It seems that everyone is talking about Pinterest these days and with good reason. It is now the third largest social network with regards to traffic. Pretty impressive when you consider the short time it has taken to skyrocket to such success. No doubt you’ve heard of the top two, Facebook and Twitter (click the links to follow IdentityMine on them!).
So as a UX design company, we have to ask the question did UX (user experience) help Pinterest skyrocket to their social media dominance? And we say yes. In a world dominated by a deluge of content, images, articles, videos, podcasts and more, it is hard to keep track of things that you like and want to remember as well as find a visually interesting way to peruse what others have liked.
Bookmarking favorite sites and using tools like Reddit, StumbleUpon and even Twitter have been helpful in directing people to content or helping them find interesting things but scanning oodles of text is, well, boring. The Web has evolved into a very visually exciting place and Pinterest has hit the nail on the proverbial head by coming up with a very simple and straightforward way to visually bookmark content (images tied to content) and provide a fun way to engage with it. Your own visual bookmarks or other user’s.
From a user perspective, Pinterest has done a great job of creating an engaging, intuitive user experience while still serving as a functional, utilitarian type of service. Just ask any Pinterest user. They are enthusiastic about the site and will talk in detail about the simplicity, social aspects, personalization, beauty of the pictures and how easy it is to navigate hundreds of pins in seconds.
But Pinterest has also found a win from the business perspective, opening the door to the real desire of the profitable side of social media—driving traffic, specifically driving traffic to retailer sites. Only time will tell if businesses will exploit the site and take away the feeling of discovery turning it more into a online shopping experience instead.
While they still have some UX work to do, particularly for new users, we say Kudos to Pinterest for leveraging UX to revolutionize the social experience.