So ignoring the obvious, like getting a gender balance, I’ve been thinking the same few things about Pinterest that would make the experience better (especially for people who aren’t just using it for social scrapbooking- or whatever they’re calling it).
[Side note: Not doing this as a real critique or a “I want to work for Pinterest!” post. Going through the process of looking at user experience from multiple perspectives has been helping me to redesign youshoulddate.me before we start rolling out the invitations. And sometimes little annoyances just have to be written down.]
1. Filter boards you follow based on category.
I like using Pinterest as a mood board and for design inspiration. It would be awesome if I didn’t have to filter through the few fashion and food boards I follow to get to the design pins. Boards are already tagged for exploring, so it would be even better if you could explore through only the boards you follow based on category. In other terms, circles for boards, but relevant.
2. Follow pin sources.
If I can explore the other pins from a specific source, I should be able to follow the source like an RSS feed for pins. It would make it easier to discover pins, and since users would be able to pin from the feed, there would be fewer of the same pins from different users- which constitutes what is arguably the most annoying part of exploring categories. There’s already the culture of repinning, so please make it less annoying.
Another thing I find really annoying about people on Pinterest is that they often post pins that are not applicable to the category and then they appear when you explore in Everything. Sorry, I don’t want to see a picture of hair under the technology category. Users should be able to recommend categories for other users’ pins, just like they can boards. (Also, categories are pretty limited/vague- What would My Life be used for? Scrapbooking? Portfolios? Sarcastic observations about #firstworldproblems? No one seems to know.- so adding a few user recommended categories wouldn’t hurt either).