A short analysis of the Yelp App.
I’m mostly at my apartment these days and have been enjoying cooking for myself consistently. I’m vegan so it’s usually harder for me to find many options eating out (although SF has been a great improvement from suburbia). When meeting up with friends or traveling, one of my main concerns is finding food that I can eat. The Yelp app is a great tool for when I’m on the go and need to find a viable restaurant, which is sadly a pretty difficult task in some areas. No vegan wants to be the person at the table only having a side salad.
After opening the app, my first action is always tapping on the search bar. I always include the keyword “vegan” in my search. The restaurants that advertise their vegan food usually have better vegan food and it avoids me asking if it’s vegan. In the example above, I’m craving “vegan sushi,” which takes me to a map view of relevant restaurants around my current location. I then slide up to view the restaurant listings, which contain an image thumbnail and general details for each restaurant. I mainly focus on rating, number of reviews, distance, and pricing. Shizen is the first result and looking promising, so I tap on the restaurant.
My first priority on the restaurant page is viewing the menu. Scrolling down I can tap on “Explore the Menu,” which has menu items with photos and reviews. If the menu is okay and I’m still on board, I’ll check the photos of the food as well as the inside of the restaurant to determine if it’s appropriate for the specific occasion.
Yelp has the challenge of catering to a diverse audience with information that isn’t as standardized as other apps. However, their use of design patterns helps different users navigate themselves and accomplish their goals.
The app uses a top search bar that gives suggestions as user types. This is a common design pattern for apps with search functionality, and users are familiar with the feature. This is especially critical because often the primary task for Yelp users is to use the search function.
Yelp also uses a bottom navigation bar, which mobile apps often use in order to make reaching for the navigation more efficient. Although we only used the search tab for this example, the navigation bar allows the user to know where they are in the app and how they can get to other pages.
The map and listings views also reflect familiar design patterns, such as on Google Maps. This feature helps users know where the restaurants are geographically and the details of the restaurant. On desktop, the map and listings usually share a screen. On mobile, apps utilize limited screen space by using a toggle button or sliding layers like in the example.