Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Yelp Supersizes Its Local Profiles, Makes Them Less Busy

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Yelp has redesigned parts of its web UI to make them more visual and to surface more information. In particular business profile pages have been changed to emphasize images, featured user reviews and key pieces of local content, all of which are now more prominent.
The changes are not yet live for me, which is a happy event. I was able to capture a “before” image of San Francisco sushi restaurant Tataki South. The “after” view of the profile below is supplied by Yelp.
Yelp old profile page
The screenshot below is the same business profile. Information like business hours is easier to see. Review highlights have been moved “above the fold.” And menu highlights (rather than just a link to the menu) are also now present under business hours.
Overall the page is less busy. User actions (review, add photo, share, bookmark) have also been moved to a more prominent place in the upper right. Everything is calculated to make the page more engaging and readable at a glance.
Tataki South new Yelp profile

It appears that the ratings distribution and trend charts have been removed, which is too bad. Those provided a nice alternative way to see where reviews were concentrated (like Amazon product reviews). There was also a 30-day trend graph, to see whether things were moving up or down. I suspect not many people opened that chart however; I may have been the only one.
Yelp ratings details
Earlier this week we unofficially learned that Yahoo and Yelp had inked a content deal to provide Yelp reviews and other business information to Yahoo. Yelp shares were up today, partly because of a good earnings report last week, but also because of the rumored Yahoo distribution deal. Yelp has similar relationships with Bing and Apple.
Yelp said in its earnings release that it now has 53 million total reviews (30 percent of new reviews come from mobile). The also reports 120 million monthly uniques and 53 million mobile uniques. And it says it has 67,000 active local business accounts.
As a reflection of the changes in consumer behavior, roughly 59 percent of Yelp’s search volume now comes from mobile devices.