Tumblr

Tumblr

I lead the product design team and co-lead user research at Tumblr. We work closely with other teams to invent, design, test, and iterate on the Tumblr iOS and Android apps and website. As product design lead, I have a hand in most user-facing projects we embark on. As a manager, I mentor the team of designers and help them grow their careers. As a designer, these days I'm primarily focused on future mobile creator tools and monetization. 

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In late 2015 we released the GIF maker. We made it as simple as possible by doing the heavy lifting of media wrangling and compression for people behind the scenes. Recently we added text captions, filters, and stickers to make it easier for people to make the kinds of things they were already making for Tumblr.

I was responsible for the visual design and user experience, and I worked closely with engineers to build it for iOS and Android. You can read what I had to say about the process.

 

Search and explore

We are constantly iterating on mobile search and explore to help connect people with the topics and Tumblrs they love. Last year we tested a new design featuring a beautiful curated carousel, top 10 trending list driven by search intelligence and the meme librarian, and a recommended blog carousel.  

The results were disappointing. Very few people swiped through the carousel or delved into the trending topics. The topics themselves were updating constantly, but they weren’t driving a sense of FOMO, and worst of all, follows went down dramatically. 

 

 

We moved quickly to make changes. First, we ditched the carousel. Now we only use it for special occassions when people are more likely to notice it because it’s shiny and new. 

We brought Tumblrs back front and center. These personalized recommendations are great and people love flipping through them. 

We added shortcuts to the tags you follow right at top. This also helps people understand they can follow tags or searches and see more of this kind of thing in their dashboard recommendations. 

We pushed trending down to the bottom for now. We think there's room to improve by testing recommended topics and a denser visual design. 

Search results

We also redesigned our search typeahead and results pages. Previously, results were always sorted by top, and sorting by recent or filtering by type was buried behind an icon that had extremely low engagement. We took a cue from Google and added a bar that made it easy to swipe between different results and find what you're looking for. We also surfaced related searches as a way of helping people discover where communities tend to gather. Finally, we emphasized the follow button and saw a huge increase in people following tags. 

Other stuff

I've had the opportunity to touch most parts of the product including onboarding, emails, community moderation and abuse tools, settings, and even a lizard election.

Tumblr is a special place.

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