YELP

BACKGROUND

People use Yelp to find all sorts of things—especially when they’re on holidays and in an unfamiliar place. Yelp wants to expand their offerings to be the go-to place for travellers planning their trips. They would like to have a feature that allows users to create itineraries for their travels, as well as a record of their actual experiences.

deliverables

User Survery & Interview Questions
Competitor Analysis & Flows
User Scenarios and Personas
Revised App-map
Wireframes
Clickable Prototype
Usability Test Insights

MY ROLE

In a team of three we worked very collaboratively, creating many of the components together, including: feature ideation and conceptualisation stages, wireframes, competitive research, user interviews, usability tests, prototyping and deliverables, iterating and refining as we went.

USER RESEARCH

From 42 respondents to our screener survey, we interviewed 12 people.

yelp-02.jpg
The goal would be to pull out my phone and see top recommended places by people I know.

Major take-aways from Interviews:

• Most users have a general distrust for user reviews.
• Most users would take a friend’s recommendation over one online on where to go or what to do.
• Most users used several, separate apps to do different tasks when planning a trip or vacation.
• Most users liked to share experiences via socia media, ie. photos.

AFFINITY MAPPING & FEATURE PRIORITISATION

We were able to identify pain points and articulate requested features that each of our users had in common, some of them being:
1. Relying on friends’ recommendations before researching.
2. Adding friends to itineraries so that there is less to-and-fro, making group trips much easier to organise.
3. Viewing places that they wanted to visit at a glance on a map to make for better planning.

PERSONAS

Our affinity mapping and feature prioritisation were synthesised into three personas.
We focused on RACHEL who wanted the following features:
• Where are places in relation to her destination?
• Would like her friends to validate her choices.

DESIGN STUDIO, WIREFLOWS & SKETCHING

We were able to collaborate and synthesise design ideas in order to help flesh out button placement, content and navigational issues, incorporating these seamlessly into the current Yelp interface. We sketched and white-boarded concepts and flows, translating these directly into medium-fidelity wireframes in Sketch 3.
Taking the time to sketch helped us visualise the flow so we could curate the digital wireframes.

THE APP MAP

Once we knew which pages needed to be developed, the app map that we created defined the structure of the app. The grey boxes denote how the new feature will integrate with the current app.

PROTOTYPE ITERATIONS - HOME PAGE

A. Users wanted to see differentiation between sections.
B. Users suggested placing text under star icon to give a visual cue to what they can find there.
C. Users wanted to see where they were in the app and whose account it was.
D. Colouring the background of Rachel’s Pages helped divide the sections and give the top section
more prominence.
E. Local Search heading was included to divide the page.
F. Text was placed underneath star icon to match the rest of the navigation bar.

PROTOTYPE ITERATIONS - ADD EVENT PAGE

A. Users had trouble spotting the Add and Cancel buttons.
B. Users had problems locating the slider as it blended in with the background.
C. Icons created needed to be consistent throughout app.
D. These buttons were made more prominent so that users were able to locate them easily.
E. Users were confused by the inconsistencies in lingo, rather than Create an Event, we used Add an Event as this was being added within a Trip.
F. Event name changed for flow.
G. Slider became be IOS consistent so users could see it.
H. A clear deliniation between titles and fields was created for hierachy purposes.
I. Users wanted a label added to Shortcuts to make it consistent with the rest of the navigation and so that it was easily found.

Other considerations

  • At the end of the task, the outcome was unclear so a small message appeared to tell the user they were successful in adding an event.
  • Design was cleaned up and font sizes made consistent.

WHAT I LEARNT

When adding a feature to an existing app it can sometimes be difficult integrating in with existing infrastucture.
If you change existing navigation, buttons etc. it has an overall effect on the outcome. We had to be very mindful that any changes made to the UI had to have very strong justification eg. users had no idea what a button was without labelling.

NEXT STEPS

• Develop offline feature.
• Streamline Social Media integration.
• Add filters to the photo album functionality so that you can sort, search and upload intuitively.
• Build-out the friend’s trip itinerary screen so the user can browse a collection of photos which relate
to each itinerary.
• Build-out confirmation pop-ups whenever something is added to the itinerary.
• More testing, more iteration… repeat.