Yelp Journey
NEW IOS APPLICATION FEATURE FOR YELP MOBILE

Summary

As the go-to place for reviews on restaurants, businesses, and various services and experiences, Yelp wants to increase user engagement by appealing to travelers. People use Yelp to find all sorts of things—especially when they’re on vacation and in an unfamiliar place. Yelp wants to expand their offerings to be the go-to place for travelers 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.

 

Objective

Design a flow for users to create itineraries with designated locations/services as well as “record” all the experiences of their trip.

Team

4 UX Designers

My Role

Project Manager, User Researcher, Mid-Fi Wireframes, Hi-Fi Wireframes

Duration

2 Weeks

Tools

Sketch, InVision, Realtime Board, Xtensio

Process

Research & Discovery
User Interviews
Competitive Analysis
Problem Statement & Hypothesis
Personas
Feature Prioritization

Ideation
User Story
Sketching
Paper Prototye

Scope & Structure
User Flows
Mid-Fi Wireframes
Visual Design

Prototype & Testing
InVision Prototype
Usability Testing

Discovery & Research

User Interviews

The main methods of research conducted for this project were surveys and user interviews (nine total). As a team, we compiled a set of questions that would help us understand the main differences between Yelp’s current users and their intended travel planning users.

“Having a planner, where I can see all of my activities for the day and change things around as I need to.”

“Having a planner, where I can see all of my activities for the day and change things around as I need to.”

Competitive Analysis

TripAdvisor is the go-to platform for finding things to do while traveling. It offers an advanced filtering feature as well as recommendations based off of user preferences. It does not offer an itinerary planning feature.

Airbnb offers an Experiences component to their app that allows users to book excursions and/or activities and led by local hosts. The app limits users to activities that they only provide. Users are not able to search for general activities or tours.

Google Trips serves as a trip planner and travel guide, organizing your plane tickets and hotel reservations. It offers editorial guides and makes personalized recommendations based on your Google history. It does not allow users to add custom reservations, custom places or plans.

Problem Statement & Hypothesis

Problem Statement

Our users need a reliable way to plan, organize, and record their journey to unfamiliar locations because Yelp currently does not have this capability

Hypothesis

We believe that by offering our users the ability to record personal experience, plan and explore events, businesses, and activities in specific locations; we will empower planners and explorers of destinations to craft a journey of their travel experience(s) while recording their journeys from start to finish. We will know this to be true when our users share their experience and/or are inspired by real experiences of friends, family, and other Yelp users.

Personas

Feature Prioritization

Based on our research up to this point and persona creation, we were ready to begin honing in on the specific attributes we wanted to integrate into our new travel. We utilized the MoSCoW Method in order to help us with prioritization.

Sketching & Iterations

User Story

We took our main persona, Mike, and developed a user story to help us keep the essential elements of the project in mind throughout our ideation and prototype development process. Our scenario envisions Mike planning a trip for him and his fiance to Spain.

Sketching

As a team, we utilized the design studio process: brainstorming together, sketching individually, sharing our designs as a group, then iterating based on the strongest ideas.

Paper Prototype

Challenges:

  • Getting the features we prioritized into our sketches.
  • Are we actually getting our prioritized features into our sketches?
  • Which features of Yelp do we want to leverage?
    Avoiding redesign, thinking incorporation.

Learnings:

  • Working within a constraint is a good thing.
  • Don’t get bogged down with small details, and let it go.
  • Don’t try to satisfy everyone, because you won’t – keep moving forw

Narrowing Scope & Structure

User Flows

Taking our user, Mike, into consideration we narrowed our scope and focused on three user flows:

1. Adding a new city to Mike’s existing itinerary
2. Adding activities to Mike’s itinerary
3. Moving activities to a different day

Below is a snippet of our first user flow:

Wireframes

I and one other teammate took on the task of building the mid-fi wireframes using Sketch. We discovered the more our team vetted out in our sketching phase, the easier it is to create wireframes. After narrowing our scope and finalizing our sketches, I refined the designs into mid-fidelity wireframes for each user flow.

Visual Designs

I and one other team member utilized the existing Yelp style guide when adding visual design to our new feature. Our goal when doing this is to maintain a familiar navigation experience as the rest of the app (we don’t want the user to have to learn something new or think too hard). We spent 2 days adding visual designs to our mid-fi wireframes and were very pleased with the outcome.

Prototyping & Testing

Prototype

Click the image below to be directed to an InVision protoype:

Next Steps & Reflections

Next Steps

There were a lot of ideas that we would have liked to build and test, but  were out of scope for this project, including:

  • Continue with usability testing.
  • Incorporate booking functionality.
  • Ability to download and/or share itinerary.
  • Ability to invite other users to itinerary and both can edit.

Reflections

Working with a dynamic team was both rewarding and challenging. We utilized each other’s strengths and had fun throughout the whole process. We are proud of the work we accomplished in the two weeks had to complete this project. The most rewarding part for me personally was to not only to execute the process but also all the learnings I had each step of the way!

Here are a few of my favorite:

  • Understanding what our users want vs. what they need.
  • Coming up with a scope that makes sense for our timeline.
  • Avoid redesign of the existing app.
  • Working within a constraint is a good thing.
  • Working with a collaborative team is the most rewarding part of this whole thing.

© 2018 ALLIE GEORGE