Yelp :Boosting collection-creation and UGC

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About UGC

User-generated content is very successful, why you say? because people trust other people. Youtube, Twitter or Instagram are a hit because their content is real, different and unpredictable, UGC connects people, allows them to learn from collective experiences and find common interests.

The problem:

Yelp has gained its power from its people’s reviews, with yelp scaling, people now need to save collections of different preferences, a collection of restaurants, a collection of sandwich spots … This will keep life interesting for people and engage more people to connect and share experiences. However from data and surveying with friends and relatives, many people are not creating collections, either they don’t know it exists or they do not know its value.

Main pain points:

here are my assumptions of the problem is

  • Collection creation is very subtle and almost invisible in the App
  • People are creating empty collections and not investing in filling the
  • People don’t interact socially on Yelp

What do we know:

We know that Data shows that people interact more with UGC.

we know that very few people use collections (let’s assume) that 1.5% of all user add one business to their default collection

The Task:

Goal: We want to increase this adoption of new collections to 10% in the next two months.

Challenge: Come up with 2 options for new flows for collection creation that will increase the number of new Collections created.

A-Understanding the problem and Researching the Market

B-Understanding the user’s needs and business needs

C-Forming hypothesis and creating design concepts and solutions that relate to the KPI

D- Creating lo-fidelity sketches and validating with friends

E-iterating and creating hi-fidelity sketches and a prototype

F-validation and learnings.

A- Market research:

Products like Pinterest and Facebook has the most successful UGC engagement strategies. I looked at Amazon, Houzz, even Spotify, and Airbnb for generic listing and collection creation patterns, and finally, Google want to go lists.

Google; introduces on-boarding with illustrations on the collection page
Facebook groups; introducing a step by step on-boarding to fill out the collection
Pinterest boards creation; adding as much information while creating the board
Amazon wish lists; keep the list at the end of the page to create a visual connection

B-Understanding the people

I created a persona, a collection of friends profiles and personal assumptions that I made to pinpoint some basic needs that I wanted to solve for and create empathy with the people using Yelp.

Doing a quick survey with friends I noticed that there are a common group of motives for creating collections

People want to make collections to:

  • Sort ideas and places according to certain preferences
  • Get back to for ideas in the future.
  • Recommend ideas to friends.
  • Gain social acceptance and proof from the explorer’s community on Yelp

Looking at yelp collection creation existing flow, There are possibly 2 paths a user would end up creating a collection.

A-Intentional path: users go to the collection tab and create a new collection.

A-Intentional path, users went to collections to create a new collection
A-Intentional flow

B-un-intentional path: users are browsing places and start saving to collections. (natural path)

B-un-intentional path, users are searching and came across something they like
un-intentional flow

My assumptions

According to the Hooked model, the more people invest in creating content the more they are likely to engage with this content a second time.

If people invested more while creating a collection, they are more likely to engage with the content and create more collections.

If people get a step by step collection creation it would be less cognitive load and more comprehensible and more likely to retain on the flow.

people are more likely to engage in content creation when there is a social aspect to connect and get social proof with others.


I will look into Flow B that captures those who do not know about the collections

Areas of opportunities

  • Collection creation flow
  • place page

Metrics of success:

primary: The number of collections being created is the original KPI, I will add to this

  • Increase the Number of collections being created that includes one or more items. (Primary metric)
  • Increase Number of users creating the 2nd collection. (secondary metric)

Design goals

  • How might we educate people on collection creation early in the flow?
  • How might we make the collection creation flow frictionless?
  • How might we get people to invest in making collections, adding more information?

Areas of opportunities:

1-Place page

If users were able to discover and learn to create a collection in their natural path, they are less confused and more likely to create a new collection.

Concept A: Add text to the icon (Left)

Concept B: Create a collection in one step (Right)

option B

2-Account creation flow

if users were able to add places of interests during the account creation flow, they are more likely to engage more with content

Concept A: The step-by-step

Step by step concept

Concept B: All in one (Right)

All in one concept

Option 1: A step by step collection creation,

Concept: Encourages investment

1- Less cognitive load with step by step

2-Making investments in collections

3-Boosting sharing and social connection

Pros: Gives people the chance to understand collections, and build their own list at the start.

Cons: Adding more steps to the flow can create friction, especially without skipping.

Option 2: An All in one approach

Concept: Add more information and more investment in one short step.

Pros: Fewer steps and quick collection creation

Cons: might overwhelm users with many inputs.

After creating a prototype I validated both options with people for a quick usability testing, I was looking for more impressions like which option would create more struggle and signs of irritation and which option would have less drop offs, results were in favor of this option, people liked it better and followed through the flow even though it is the longer path,

  • It does a better job in communicating the value of collections breaking down the features in steps (adding places, connecting with friends, ect..)
  • It would give more data on the behaviors of users, collecting more data in places preferences and the success of sharing and social connection.

The risk

With this option is adding more friction to the collection creation and not allowing users to skip, this risk is drop off the collection creation.

Success metrics

other data I would measure would be:

  • How many people are creating first collections after the new flow?
  • How many of those are creating second collections?
  • How many users are sharing more with the new flow?
  • How many new collections are being created from shared links?


people who start creating a collection has already activated their internal motive; wanting to save a preference or wanting to join a community, the design and flow are the external triggers for this user to finish the collection creation flow, so the flow needs to have good communication of value, and intuitive interactions and easy inputs so people would feel supported and encouraged to join the community.

check out another yelp case I worked on:

Thank you for reading through!

For a drafty prototype click here:

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