The BuzzFeed Product Design Highlight Reel

A selection of design work from the BuzzFeed Product Design team

Kelsey Scherer
Jun 7 · 5 min read

On the BuzzFeed Tech team, our groups are consistently shipping small updates, new features, and entirely new products. Here’s a look at a few things our Product Design team has worked on so far this year.

Planner in PubHub

Designer: Claudia Mei Team: Jacqueline Yue (Product Manager), Kevin Merritt, Nathan O’Brien, Ting Zhang, Brandon Choi, Dominic Hanzely, Nicholas Gervais, Andrea Handevidt, Manuel Palou (Engineers), Lucy Wang, Max Woolf (Data Scientists)

We’ve written before about how we’re building superpowers for social publishers at BuzzFeed through our internal social publishing tools. This year, we’ve been hard at work taking the next step with our recommendations and scheduling. Our new product, Planner, helps the social team at BuzzFeed source and schedule high-quality content to Facebook by leveraging recommendation models. We’ve been working on better distinguishing between content types, and incorporating useful indicators, like showing when something is trending, or timely-relevant.

From the team:

It’s really cool that curators can now source content and schedule content within the same tool! Also, having recommendations directly in Planner allows social publishers to save a ton of time that they previously spent sourcing for content. —Jacqueline Yue, Product

TV & Movies Feed

Designer: Angela Medina Team: Leora Katz (Product Manager), Plum Ertz, Jess Kustra, David Dunlop, Kevin Ushijima, Nii Mante (Engineers), Yeny Santoso, Alp Ozcelik (QA and Support)

We created a system that allows custom headers to be easily added to feeds. We often get editorial and sales requests to brand a grouping of content, and this new system allows for us to easily spin up new landing pages to give our audience a distinct collection of content, while also enabling robust branding that our clients can sponsor. Our first launch was a TV & Movies experience just in time for the Game of Thrones final season — which was a huge hit, driving extensive traffic throughout the final GoT episodes. Since then, we’ve also used this feature for our parenting destination, Playfull.

From the team:

Our stakeholders love having the flexibility to make feeds feel more like their own, branded destinations so our users really get the sense that they’ve landed somewhere different. —Leora Katz, Product

It’s a huge engineering win — we put the control in the stakeholders hands, cutting down all of the back and forth between editorial, design, and engineering in the crunch time before new pages go live. —Plum Ertz, Engineering

We’re allowing editorial and sponsor partners to elevate their brand creatively by customizing these feed headers with a logo, background image, and description; we’re also presenting readers with more context around the stories they can dive into on these feeds. It’s a win win! —Angela Medina, Design

Shopping showcase ad product

Designer: Hana Carpenter Team: Swara Kantaria (Product Manager), Andrew Paulus (Director, Product Management), Caroline Amaba, Dmitriy Zhdankin (Engineers), David Lin, James Ledoux (Data Scientists)

Our Commerce and Advertising tech teams collaborated on this new ad unit we launched earlier this year. It’s a brand new ad product, that showcases products for our clients in a way that is more native to our shopping content than standard programmatic ads. They’re still clearly labeled as advertisements and visually distinct from all editorial content, but the design smoothly integrates into our shopping experience.

From the team:

The shopping ads are awesome because they are a new native ad format that not only grows our biz but also serves our users’ needs. When readers are on shopping posts, they are in the mindset to shop and find products they love and want to buy. With the new shopping ad product, brands can put their products in front of potential buyers who are ready to shop and therefore, will more likely buy the product. — Swara Kantaria, Product

Nutrition info in Tasty

Designer: Allison Krausman Team: Sami Simon (Product Manager), Shema Kalisa (Project Manager), Amy Filmore (Director, Project Management); Graham Wood, Will Kalish, Dan Tann, Paul Marino (iOS & Android Engineers); Layrssa Husiak ( Engineer); Ben Stockwell, Randy Karels (API Engineers); Jeremy Back, Lizzy Grillo, Estefania Reichel, Paula Yanuszczyk, Gabriela Conde Moreau (QA); Susan Vu (Food Team)

Nutritional information has been one of Tasty’s most requested features by our users. As a part of Tasty’s ongoing partnership with Walmart, we’re working with Northfork to calculate nutritional information for all of our recipes in the iOS app, Android app, and our website.

From the team:

It’s been awesome that having nutritional info in the app has forced us to look very closely at the ingredients, amounts, and serving sizes of all of our recipes, resulting in higher fidelity recipes! —Ben Stockwell, Engineering

It has been great to be able to deliver a feature so useful to our users, and to give them something that they have been asking for! —Graham Wood, Engineering

Native comments

Designer: Noga Raviv Team: Dilip Rajan (Product Manager), Jess Anastasio, Evgeniy Udalov (Engineers), Brian Clifton (Data Scientist)

We’ve always had native comments in our BuzzFeed app, but removed them from our web experience a few years ago. In that time, we relied on Facebook comments on our site. Recently, we found that our native comments — ones require users log in to BuzzFeed — tend to be of higher quality and encourage genuine conversation with our audience. This year, we brought them back to our site, and have been iteratively shipping new features including hearting comments and threading replies. One of our favorite features we’ve shipped is a comment counter at the top of each post which lights up with a 🔥 emoji and links users directly to the comments when the volume of discussion passes a certain threshold.

We’ve got even more good stuff coming, so keep an 👀 out for our next update! If this work sounds interesting to you, we’re hiring Product Designers, Data Scientists, and will be opening up new roles soon. You can follow us on Twitter @BuzzFeedExp.

We were inspired Vox Product’s Kit & Caboodle series to write this post. Thanks for the inspiration, y’all 👋

Special thanks to Lauren Chinn for all of her edits.

BuzzFeed Design

Not just GIFs. Okay, mostly GIFs.

Kelsey Scherer

Written by

director of product design @buzzfeed

BuzzFeed Design

Not just GIFs. Okay, mostly GIFs.