Upgrading the overall app experience

The main requirements for this project were to add new features to the existing business application, whilst upgrading the entire app experience to make it understandable, usable and allow for future growth.

The new features included social posting, aggregating reviews from various external sources with Yell reviews and being able to respond to these reviews from within the app. To do this, the application needed to work with both internal and third party APIs.

The app needed to cater for free and paying (tiered) users so the overall experience needed to be consistent and intuitive whilst feeling appropriate for the varying options available to the users.


Users and technical understanding

There were two initial challenges with this project. Firstly, I needed to understand and evaluate the existing screen flows. How did this currently work with the different user groups? How could this be improved for users when introducing additional features?

The second challenge was to understand the technical constraints. For example, how could we pull in ratings, reviews and comments from different sources, aggregate them and present them to users in a consistent way?


Listings, reviews and social posts

It became clear through evaluating the existing flows, that there were additional complexities. Each account could have a number of business listings i.e. a new one for each business location, and each one could be on a different tier, meaning they would have different features. This meant there needed to be a way to ‘switch listings’ without the experience becoming confusing when functionality (potentially) changes.

I proposed and tested several ways to structure and navigate account / listing level information.

Once an approach was agreed, I focused on how to integrate the new features.

The reviews section previously contained only reviews left on Yell. The updated app needed to aggregate reviews from over 10 different sources including Google My Business, Trip Advisor, Yelp, FourSquare and from the user’s own site. This created a lot of challenges as each source worked in a different way – some used 5 stars whilst others used a mark out of 10, some offered the ability to reply or report from within the app, whilst others didn’t. It was important to try and offer a consistent experience and not to frustrate users.

The new social posts feature needed to aggregate posts sent and received from different platforms. Again, it was important that aggregating this content wasn’t confusing – would it be better to separate each social account? I tested different approaches and found that users preferred the convenience of having these within a single feed and didn’t find it confusing.


New features and an enhanced look and feel

The UX and UI work were completed within 6 months. I worked alongside engineering and, with the exception of the social posts, all features were launched within this period.

Stakeholder and initial user feedback was very positive for both the new features and enhanced look and feel.

Profile screens

Review screens

Social screens

"James contributed to stand ups, produced user flows, wireframes, prototypes and UI designs around agreed user stories and led walk-through presentations. He responded promptly to many unforeseen/unknown technical challenges which in retrospect was critical to shaping a confident and well-received user centric solution."

Graham Beale
Head of UX Design, Yell

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