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New Year, New Homepage

Who says you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression? With our new desktop homepage redesign we think you’ll love taking a second, third, or even fourth look around the new digs we created to build an even better Yelp homepage experience.

What’s new on the Yelp homepage

The new homepage features an emphasis on visuals and photos with some of the best shots on Yelp (credits included for each Yelper!) behind the larger search bar. Why? Yelp is all about high-quality, reliable, and useful content from members of our community so that you can really get to know your local businesses. We have some rockstar photographers on Yelp, so why not showcase their work?

Business categories including home and local services (the third largest category of reviewed businesses on Yelp) also take a starring role to remind users that Yelp has information to help you make every kind of local purchase decision, from happy hour to hospitals and hot air balloons (yes, that’s really an entire category on Yelp!).

We’re also surfacing content from our millions of monthly visitors, community managers, and elite Yelpers to help you find what you’re looking for. Check out hot and new businesses, popular categories, recent lists, and timely user activity.

Yelp homepage redesign
New Yelp homepage for logged out users

For logged in users with a profile, reminders of businesses you’ve recently checked out pop up right below the search bar and recent activity can be segmented into views by nearby users, your friends on Yelp, and people you follow. Since messages, like those sent through our popular Request a Quote feature, are being sent at ever increasing rates, they can now be accessed directly from the homepage with the icon on the top right.

Yelp homepage redesign
New Yelp homepage for logged in users

All these changes are designed to help users better navigate Yelp, find what they’re looking for quicker, and better understand who we are and how we can help.

The path to a homepage renovation

Yelp’s designers and engineers have been testing tweaks to the homepage for months to see which changes made the most impact.

The biggest decision we had to make was in using illustrations or user contributed photos for the primary image. While both would have created the more visual experience we were aiming for, each had pros and cons. Illustrations can be helpful in making a site look cleaner, but Yelp is more about authentic, emotional, local experiences – something we agreed was accomplished better through real photos. And that allows us to spotlight the photographic mastery of our community, too!  In the end we found people were most engaged with the page when we showcased local business photos taken by real Yelpers. After lots of A/B testing and tweaks, we settled on the large photo with the search bar overlay that you see today.

What’s next for Yelp.com

Our goal in redesigning the Yelp homepage was to increase searches, promote new business discovery, and better showcase our active community and their authentic content. For Yelp users who write reviews and upload photos, we hope the redesign will remind you to share a review of the awesome car mechanic you just discovered, or upload photos of the restaurant you ate dinner at last night.

Our analytics show improvement in these areas, but we’re always iterating to make Yelp the best it can be. We’ll continue to adapt the website and app based on how consumers and businesses are using Yelp and what information and interactions are most important to them.