Design Challenge: Redesign up to two core flows of an existing iOS or Android mobile experience you feel can be improved and proposing a new direction for it. The goal of this design exercise is to get a sense of your overall thought and creative process, gain insight into how you would critique an existing product, and understand your approach to solving its problems.
I decided to choose yelp iOS app, one of the most frequently used apps on my phone. I started with understanding Yelp's mission, target user group and user flow. Then I tried to find the existing problems by gathering insights from user research and app critique. In the end, I choose to redesign two core flows, searching for local businesses, and writing reviews.
Understanding about Yelp
Yelp is a website and mobile app that connects people with great local businesses. The Yelp community is made up of engaged locals who connect online and off to share their opinions about local businesses.
According to the Yelp Factsheet, 73% of Yelp searches were done on a mobile device, over 60% of Yelp content (reviews and photos) was generated on the Yelp app, which means mobile app is the most important platform for the Yelp community. People mostly use Yelp to review shopping, restaurants and local services. Most of the yelp users are under 55 years old with college degrees.
I conducted an interview with 10 users who fit into the main user group. I ask about their use preference, observe them using Yelp, and try to understand how do they want to improve the current design.
1. 60% of the users are likely to search by keywords or location.
2. A majority of 90% of people never write any reviews.
3. Photo and rating are two top factors for users to make decisions. Only 30% of them check text reviews.
4. All of them will search for businesses and plan their trip before departure.
5. 50% of users feel hard to make decisions.
Conclusion & New Direction
Here is a diagram of Yelp's core flow:
User review is an important part of the Yelp community, which provides a lot of detailed information that we can't see from the general rating: How is the service? Is it a quiet place for work? Is there always be a long line? Is this a pricy place? These factors are always important for consumers to make decisions. However, most people never wrote any reviews or make good use of reviews, even though Yelp's Elite Program has attracted many active users.
In the Yelp community, users play two roles: consumer and contributor.
As a consumer, you want to search for great local businesses and make decision easily. However, the current design doesn't present helpful reviews in a clear and efficient way. You always check the photos but never read the thousands of text reviews.
As a contributor, you want to record your life and share your experience with the whole community. However, your contribution is not well organized, and probably can't see by other users. Then you lose the patience to provide useful reviews.
Thus, I decide to redesign these two core flows: searching for a business, and writing a review.
1. Searching for a Business
2. Writing a Review
3. Flow Chart
For the last step, I created two interactive prototypes with Pixate to test my design ideas.