UX Review: Pinterest

Helena Harvey
Aug 13, 2018 · 3 min read

Hello there, I’ve started using Pinterest a bit more these days to collect images of inspiration for projects I have on the go. While doing this, I noticed a couple annoying quirks that need some UX love. I feel these are basics, they shouldn’t really exist in this day and age of user experience design, and so I’ve decided to write about them!

For the most part, Pinterest is simple and does what it needs to do. It allows me to collect images and ideas for future reference and store them in organised folders which I can access from anywhere. This is great and very useful. I often stumble upon new and exciting things as I get deeper and deeper into nested images. If you use Pinterest, you know that you can look at a picture you like and then see “more like this” and repeat the process until you are very far from where you started.

Here are 3 simple things Pinterest can do to make me happier.

  1. Maintain scroll position
    When you go into your own profile, you will see the main navigation showing options such as Overview, Boards, Pins etc. If I click into “Boards” and scrolled down a bit and then click on “Pins” the screen will pop right back up to the top of the page. (See example 1 below)This is entirely jarring for the user, not to mention annoying and might cause even more issues for accessibility. The problem can be solved by maintaining scroll position in the code when the user clicks on navigation items.
Example 1

2. Respond to browser size
Users have all sorts of screen sizes these days. Screen size is not only governed by the physical screen size of a laptop, phone or iPad but also browser size because users can adjust their browser size on the computer. On Pinterest, it appears that selected breakpoints have been designed for, but there is a gap where the top navigation gets stuck outside the browser window, and you actually get a horizontal scroll. Somethings gone wrong here and needs to be fixed.

3. Contextual filters
I find it very strange that contextual filters would disrupt the primary navigation structure, but here it is! When you load the users’ profile page the menu is automatically set to “Overview” but when you click to see your “Boards” the whole navigation shifts and when you click “Pins” the navigation shifts yet again. What the heck is happening here? It appears that for “Boards” the contextual filter has been added to the end of the main navigation. There is only one other menu item that has a contextual filter which is “Following”, however, they have placed that filter lower down within the content of that section. So there is an inconsistency in how to treat this feature and neither are great, to be honest. Contextual filters should have a designated place within the content of the section and should not disrupt the main navigation.

That’s it for now, thanks for reading. Let me know if you agree or have a different perspective on these “interesting” features!

NYC Design

A publication for designers in New York and followers all around the world. Design thinking is what makes us write here on Medium to share with the designers of the world.

Helena Harvey

Written by

Human experience designer, researcher & strategist. www.helenaharvey.com

NYC Design

A publication for designers in New York and followers all around the world. Design thinking is what makes us write here on Medium to share with the designers of the world.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade