My third Research Article Analysis is concerning about Yelp.com website. The author concluded that information-seeking is the most prevalent motive for individuals who use Yelp.com. I have a question: Does Yelp.con seem like a useful tool to users? In order to answer the question, I create a Yelp account and use Yelp.
When I open the website, the search box is prominent in the homepage. I notice that my address is already filled in one of the search box. As a user who is looking for a wonderful frozen yogurt shop, I enter Frozen Yogurt and my address is West Lafayette, IN.
It shows that there are no results for Frozen Yogurt. However, it gives me a link of a category of Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt and lists two shops. Below these things, there is a clue: Do you mean frozen yogurt?
Have you noticed that I misspelled the word Frozen? Oops, it is the reason why there are no results. But Yelp did understand my meaning and give me a hint. So I click frozen yogurt. Wow, there are 18 results for that! Just see the screenshot below. With the goal of information-seeking, I want to search quickly and easily by typing some keywords rather than a clear word. As a novice and lazy user, I am not very familiar with Yelp’s search keywords and sometimes I did make a mistake. Notice that the term “forzen” is misspelled, but with a fuzzy search, results containing the correctly spelled term “frozen” are found. It will not confuse and overwhelm. The home page contains a wealth of information in an attempt to be helpful. If the searching function has many restrictions, it will annoy user and make them feel very uncomfortable.
Well, now I finally arrive on the webpage of frozen yogurt. There is a map! Maps convey a lot of important information. Crap…What is the meaning of Mo’ Map? Need Decipher again. After clicking the label, I know it allow users to expand the map and provide more details of the searching results. For a first-time user, the meaning is not obvious and it is time-consuming to decipher the words. Why not use the normal word More instead of Mo’ just like Less Map label used in the website. I think it will be more recognizable as well as consistent. The design of the map should not require user to learn them but make their overall experience fluid and easy.
As a user who loves to read and write reviews, does Yelp.com seem like a useful tool? I go to the Red Mango Yelp page and find 26 reviews for it. There is a rating distribution which shows five star levels of comments. I want to read all five star reviews. Unfortunately, they are not clickable. If I’d like to browse through the worst reviews, the two star comments are not clickable too. Yelp sorts the reviews by rate, useful, funny, cool, total votes, friends and elites. The default Sort By choice is Yelp Sort. I am confused what such a sort entails. Why not sort by different rate levels? By doing so, I don’t need to scroll down to scan all the reviews. It will save time and make users more convenient to find what they need.
What’s your opinion? Do you think Yelp.com is a useful tool to you? 🙂