Less Edges, More Space
The current design is boxy and confined leading to an almost claustrophobic feel. I focused rounding out hard edges, both visually and mentally. Users perceive circles as more spacious as opposed to squares. Using circles for key images helped open up the design.
The 960 grid helped bring the web into a new age of clean lines. Today it fails to fulfil the needs of a device agnostic web. Moving away from the 960 grid to a custom 12 column grid gives a full bleed feel. As a result the page's content shines through as the true hero.
The sidebar structures social details in a logical flow. Information cascades down the side from most personal to communal data. Eliminating gimmicky stats and preserving usefulness helps keeps the page actionable. Name, location, and status serve as a base. Ranking friends by activity increases perceived network health. Compliments serve to add profile value, and list surface user contribution.
Bite Size Content
Yelp is all about reviews, but the user profile page wasn't. The new design give reviews a considerable part of the page, yet keeps them short. Progressive disclosure allows browsing user to get just what they want. Incorporating business images add visual diversity while creative interest. The result is a review that is easier to parse, yet more inviting.
Cover images are common in modern platforms. They are simple yet bring in intense customization. Cover images allow users to express themselves within constraints. Surfacing user stats, profile image, and tenure further this personalization.