Pinterest a rich user experience
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a web 2.0 platform used for photo-sharing. According to Kavulla (Kavulla, 2012), Pinterest is best described as a virtual inspiration board. Pinterest is a digital pinboard on which users can ‘pin’ collections of images and articles into category areas (boards) as visual bookmarks for others to rate, view and comment on. These boards form the social aspect of Pinterest, where users subscribe to and communicate on other users boards.
The use of Pinterest has become increasingly as a stand-out photo sharing platform is becoming increasingly wide spread due to due to the intuitive user experience. According to an article by wired.com, recent studies have put Pinterest ahead of email as the third most popular way for users to share content online. This is phenomenon is due to what Tim O’Reilly (O’Reilly, 2005) describes as the ‘Rich User Experience’. Which Gabriel-Petit (March, 2014) further defines as ”…the quality of users’ experience of products [in terms of] learnability, usability, usefulness, and aesthetic appeal.” Meaning that innovative and well set-out user interfaces such as Pinterest’s, along with dynamic content provide users with experience that surpasses that of the traditional mediums such as image boards and forums, thus increasing the overall value of the application.
How Pinterest provides a Rich user experience?
According to the Technology Acceptance Model, factors contributing to the adoption of technology are ease of use and usefulness (EDSIG, 2012). Pinterest provides both of these. The layout of the user interface of Pinterest is based on that of a simple grid, which provides it with a simple yet attractive design with which users can interact. Pinterest also boasts an easy sign-up process and browser integration. This allows for easy access as well as quick and convenient content creation.
Furthermore, Pinterest is able utilise the network effect, by allowing users to sign in via social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. This contributes to a positive user experience by making it simple and straight-forward to not only access the site itself, but also the content pinned by familiar users with whom they have a social connection.
According to (Peslak, Sendall, Ceccucci 2012) the lightweight design and low barrier to entry, aids the user in avoiding commonly felt frustrations associated with other sharing methods and is quite simple to learn to use. Which is why according to Baer (Baer, 2012) it has become increasingly popular with more creative, less tech savvy users.
Comparing Pinterest to other image sharing web 2.0 platforms
The main competition to Pinterest is Instagram and Tumblr, both of these web 2.0 image-sharing platforms are highly visual in their layout and design. According to Koetsier (Koetsier , 2013), the differences between the three platforms can be summarized in terms of image format and method of sharing. Pinterest gives users a platform to share concepts, information, ideas and opinions through images whereas Instagram places greater emphasis on photography, allowing users to apply filters prior to posting. Tumblr’s functions are closer to that of a blogging platform where users ‘reblog’ posts rather than rating or pinning in order to propagate content. Despite having different user demographics, of the three platforms, Pinterest is often rated highest due to its simple, user-friendly interface and its ability to give internet users an innovative way of exploring visual content (Duffy, 2013).
Baer, J. (2012). 5 Reasons Pinterest is Addicting and 4 Weaknesses That May Kill it. Retrieved March 31, 2014, from http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-networks/5-reasons-pinterest-works-and-the-4-weaknesses-that-may-kill-it/
Kavulla, K. (2012, January 19). Pinterest: What it is, how to use it and why you’ll be addicted. Retrieved March 31, 2014, from http://www.sheknows.com/living/articles/852875/pinterest-what-it-is-how-to-use-it-and-why-youll-be-addicted
Koetsier, J. (2013, July 23). Piqora launches first integrated ‘visual marketing suite’ for Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr. Retrieved March 31, 2014, from http://venturebeat.com/2013/07/23/piqora-launches-first-integrated-visual-marketing-suite-for-pinterest-instagram-and-tumblr/
Peslak, A., Sendall, P., & Ceccucci, W. (2012). Analysis of the Variables that Affect Frequency of Use and Time Spent on Social Networking. 2012 Proceedings of the Conference on Information Systems Applied Research. Retrieved March 31, 2014, from http://proc.conisar.org/2012/pdf/2226.pdf