You know those ladies who’ve had enough injectables to turn their lips into an approximation of water park inner tubes and their foreheads into Alaskan glaciers that will never, ever melt? Well, that’s totally not what has happened to Yelp‘s homepage.
The face of Yelp.com has had a little nip and a little tuck, but it’s not a wholesale “extreme makeover,” as the company claims on its blog. In fact, it’s unlikely a casual Yelp user (i.e., most Yelp visitors) will notice the changes.
Still, the new homepage puts more emphasis on social and mobile data. As Yelp product manager Mark Allen writes, “We’ve seen mobile contributions grow at a rapid clip. Photos, tips, check-ins, and comments from your friends are a fantastic way to find great local businesses. We wanted to bring those to the front and center of Yelp.com and give you an easy way to share and explore your friends’ activity.”
In this case, we’re willing to say that the subtle upgrades and tweaks are good. Search, the site’s most important feature, is still front and center; the sections that are now being highlighted will encourage casual users to become more invested in the social experience of creating reviews, leaving tips, following their friends’ real-world adventures, and interacting with the Yelp community.
Plus, subtle changes are less likely to lead to an out-and-out user revolt.
Here’s a few before/after shots:
“Our team spent a lot of time talking to a bunch of hardcore Yelpers and researching how people used the old homepage,” Allen said. “We think you’ll like the new one even more once you’ve had a chance to toy with it.”
You can expect to see the new homepage yourself within the next few weeks.