Pinterest's influence on web, mobile design grows
Digital brands continue to adopt Pinterest-like designs to showcase image-heavy content. Commerce sites in particular are embracing and extending the Pinterest model to improve the online shopping experience. A Pinterest-like design could serve as a template for magazine publishers branching out into e-commerce and social commerce.
E-commerce newcomers such as The Fancy use Pinterest-like layouts to showcase products, and many established shopping sites are following suit. Even eBay has taken on a Pinterest-like feel with its new home page design, which features a customizable “Feed” section featuring curated products based on the interests and browsing/transaction histories of registered users. From Ad Age:
The idea behind Feed … is to combine the ease of online purchasing with the fun of window shopping, said eBay Chief Technology Officer Mark Carges, noting it moves the e-commerce browsing experience beyond a search-based one.
Facebook is also getting into the act. It recently began testing a feature called Collections, which allows brands to showcase groups of product offerings along with “Collect” or “Want” buttons that users can click to save or purchase the products. “Collections can be discovered in News Feed, and people will be able to engage with these collections and share things they are interested in with their friends. People can click through and buy these items off of Facebook,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch.
Seven retailers, including Pottery Barn, are currently using the Collections feature, according to TechCrunch.
As more magazine publishers dip into e-commerce, we may see more Pinterest-like designs. It would not be surprising to see this type of approach from enthusiast publisher Rodale when it launches Rodale’s, a new e-commerce venture set to launch next spring, according to Adweek.
TechCrunch sees the Pinterest model as part of a trend toward post-Web 2.0, minimalist web design. Sarah Perez writes:
“You may not immediately think of Pinterest as a minimalist website, since it’s basically covered in photos. But the truth is the image pinboard layout it popularized (again, not invented!) reflects many of the principles emerging in this trend. The background and text are subtle shades of taupe and gray, the navigation blends into the background, and the red Pinterest logo disappears entirely when you scroll down the page. In other words, the simplicity of everything else on the site pulls your eye to focus only on its featured imagery.”
Made for mobile
The Pinterest design metaphor is also appealing because it works equally well in desktop and mobile environments. Postmates, an online delivery service whose Get It Now app lets users order prepared food, groceries and office supplies, has updated its app with what TechCrunch describes as “a Pinterest-like menu of items that can be purchased and delivered within an hour.” The upgraded app “simplifies the process of outsourcing your grocery shopping, by providing an inventory of items that users can have delivered,” TechCrunch’s Ryan Lawler wrote.
RockMelt, a startup browser developer, last week announced a new iPad app designed to optimize browsing from tablets and other touch-screen devices. “The touch and visual nature of the iPad commands a more visual experience, and that is why they have built like a browser-as-a-reader that uses Pinterest-like boxes in a grid,” GigaOM’s Om Malik wrote. Malik adds:
“The content, which appears like a grid, comes with a bunch of what the company calls, emoti-actions such as Like, Want, LOL, WTF and so on. You can also share the stories via Twitter and Facebook. When you click on an article, it pops up in a plain white “reader” window much like it does on Flipboard or when you hit “Reader View” on Safari browser.”
Pinterest meets Flipboard? That’s a design model magazine publishers might consider.