I designed a feature using Pinterest's Design System to bring additional value to users.
TYPE: ux/ui
GOAL: add a feature to pinterest
DURATION: 4 days

I chose Pinterest as my client partly because I'm an avid Pinterest user and partly because I think Pinterest has a unique UI to work with.


I was tasked with designing and incorporating a new feature into a popular platform, keeping their design system in mind.


I used mixed methods to collect quantitative and qualitative data and gain insight into my users' behaviors and motivations.

Tools Used
  1. Lean UX Canvas
  2. Competitive feature comparison
  3. User surveys
  4. Affinity map

lean ux canvas

I used a Lean UX Canvas to get a big picture overview of my process. Who are Pinterest's main users? What did I need to learn first?
business problem
Pinterest users abandon the app when they feel lost or inconvenienced
business outcomes
1. Lower bounce rate
2. More sponsored pins viewed
3. Longer user sessions
4. Higher number of shared pins
1. Creatives
2. People with hobbies
user benefits
1. Find inspiration
2. Discover new things to love
3. Ease boredom

competitive feature comparison

I conducted secondary research before talking to users to identify gaps in the market and potential opportunities for Pinterest. Many of Pinterest's competitors do not have the ability to organize saved ideas like Pinterest. For that reason, Pinterest needs to continue to capitalize on this gap in the market and do it well.

I conducted 6 user interviews to gather qualitative data and understand the reasons behind my users' behavior. I used an affinity map to synthesize my findings and find trends in the data. I discovered key insights into my users' motivations, and struggles with Pinterest.


I asked users what drove them to use Pinterest. Users expressed they primarily browse for visual inspiration or to relieve boredom.

Finding Inspiration

Users revealed that they often turn to Pinterest when they need inspiration for a particular project or when they are searching for similar ideas to an interest of theirs.

User Interface

Users complained that they often lose their sense of place within the app and lose track of interesting pins while browsing that they can't find again later.

affinity map
“i like that i can look for something specific and get a whole bunch of pictures on that topic.”

I continued to synthesize my findings and pull out key learnings using several tools in order to generate problem statements.

Tools Used
  1. Value Proposition Canvas
  2. User Journey Map
  3. Problem Statements
value proposition canvas

I used a value proposition canvas, starting with the customer profile to assess customer jobs, pains, and gains. I asked myself, what do users hire Pinterest for? What jobs are they trying to accomplish? I identified some functional jobs, such as finding ideas and visual references, but I also identified jobs that were social and emotional. Users want their browsing to feel productive and they want to feel inspired.

user journey map
My user journey map provided context and revealed several opportunities for design along my user's journey
  1. When being forced to sign in to view shared pins
  2. When losing track of pins they hadn't yet saved
  3. When getting lost in their feed, especially the "More Like This" feed
problem statements

I generated problem statements based on the low-points I discovered in my journey map. I rephrased each problem statement into a How-Might-We (HMW) to keep my process centered on the users and their needs.

HMW #1

How might we allow users to conveniently view pins they've found through other sources?

HMW #2

How might we help users navigate Pinterest without feeling lost?

HMW #3

How might we help users easily keep track of potentially interesting ideas without having to save them to a board?


During this phase of the design process, I ideated and designed a solution based on user and stakeholder needs.

Tools Used
  1. Brainstorming
  2.  Impact vs. Effort Matrix & MoSCoW Method
  3. Jobs-to-be-Done
feature prioritization
impact vs. effort matrix
I arranged my brainstormed feature ideas on an Impact vs. Effort Matrix to determine which features bring the most value to users for the least effort. I determined a feature to be "valuable" if it met needs or desires expressed by users.
moscow method
I continued to prioritize my brainstormed features by sorting them into 4 categories: must-do, should-do, could-do, and won't do. Must-do features are necessities according to user and stakeholder needs. Won't-do features are either unnecessary or out of scope.
value proposition canvas
I revisited my Value Proposition Canvas, focusing on the client side. I used this tool to assess product-market fit and ensure that my proposed solution aligned with my findings and stakeholder requirements. It was clear to me at this point, that features allowing users to keep track of their place within the app best relieved users' pains and improved on Pinterest's existing functionality.
jobs-to-be-done framework

I love the Jobs-to-be-Done framework. I used this framework to design a feature that lets users accomplish their main goals when using the Pinterest app. Without this framework, it would have been easy to assume that users browse Pinterest for fun or to relieve boredom. However, these use cases don't represent the majority of Pinterest users. Many people turn to Pinterest over other applications, because Pinterest is the best at sparking inspiration and suggesting ideas to them in line with their tastes. This is important to keep in mind, because if a user is not able to complete the job they have "hired" Pinterest for, they will go elsewhere.

user job story

When I am looking for fresh ideas, I want to feel productive and organized so that I can find what I'm searching for and reference it later if needed.

business job story

We want our users to "hire" Pinterest to find inspiration and similar ideas they love without getting lost and abandoning the app.

minimum viable product (mvp)
Previously Viewed Thread: A feature for Pinterest mobile that allows users to browse similar pins and easily navigate back to ideas they want to revisit.
How does this MVP solve user needs?

Users complained about losing track of interesting pins and getting lost during their browsing.

How does this MVP make users feel?

Users mentioned that they use Pinterest to feel productive. This feature allows users to stay organized during their browsing.

How does this MVP align with the market?

This feature enhances Pinterest's capabilities that differentiate it from its competitors. Users can now keep track of their ideas with less cognitive effort.

user flowchart

This flowchart maps the user flow for the Previously Viewed Thread feature. The green path represents the "happy path" that I expect and want the user to take. In this case, the ideal path is a loop because, ideally, the user will continue to browse rather than exit the app.


During the Delivery phase, I began designing my solution and tested with users to identify problems in layout and ontology. I created low fidelity mockups to find issues quickly and mitigate risk.

Tools Used
  1. Low fidelity testing
  2. Medium fidelity testing
  3. Visual Competitive Analysis
low fidelity testing
Task: complete onboarding and try new feature
  • 5 users tested
  • Misclick rate during onboarding: 14%
  • Misclick rate while trying feature: 26.7%

Quantitative metrics suggested that users struggled to find the second pop-up message during onboarding and that users weren't sure how to exit onboarding. Moderated tests revealed that users were reluctant to go through onboarding.

medium fidelity testing
Task: complete onboarding and try new feature
  • 5 users tested
  • Misclick rate during onboarding: 12.7%
  • Misclick rate while trying feature: 20%

In my next iteration of prototypes, I made more educated decisions on layout, including making the onboarding more engaging and clear. There was a definite improvement in quantitative metrics and user feedback, but the misclick rate was still higher than I would have liked.

High fidelity prototype
visual design

I took my insights from my user testing and developed a high fidelity version of my feature. I was careful to follow Pinterest's Design System, Gestalt.

success & failure metrics
I chose several metrics that would indicate whether my solution is successful. These metrics are centered on user satisfaction and KPIs that were expressed to me by my stakeholder.
metrics for success
metrics for failure
  1. Improvement in user retention
  2. Longer user browsing sessions
  3. Increase in number of daily active users
  1. High churn rate
  2. Fewer sponsored pins viewed
  3. Low app ratings
next steps
As this was only a four day sprint, I didn't have time to execute everything I would have liked. If I continue this project, I will begin by conducting more research. Even though I conducted secondary research, I would like to collect more quantitative data to learn more about users' patterns, including whether users prefer browsing on desktop or mobile. I would also have liked to design more feature ideas, since I only executed one idea due to time constraints.
key learnings
test early & often

I spent more time on the low fidelity prototypes than the medium fidelity prototypes. My lo-fi's were intended to discover mistakes in layout and wording early in the design process, so I plan to spend less time on them in the future.

be concise

Some of my users were reluctant to read long explanations, so with each iteration I cleared up the language in my prototypes and tried to be as concise as possible.

ask about the process

I asked each of the users in my interviews about their process when choosing to browse Pinterest and gleaned some excellent insights into their motivations, behaviors, and context.

other projects
gaming frog
I worked with Gaming Frog to improve their UX/UI and increase their user retention.
microsite design
A teammate and I engaged in user-centered design to create a microsite for an art festival.
Let's work together

I am currently open to new opportunities. Reach out if you would like to work with me or simply want to chat!