use Yelp to find reviews and rarely engage or post reviews
This is a problem because when engagement on the platform falters, it affects the quality of content available within the Yelp ecosystem. There needed to be some way of bridging the gap between the two kinds of users through encouraging more social engagement.
While creating wireframes during concept development I realized that Yelp needed to re-focus their attention on their mission:
"Yelp's mission is to connect people with great local businesses; along the way, we hope to enrich lives of consumers and small business owners. In pursuit of this mission, we want to provide the most helpful information possible about local businesses."
This lead me to narrow the challenge to improve the flow of adding a review, bookmarking and creating collections, a location's profile and a user's profile.
One of the problems with the current locations page is that there's a lot of information being displayed all at once. This makes it difficult for the user to skim and find the most relevant information. In the redesign I focused on emphasising the location's name and added hero image that accurately presented the location and what it offered. The new layout places the most important information to users in a linear manner. The review button is placed in the centre to encourage users to submit their own reviews and leads to a new page for writing reviews.
Original Location Page
Redesigned Location Page
When adding a review, this screen should be minimal and free of distractions to encourage users to focus on writing the review through conversational copywriting. Adding the field option of adding a photo will encourage the user to include a photo with their review. This serves as a gentle reminder to include photos. The continue button is more prominent to encourage users to subconsciously carry on to the next step even before they begin writing the review.
Original Review Page
Redesigned Review Page
The Bookmarks & Collections feature within Yelp caught my attention while browsing the app and I realized that this feature could be very impactful for encouraging more community involvement. I worked backwards by first thinking about what the interface would look like for a user when they've finished curating a list of their favourite cafes. The redesigned screen has a stronger focus on the title of the list and larger photos of the location.
This was an important page to redesign because it encourage users to actively bookmark and save their favourite locations. This can become the foundation for a stronger relationship between the user and the businesses on that list and encourages the sharing of their favourite businesses with friends and other people. The follow button is a new feature that I added to allow other people to follow your lists so that they can get updates when you add new locations.
Original Collections List
Redesigned Collections List
Original Bookmarks Page
Bookmarks & Collections
The bookmarks section of Yelp currently holds all the locations that people have bookmarked as well as collections that they have created. I found that while it was nice to see your collections and the rest of the bookmarks on the same page it didn't encourage further actions to be taken by the user.
By separating individually saved locations and the users collections, it gives the user more focus. Having the bookmarks saved is a passive page since they've already saved them before visiting the page, versus the collections page requires active curation from the user's end. The new user interface is able to facilitate the two different user mentalities.