There are people who are always looking for offers and discounts at restaurants most days of the week (problem/demand) and there are restaurants who run discounts on few days of the week to increase sales (solution/supply).
Yelp is in a perfect place to introduce a feature which can capitalize on this problem & solution, which will be win-win-win for all the stakeholders.
This was design a challenge for a company I interviewed with, where the prompt was “redesign a feature of your favorite app”.
I owned the research, interaction design, visual design, and prototyping part for this project.
4 days of March - 2018
With every project, process changes, but few things remain constant. Understanding the users and their problems, business growth, ideation and lots of design iterations.
Hypothesis & research insights
College Students look for daily discounts on meals
Being a college student myself, I derived this hypothesis from my own experience. For validating the hypothesis, I did a survey with my classmates about their meal patterns, habits, where do they look for discounts, etc.
College students have developed a habit for finding discounts before going out for lunch. It’s easier for products to adapt to people’s habit rather than create new habits.
How might we help people to find discounts near them easily?
Weekly discount is a growth strategy for restaurants
I lived near downtown in Indianapolis where there were lots of restaurants near our college. I interviewed restaurant owners to know more about their reasons behind the weekly discounts.
Weekly discounts are used to fill the dry days of the week. They also mentioned that it increases user acquisition & retention while boosting sales for the dry day.
How might we help restaurant owners increase the reachability of their offerings?
Yelp would be better positioned for bridging the demand-supply gap
I did some research on different products, especially on Yelp to see if Yelp caters to the audiences I am targetting. Yelp Factsheet helped answer few of the questions I had.
If Yelp fills the gap, this can be a new revenue stream for them at least in the restaurant category.
Can we increase Yelp's engagement metric and revenue in doing so?
Ideation & Opportunities
As I had scoped down the end users to the college students, I went a little wide and idea of yelp stories popped up, which I thought about it on a deeper level, I found it more convincing as weekly discounts were ephemeral in nature.
To increase the engagement more, I thought of leveraging the existing feature Yelp Event and incorporate it into Yelp's business profile page.
Inspiration & Early exploration
I started with identifying trending design patterns that will connect more with millennials/college students. Explorations started from Snapchat, Instagram, Nike app. Can I adopt any interactions while attempting to create new ones?
Ideas and sketching
After initial research, I started sketching a few ideas about what different interactions we can use to solve this problem.
In the first iteration, I only introduced the stories in restaurant profiles. So when end user visits the restaurant’s profile page on Yelp, they will be able to see the stories.
In user-testing, I found out that users were having trouble finding the stories feature. So I decided to make it more visible and introduced the stories feature on Nearby and Search results.
Visual Design - Yelp's Styleguide
After concertizing a few from sketches, I was ready to move to design the screens visually. For that, I studied Yelp's Styleguide to get familiar with the nuances of Yelp's design.
Although this design wasn't getting implemented, following their style guide meant new designs would have looked in line with the current app.
After some iterations on wireframes, I jumped on final designs. Here's how they looked.
Restaurant Yelp Profile Page
Yelp Events on profile page
Best way to convey the idea to the stakeholders and test it with users is to have an interactive prototype of your ideas. Your message gets delivered to the point for the next round of feedback.
If business owner hosts an event then the event listing will also get updated on his Yelp business page and now he doesn’t need to worry about marketing the event on other social media
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