Our redesign of Medium’s Claps…and why they might not have chosen to do it this way.

Jason Li
Published in
5 min readAug 29, 2017

By now you’ve probably heard of or tried Medium’s new feedback metric, Claps . There’s already been a lot of good discussion on why the previous Recommend system is better than Claps, and vise-versa. This post will not be adding to that.

Instead, we want to look at how Claps is currently implemented on mobile and share our thoughts on how the interaction can be improved. And then we’ll critique our own solution.

This is how Clapping currently works:

Our Feedback

1) Giving claps take way too long. To give the maximum 50 Claps, a reader needs to hold down the button for 25 seconds. That’s 2 claps per second. Compared Medium’s web version, which increases at a rate of ~5 claps per second, it’s 2.5x slower on mobile.

2) Claps go up by increments of 1, which is too granular. The chances a reader wants to give precisely 17 Claps is probably much lower than giving 15 or 20.

3) Undoing Claps is not intuitive. The button is hidden within the share menu:

Our Solution

Play with the Framer prototype here: https://framer.cloud/EfAmB

Relating back to our feedback above:

1) By introducing a slider, readers can show their appreciation much quicker. (Update: A reader pointed out that Medium’s Engineering team considered a slider, too) They can also edit how many Claps they want to give before confirming the action. Readers can still give +1 Claps by tapping on the icon.

2) After +1, Claps snap to multiples of 5 on the slider. (At least that’s what we…

Jason Li

Director of Product Design @ Ramp.com