Pinterest is a social media platform where users can discover and save ideas for various interests such as recipes, home decor, fashion, and more. The desktop version of Pinterest provides a user-friendly interface with features like creating boards, searching for ideas, and exploring content based on categories.
What is the Purpose?
People use Pinterest for inspiration, planning events, and organizing their interests. Users create boards to organize and share their collected images and links, known as “Pins.” Users can also follow others, repin content, and engage with others to share creative and informative content.
Landing Page Evaluation:
Pinterest’s homepage design aligns with Norman’s good design principles, including explicit affordance for searching (the search bar) and signifiers (the magnifying glass icon and placeholder text), making it intuitive for users to initiate and understand the search functionality.
Affordance: The prominent search bar at the top of the page allows searching for specific topics, ideas, or content. This element, with high visibility, makes the search function easily discoverable.
Signifier: The magnifying glass icon within or near the search bar is a signifier, indicating that users can interact with the search functionality. Additionally, placeholder text or any prompts in the search bar guide users on what they can search for.
Pinterest arranges pins in a grid-like layout on its landing page, mirroring the physical organization of a bulletin board. This layout draws from the conceptual model of a bulletin board where users commonly pin images or notes. The digital boards on Pinterest are virtual equivalents to physical bulletin boards, with each pinned item transforming into a digital pin on its respective board. This setup allows users to intuitively understand and navigate their content, establishing a connection between the digital interface and the familiar spatial arrangement of a physical bulletin board. By leveraging this knowledge from the physical world, Pinterest enhances the overall user experience, providing users with a seamless and intuitive platform.
Pinterest’s “Save” feature implements effective constraints to prevent common errors, adding a layer of protection against unintentional actions. When a user activates the “Save” button, a seamless process unfolds: the selected pin is securely stored within the chosen board. Concurrently, a user-friendly pop-up materializes at the bottom of the screen, affirming the completion of the action and presenting a readily accessible undo option. This pop-up provides users with immediate and clear feedback about the successful completion of the saving action. These feedback elements and constraints act as a safeguard, ensuring users don’t accidentally delete or modify saved items without explicit intention.
The constraints contribute to reducing the cognitive load on users. Limiting the number of options users have to navigate within the “Save” feature creates a sense of confidence and reduces anxiety about making irreversible mistakes.
Failures in Feedback Accessibility:
While the application of affordances, signifiers, and conceptual modeling is generally effective, there’s room for improvement in providing more nuanced and inclusive feedback. The feedback mechanisms discussed primarily cater to visual feedback, potentially neglecting users with diverse abilities. For example, the plus sign at the bottom of the screen is a signifier for the option to create a new pin or board, as shown in the picture above. Ensuring that interactive elements are well-labeled and feedback is not solely visual but also conveyed through text or sound enhances the accessibility of the interface. Incorporating alternative text for images, providing keyboard shortcuts, and ensuring compatibility with screen readers are critical considerations. For instance, associating text labels with the plus sign visual element and providing auditory notifications can bridge the accessibility gap.
Additionally, enhanced options for color contrast and font size adjustments for users with visual impairments would contribute to a more inclusive interface.