23 Feb The Pinterest-ification of Web-Site Design
Most of today’s eCommerce sites have a navigation bar that leads users to a narrowed-down category, and then displays items in that category.
What if you think of those categories as impromptu public bulletin boards, where people can pin, post, leave, and erase pictures and messages for other people to see? A cool FUN place to be!
Well that’s what Pinterest has proved to be. A fast becoming sought after visual bookmarking site, it’s much a Wed Design and interface is said to driving more referral traffic than LinkedIn, Reddit, Google+, & YouTube combined.
So what’s behind it?
Pinterest’s near perfect design elements are drawn on ‘visual collections’ that connect and tell us much about our ‘inner life’. Collecting, ordering, and organizing visual collectibles that have a good deal to do with what psychologists, state as innate, feelings is what is turning its users into addicts.
As a result whether it’s to generate content that transport us to childhood memories or collectibles that we rely professionally for inspiration, knowledge and skills, Pinterests seemingly generic idea seems to stand so far out from the competition.
Thought became the End of Traditional Web Building Blocks
One of the primary aspects that attract users to Pinterest is its grid format window-shopping type interface. Far-flung from other bookmarking sites, they completely rethought on how images should be presented to their users.
Ideally, every site aims that their users be able to navigate through hundreds or even thousands of images with relative ease. But, if this act does not fulfil their need or requires too much effort on their part, the users lose their interest. On the contrary, if it’s effortless, you keep their attention focused on the content.
One battle step that has proved to champion the cause was the ‘masonry’ style layout, a Web Development plugin. Think of Masonry, a layout plugin for jQuery as the flipside of CSS floats. Whereas floats arrange elements horizontally then vertically, Masonry arranges them vertically then horizontally. Every bit of screen space is used and the result can be downright mesmerizing.
The concept is the same, but Pinterest uses its own scripts, ideal for its gallery based website.
Pagination has always been a sticky problem for designers. While websites love pagination because it increases their page views, as a user it can be real crappy…. long scrolling pages can be a poor user experience.
In addition to maximizing layout efficiency the Pinterest team had to deal with this yet another predicament.
To solve this problem, Pinterest designers took on to infinite scrolling, a neat little trick that automatically loads up more and more content as you hit the bottom of the page – thus allowing for a fairly uninterrupted browsing process. Instead of paged chunks of content, this fluid intervention was an adept trade-off on traditional website experiences.
Masonry Style + Infinite scrolling = Pinterests Success Formula
As you simply absorb the content as thousands of beautiful pictures sliding by — The rhythmic blend of Masonry style layout and infinite scrolling has put together, as it turns out, a winning formula, for Pinterest, creating a truly addicting experience.