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Yelp is kind of stuck like Twitter. Product is not shaping up well. I am not sure how they plan to grow without improving their product. Their mobile app still kinda sucks

Their mobile app is one of the most poorly designed and poorly executed major tech products out there. For a company that hires probably a thousand engineers, there has been very little improvements on the web and mobile properties in over 4 years. For a product that's innately social, local and realtime, it has missed most of the enabled affordances of years past.

I'm surprised that there isn't much competition. I was traveling recently, and found Zomato's app to be much superior.

Yelp has a couple hundred engineers on staff. Roughly 20 of them are responsible for the Android and iOS apps.

I really can't believe how bad it is (on iOS at least).

Two rather signifiant UX issues on my end are:

1. bad image resolution (do they resize pictures to be smaller?); this is also worse from yelp.com 2. Why is the regular swipe from edge of screen to go to the previous screen overridden to move from review to review? (same issue with GMail app though too)

> Why is the regular swipe from edge of screen to go to the previous screen overridden to move from review to review? (same issue with GMail app though too)

I completely share your frustration here. I actually met a Yelp iOS engineer once and asked them about this. They said the idea is that it's supposed to feel like the way you navigate photos in albums on iOS; their expectation (whoever designs Yelp's iOS UX) is that users want to read many reviews and don't skim the review previews first to find the ones they like.

I showed them how I prefer to browse reviews: skim the previews, find a promising looking one [Yelp review signal/noise is terrible], "drill into" it, back out, continue until I've read enough reviews to make a judgment. They said they understood my POV, but stood by the assertion that most users don't use the app this way. Maybe they have metrics to justify that.

Or maybe most users don't use the app that way because of their interface? It makes using the app in a preferred (or preferable) way too cumbersome?

It's an interesting take either way.

I can understand why they'd see it that way. But my preferred UX is exactly what you described. I want to find a review that looks like it may hit on what I want to read about specifically, and then exit out as needed.

I find Foursquare's app much much superior than all-- too bad they're gotten a confused reputation over the years. But from an app UI/UX perspective, it shocks me why anyone would use Yelp's app over Foursquare.

Twizoo is also a new competitor that takes a completely different approach by getting reviews from Twitter. It also uses a data visualization over lists which is interesting. However, I think it's only live in a handful of US cities.

> I'm surprised that there isn't much competition.

In Europe, TripAdvisor is probably the #1 most used app in this market. Although I don't personally really like it either, not so much because of any technical problem, but because they've chosen to be extremely annoying about nagging you to create an account, which I don't have any desire to do.

Zomato is hugely popular outside the US.

They're not helping themselves by having a mobile website that's intentionally crippled in order to force users to the app. They need a top-shelf mobile web experience.

This. If you push me to an app by having a non-functional mobile web site I will just stop using your product.

Just use a browser that sets a desktop user agent like Opera or Dolphin.

Responsive design can trump that still.

I'm giving a workaround, not defending crap engineering.

I use the mobile app all the time, and it seems good enough -- why do you think it sucks? What could be better about it?

I don't understand, why hasn't the product changed at all?? There seem to be some obvious wins, e.g. personalization... but no movement at all.

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