Yelp Mobile App Redesign

Project Overview

This project was for my COGS 127, a design course at UCSD.  The prompt that my team and I chose was “Helping people remain healthy.”  The app that my team decide on designing was Yelp.  My team and I spent 10 weeks researching, user testing and redesigning a Yelp that had a greater emphasize on health, while maintaining the company’s themes and values. For this yelp redesign we are specifically targeting people with some free time and financial freedom that would allow them to take advantage of the healthier lifestyle choices. In this project I was the team lead, where I did things like delegating task and set up meetings. I work on every aspect of the project.
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The Problem

How can we redesign Yelp so the users are encouraged to have a healthier lifestyle?

Yelp users should be able to find accurate healthy lifestyle services and venues in order to feel motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle such as eating healthy and participating in physically healthy activities even while not at home.


Research Methods

Since Yelp is used by a wide variety of demographics, my team conducted interviews near venues frequently visited by Yelp users. In preparation of the interviews, we searched Google reviews that specifically mention people visiting the venue because of Yelp reviews. Our main research goal was to understand whether it would truly benefit people to see a health tab accompany their restaurant recommendations. We used direct observation and interviews to understand how Yelp users were already using the app. We choose to combine both direct observation and interviewing because it allowed us to see how the user interacts with the app realistically and figure out firsthand what they might like to see in this healthier alternative. We interviewed 9 people who have used Yelp more than once and who are interested in either maintaining their healthy lifestyle or looking to pursue it.  All of our interviewees are above the age of 22 and younger than 50. 

Research Question and Findings

The list of our research questions :  Research Questions

Research Findings : 

We aimed to interview 2-3 people each to bring diversity to our pool of interviewees. Our minimum age interviewee was 22 years old while our oldest interviewee was 48 years old. Our users all have some interest in either pursuing a healthier lifestyle such as eating better / working out or they already live a healthy lifestyle. 

  • 9/9 interviewees use Yelp mainly for finding restaurants to eat at.
  • 2/9 interviewees found it difficult to find the healthy foods category.
  • 5/9 interviewees used Yelp on a weekly basis.
  • 5/9 interviewees wished there were categories that fit their lifestyle more.
  • 2/9 interviewees felt that they already lived a healthy lifestyle and didn’t feel the need to look for health foods through Yelp. 
  • 4/9 interviewees were interested in improving their general health if Yelp featured a more accessible health category.
  • 3/9 interviewees would feel motivated to live a healthier lifestyle if Yelp had a more accessible health category.  A lot of our participants also noted that they would prefer Yelp to have an informational page on health to make better choices about the classes they take and the food they eat. 
  • 3/9 interviewees preferred to use new social media apps to find good places to explore. 
  • 7/9 interviewees found it hard to find healthy foods.
  • 7/9 interviewees found it hard to find healthy foods in their budget.


After my team did our research we turned what we our findings into 3 personas that represents our results.  This allowed us to understands the needs and wants of the different users. 

Competitive Analysis

For our competitive analysis we compared Yelp with other sites where users can review businesses. We compared Yelp to:  Google Reviews, Trip advisor, Four Squares, and Uber Eats. For the first table we noted pros and cons of each site.  On the second table we shows standard features of user review sites. 

User Testing

Throughout the iterative design process, we conducted multiple rounds of user testing to get feedback and identify areas for improvement. The user testing unearth previously unidentified challenges that we did not notice while walking through our redesigned app. By incorporating the feedback from our users, we were able to revise and refine the design, effectively ironing out a significant number of flaws and ultimately arriving at a stronger and more user-friendly final product.

UX Flow

Our team made a UX Flow to show the users path through our redesigned Yelp. This was to make our prototyping easier as well as making sure that there were clear path for the new tab that we included in our redesign. 


Each of our members of our team made a sketch based off of the ideas that we talked about in our meetings. We would later used a combination of all of these ideas to makes our low fidelity design. 

Low-Fidelity Prototypes

After a meet we discussed which features for each of our sketches we wanted to included in our prototype. We split into groups of two and made a low fidelity mockup up of our redesign. 

Final Product

For our final product we did not touch the majority of Yelp and chose to only modify the navigation bar. Instead of the projects and collections tab we replaced it with a health in an effort to make it more accusable for users who are looking to for healthy foods, medical care, or fitness facilities. While redesigning Yelp we tried to make all of the new features as straight forward as possible while maintaining the Yelp branding and theme. We wanted to make it seem like our changes were something that Yelp would do. 

There were several problems and mistakes that my team and I made while working on the redesign. I believe that our biggest mistake was not asking the correct questions for our user testing, so some of the feedback we receive was not helpful. If we had more time or could do the project over again, I would make better questions that could help the team improve the app design more. Another thing I would do if my group had more time on the project would go more in-depth with our research. We only asked surface-level questions and did not get as much information from the research as I originally wanted. But because we were limited in the amount of time we had, we could not go back and do more research.  There are a lot more areas that my team and I can improve on.

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