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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.

https://medium.com/@girlziplocked/paul-graham-is-still-askin...

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What you said doesn't make much sense. Much more important than the algorithm is the market that the algorithm operates in. Uber couldn't unleash a magical algorithm and solve commuting inefficiencies for every user if there isn't a sufficient density of both riders and drivers (i.e. the main inputs to the algorithm in this case).

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That doesn't seem to be a problem for the competition. Prices are the problem, and Uber is trying really hard to lower the prices and profit, that's why the algorithm IS most important.

I really do not understand why almost everyone thinks that "network effect" is the best thing Uber has, when it obviously isn't.

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It is. I get an uber where I live within 2-3 minutes. And sometimes I've gotten uberPool matches essentially going to the same destination picked up within a block. These are only achievable with considerable penetration into a local market.

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For smaller towns this effect is negligible, and there are more smaller towns than big ones.

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Buying worthless taxicab medallions to circumvent political opposition seems like a fool's errand. 13,605 NYC taxicab medallions at a cost of $600,00 is $8.1 Billion, for an asset that's destined to be worth zero in a few years.

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I think the study is trying to link two quite unrelated aspects through a narrow lens of anonymized "international" friendship links. What constitutes international? Is any link outside of your own country considered international?

To me, this chart seems to highlight countries that have relatively open borders with its neighbors, or countries where immigrants as percentage of population is high because of economic opportunities and such. Consider Saudi Arabia or Oman, which gets a lot of immigrants from all over the Muslim world, which seems to be one of the most "international" countries. This inference seems counter to the fact that many of those countries are not as open to international businesses as say, Singapore or Hong Kong. Nor are they poor countries per se.

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I couldn't find anything in the study that shows how friendship is defined within in anonymized data set:

> Facebook provided data on every friendship formed in 2011 in every country in the world at the national aggregate level. These data set included a total of 57,457,192,520 friendships.

So there's a few problems with language here...one of them being...what does "every friendship formed in 2011" mean? The friendship was actually made in 2011? Or that the friendship record existed as of the 2011 snapshot of the database? I'd have to imagine the former but if it's just the latter...then "friendships made by all users in one given year" is massively different than "all friendships of all users".

Second, in 2011, FB's interface was different than it is today. Maybe they've always had this data in the backend...but were users able to have multiple locations listed as part of their user profile in 2011? My hazy recollection is that you were able to list your location...and after the Dec. 2011 roll out of Timeline [1], then you started being much more granular about your life and location, because Facebook wants to be the yearbook of your life or something.

If we assume that an international friendship is made by two users who have locations in two different countries...OK...well, anecdotally speaking, I went to a Midwest college..we didn't have FB at the time but I imagine if we did, most/many students would have put the university as their current location/network. Even though the number of international friends I had substantially increased, if the data isn't captured at a granular level, it just looks like I made friends with a whole bunch more midwesterners.

[1] https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook/timeline-now-availab...

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Why would anyone need to buy a 64GB Apple TV rather than a 32GB one?

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I'm assuming for storage of downloadable media.

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Meh. That's a lot of input that the author had to provide. It is responding to unstructured/unpredictable messages as well, which takes quite a bit of thinking by the author.

If I had to change a flight, I would guess I could do it faster on Virgin's website rather than through Magic. Same with the helicopter.

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The flight change was done via Magic because he couldn't use their website on his mobile. Still, you'd think it would be easier to call up a friend.

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Why not call the airline?

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Tangential to the conversation, but the website (Timeline) is new to me, and it is quite interesting.

Does it seem to anyone else that the design is completely backwards? After reading a news article, I'd wanna learn about what has been happening recently with the issue, and dig a little deeper slowly. This forces a model where some small bit of news is followed by a wikipedia entry of sorts.

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I can't see how Dropbox wouldn't end up getting crushed in this fight. Just recently, they reclaimed all the promo/referral/college storage I had, and shrunk my space from 40GB to 15GB. Pay up $10 per month or lose all your data.

I shopped around, and got a $2 per month from Google Drive. The product is pretty much on parity with Dropbox on the Mac, and works exactly the same way. Yes, I'll take that 80% discount, thank you.

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It's mostly, right now, because Amazon's desktop software is _so_ bad. Whereas with Dropbox and Google Drive, I can simply save files to a directory on my computer and can be assured that Dropbox/Drive are uploading them automatically and keeping them in sync, with Amazon, they seem to have forgotten about Sync all together. There are files that I add to the cloud. Should I need to work on them again, then I download them from the cloud, edit them, and add them back.

This workflow sucks, and it's worth paying to not have to do that.

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> The product is pretty much on parity with Dropbox on the Mac

In my experience, Dropbox is always faster and more reliable. The other big selling point of Dropbox is the wide adoption of its API. It's basically the de-facto cloud sync solution for most of the iOS/Mac app out there (some are moving to iCloud, but Dropbox is still the more reliable/popular one). If you are deep integrated in the Apple eco system, Dropbox is hands down the best you can go with.

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Same with Lyft. Three people looking at their phone in a Lyft Line just means that they want to get to where they want to go without some mindless chitchat.

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