The Yelp Reviewing Experience

Designing the review-writing journey

Yelp wouldn’t be what it is today without its reviews and the vibrant community that writes thems. For the first two years at Yelp, I was the sole designer on the team that was responsible for all things reviews, as well as the collection of other user-generated content such as photos and Check-Ins.

As the product designer on the Contributions team, it was my job to investigate and understand user behavior and motivations for submitting content to Yelp—an entirely voluntary yet time-consuming act—and use that knowledge to design experiences that would encourage people to keep contributing.

Building the Foundation

During my time on the team, I had the privilege to redesign the review-writing experience on both web and mobile. These flows are where all of Yelp’s reviews are written, so it was important to make these experiences as seamless and enjoyable as possible for our users.

Read more about redesigning the review flow on web →

Making the Habit

In order to get our users into the habit of writing more and writing often, it was important to take advantage of opportune moments to solicit them for reviews. The YNRA (Your Next Review Awaits) cards I designed on web and mobile allowed us to prompt users to write a review for businesses we think they’ve been to in various places throughout the product using a consistent pattern. Many different variations were A/B tested before we found a sweet spot with these cards.

Providing the Reward

There is nothing that Yelp can physically give to users to thank them for writing a review, so it was up to our team to give them a rewarding experience through the product itself. We had heard time and again from our users that they were unsure of whether their reviews were making a difference, so I designed a monthly stats email to communicate their impact as well as reveal some interesting insights about the places they had gone. To better showcase users’ contributions, I also designed the Activity Map feature to tell a story about their experiences, one worth sharing with others.

Read more about the Activity Map →


These were but a few of the projects I worked on while on the Contributions team. If you’re curious to learn more, feel free to reach out!