Yelp Redesign

This is a one-week design task to explore how to improve the way to find great restaurants and delicious dishes. My goal was mainly to redesign "Search" feature on Yelp iOS mobile app, and this project was finished in May, 2017.

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What is the project?

Yelp is a platform where individuals can view user reviews and recommendations of top restaurants, shopping, nightlife, entertainment and services. Yelp had a monthly average of 26 million unique visitors who visited Yelp via Yelp mobile app, and the iOS app played a really important role.

In this one week, I started from defining problems, doing research, collecting feedback, drawing paper sketch, creating wireframes to designing hi-fi mockups.


The goal of this design exercise is to get a sense of the overall thought and creative process, gain insight into how I would critique an existing product, and understand my approach to solving its problems.


As a Chinese living in Bay Area, I always use Yelp to look for great Asian restaurants and get some ideas what to order when I am in a new place. But sometimes it takes me really long time to find a satisfying restaurant and delicious dishes. This is the start point which encourages me to redesign Yelp iOS mobile app.

Design Process


Before I started to redesign Yelp, I wanted to figure out users’ thoughts and make sure it was worth to develop. I prepared questions and collected 10 users’ feedback.

Here is the list of questions:

After interview, I learned a lot of very useful information here:

  • Most people use Yelp to find restaurants. There are two main cases:
    • Users want to find a not expensive restaurant nearby.
    • Users want to find a really fantastic restaurant with great food and service.
  • The three main factors influence users to choose a restaurant are price, distance and rating.
    • Review. Most users want to find a restaurant with good reviews and high rating(but they don’t believe when rating is high but reviews are only few).
    • Distance. In most cases, they don’t want to go very far to find a restaurant. Here is a user case attacting my attention. A user wants to find a restaurant closed to a certain place, but when she types the specific place, Yelp doesn’t work.
    • Price. Most users usually will choose the restaurant with $ and $$, but they are not very sure how much of $, $$, $$$ and $$$$.
  • Users almost always use "search bar" directly and search by keywords.
  • Only a few people use “Filter”.
    • It is easy to lose when users open “Filter” on a separate page.
    • “Filter” is not very useful to find specific restaurants. For example, when a Chinese user wants to find a Chinese Sichuan style hot pot with high rating, it will take users really long time to figure out this one, i.e. users need to open restaurants one by one on a list and look the photos to make sure this is the real Sichuan style hot pot.
    • If users don’t see anything that they like after searching, they usually go back and start again with different keywords.
  • Only 2 of 10 users have ever written reviews on Yelp. But they really care about the rating.
  • Photos are very helpful for users when ordering. But sometime they spend a lot of time to browse all the pictures and figure out which dishes are better.

Information Architecture

After doing research, I created the information architecture and figured out 3 flows to redesign.

Search & Filter


Paper Sketch

Then I draw the paper sketch. For this step, I tried to figure out the basic workflows and features I wanted to add.

Future work: Due to time limitation, I didn’t do user testing using this paper prototype. So if possible in the future, I will invite users to complete some tasks to figure out whether the workflows make sense.


After evaluating the paper sketch by myself, I dived into wireframe design immediately. At the stage, I started to consider the design consistency and layout.

Then I used these wireframes to create an interactive prototype to conduct user test again. I believed the earlier time to talk with users, the less time to waste.

Final Product

Based on wireframes and users' feedback, here are the final hi-fi mockups:

Main Page

Search Page

Search Results

Sort Results

Select Categories

Detail Page