Meet & Eat: Yelp's

Branded Experience

Environments Studio 4:  Design for Systems

7 Weeks | Fall 2020 


Your client, Yelp, has decided to pursue the pop-up shop model that will be located in urban centers for short periods of time (3–4 weeks) and then moved to other cities around the country. How can you design this environment to translate Yelp’s brand into a physical space?


I started with the question: Since Yelp has established itself as a digital service based on word of mouth and connection through reviews, how can I use this physical space to bring back the inherent physicality of the connection? 


With this physical pop-up shop experience, I designed a space centered on the joy of sending and receiving reviews, called Meet & Eat! My full process for the project is documented here.


Physical Protoyping, Sketch Up, V-Ray, UI/UX Design, Poster Design & Digital Mockups

Part 1: Initial Research

I began this project by researching Yelp and developing key insights about the company that would inform my design process for the experience and thinking about the type of person my experience would target. 

Company Key Insights

User Personas

Part 2: The Physical Pop-Up Experience

With all the interactions and the physical space itself, I centered my concept on reviews and connection, both from user to user and from Yelp to its users. Since Yelp is a currently purely digital service this space provides them with the perfect opportunity to develop a level of transparency with their users and bring joy to their users. 

Concept Sketches 

Experience Storyboard - Receiving a Review

The central premise of the interaction rested on the idea of a person receiving one customized review from a local Yelper. They would enter a station, enter basic parameters, and then receive a single review through a central, visible distribution system, in a small take-out box. 

Experience Storyboard - Leaving a Review

Since Yelp is dependent on users also leaving reviews on their platform, I also incorporated an interaction by which the visitors of the space could leave reviews for future visitors to receive. This is all done through the Yelp app and an interactive wall in the space. 

Final Physical Space

Here is an overview of what the space looks like in its context, Schenley Plaza. It is comprised of 4 individual stations, in which the review delivery system occurs. The back larger tank contains tiny takeout boxes that will be distributed to each of the individual stations through the spiral mechanism that can be seen in the center. 

Physical Model

Additionally to digital mockups of the space, here is a physical model to show all of the elements in context with one another, and to gain a sense of the scale of the space. This model is made at the scale 1/2 inch = 1 foot. 

Space Messaging

Each of the outward facing walls of the station allows for space messaging. Here are the 4 posters that line the outside walls. The visitors will see the posters in this order. They also work to demonstrate the purpose of the experience in a concise manner and create a conversational tone between Yelp and the experience users. 

Visitor Journey

The visitor begins at the bottom right, where an attendant will tell them when they can go to a specific station.They walk along the outside of the path, entering their given station, then following the same path out for the exit. 

Experience Walkthrough

Experience Walkthrough

At the entrance, each person will be greeted by an attendant who is monitoring the space. The attendant will indicate which station is empty and when they can enter.

Entering a Station

Then the user will walk through the space until they get to their station. Once they enter the station they will see a screen with the main interaction to the left. 

Customizing a Review

Through this screen interaction, the visitor will have the opportunity determine their customized review through minimal parameters.

Receiving your Review

Then the user will watch their takeout box come down the spiral to them. The box itself does not contain the review, to avoid any sort of physical separation process of the reviews. Within the station itself, there is a printing mechanism that drops the review into the box before it reaches the visitor. 

The Takeout Box

The takeout box is branded with the yelp logo. Within it will be the main takeaway for the visitor. The review card contains 3 elements: 

  • The name of the restaurant

  • A review written by a local yelp reviewer. 

  • A QR code that the guest can scan which will take them to an interaction within the yelp app. 

Part 3: The Yelp App Integration

In order to encourage more visitors to go onto the Yelp app, multiple interactions within the experience utilize the Yelp app. Check out Part 3 here. 

Part 4: Measures of Success

The overall has 4 main measures of success for the company, each in response to the key insights about Yelp as a whole.