Pinterest is a web and mobile application that allows registered users to collect and share photos, ideas and links.
Full disclosure: I don’t work for Pinterest or know anyone who does! This is a hypothetical project. I know a lot of people who use it and I asked myself if it could be even better - it's a great tool that I think has even greater potential through improved usability.
Because this is a hypothetical project, I didn't have any stakeholders to interview. I took this project on completely from the viewpoint of the user.
First, I created a survey on Google Forms. I sent it to family, friends and coworkers and ended up getting 25 responses.
Out of the 25 participants, 92% were female and 64% were between the ages of 25 and 30. When asked what they use Pinterest for, 90% of participants said to find new ideas, 68% said to remember things they find on the Internet and 64% to plan decor.
I interviewed six participants about their Pinterest usage and recorded my findings. Using a post-it card sorting exercise, I saw several themes emerge.
Interview Card Sort
There seemed to be several different general reasons that participants use Pinterest:
Inspiration: to gather ideas as inspiration for specific project
Planning: to find concrete suggestions for an event or project, like a wedding or decorating a new home
Reference: to collect information and resources to reference for a later date, especially recipes
Identity: to curate images and articles that are interesting or represent oneself or one's hobbies
There also seemed to be two kinds of users:
Private, project-based: those who use Pinterest almost exlusively for personal or work projects and are not interested in the social aspect of the site. They typically only use Pinterest for a specific reason, not to browse.
Public, theme-based: those who use Pinterest for specific projects but are more likely to collect images around themes or personal identity. They may browse the homepage for new ideas and are more likely to have followers and public boards
Participants liked that they could search for very specific things and that they could see everything in one space. Three separate people offered that they thought Pinterest was "easier than Google."
Participants indicated that they could feel frustrated with the navigation and the inability to search within your own pins. Several also said they have multiple boards for similar things and wished there was a better way of organizing their boards and pins.
Using my research, I created two user personas.
Based on user research, I developed the following goals for a redesign:
create a more streamlined navigation/organizational structure
create feature to highlight the board's ability to condense information
create feature to allow for concrete planning and decision-making within a board