Pottermore — a UX case study

Jon Marshall
6 min readSep 3, 2019


I joined Pottermore in mid-2015 as a freelance senior UX designer to launch the new Pottermore website. Pottermore is the digital heart of J.K. Rowling’s ‘Wizarding World’.

The project started by collaborating with marketing to define five audience segments for Pottermore. I then worked with analysts to create equivalent digital cohorts based on typical site usage. I added context to the audience segments by conducting interviews with customers.

Components and IA

Several components were proposed by Studio Output to represent the differing content across the Wizarding World. This made it possible to represent the different moods of the books, films, or theatre productions without making the experience feel too fragmented.

The IA relied heavily on tagging similar artefacts (handled by a Contentful backend). In this way the IA was quite shallow so we utilised content recommendations when you’d finished reading a page. The new design system used paper components for writing and stacked artefacts for associated content (or for hubs).

We created interesting paths through related content and used tags to encourage deeper engagement with the wider Wizarding World.


We identified a key user need in having an effective site search and designed the search experience to be as delightful as possible (some content could only be found via search). During a search you could filter by popular content, J. K. Rowling’s original writing, story artifacts, features, or news.

Migrating users

Jon Marshall

London-based UX expert: I enjoy solving problems with insightful research, intuitive flows and elegant interfaces. https://jonmarshall.co.uk/