Rolling out today are updates to Yelp’s iOS apps and mobile website (live now). In particular the iPhone app offers a significant redesign of the business profile page. There are some additional design tweaks here and there but most of the “action” is on the profile page. The iPad app offers some new functionality but largely maintains the existing format.
Previously iPhone app profile pages were visually cluttered, requiring scrolling and concentration to access the desired feature or content. The new profile page is more visually accessible and coherent. Compare, below, examples of the old profile and the new. The “old” example features screenshots I made. The new iPhone app example screenshots were provided by Yelp.
You see what I mean when I say the new design is more “coherent.” It makes key features and content more immediately accessible. For example, just below the map is the business phone number and a link to get directions.
The image on the right immediately above shows a user pulling down the profile to reveal photos from the business behind its contact details. You’ll also notice that the map image shows the current “Google” iOS map. Yelp said this will change in the fall with iOS 6 and the release of the new Apple mapping product.
Below are “before” and “after” images of the iPad app. The updated app screenshot was again provided by Yelp, with annotations indicating some of the new features. The changes here aren’t major but you can now do more things as a business owner or consumer-user.
Finally, Yelp is updating its HTML-based mobile website. The old site featured a “logged out” experience. The new one will offer users the option to log in and create content accordingly.
You can write and publish reviews from the iPad app but still can only draft reviews for later publication in the iPhone app. Yelp told me that, while somewhat shorter in length, they were impressed by the quality of reviews coming from the iPad app.
Mobile is a critical arena for Yelp, with something like 40% of search traffic now coming from its mobile apps. Like other companies that came to be in the pre-mobile era, Yelp is trying to reconcile the PC experience with the more streamlined requirements of smartphones and the mobile use case.