This is taken from Pinterest engineers as they talk about possible API changes.
As we focus on building a great user experience for the tens of millions of existing Pinners, it’s equally important to engage and retain new Pinners through the new user experience (NUX).
We recently rebuilt our new user experience and created a new framework to power it. Through the process, we determined the best content to show that would educate without overwhelming. Here you’ll learn how we arrived at a NUX that performs significantly better than the previous experience across all of our core engagement metrics.
Rethinking NUX from the ground up
We started by conducting qualitative and quantitative research to better understand new Pinners. The user experience research team interviewed a group of inactive Pinners to understand major pain points, while the data team analyzed a large sample of existing Pinners and determined the core set of actions that would increase the likelihood of a retaining a new person joining the site.
After looking at the insights and iterating on dozens of versions, we gathered new learnings about retaining new Pinners:
Demonstrate a simple value proposition that clearly shows off utility. A Pin is our primary value proposition so we immediately educate the person about how Pins work, and their value.
Actualize the value proposition immediately. Searching and discovering Pins is a core feature, so immediately following the Pin step, we give education on how to find and save interesting Pins.
Educate new Pinners at their own pace. The previous Pin and Search steps are mandatory for new Pinners because we’ve found they lead to increased long term engagement. However, if the Pinner doesn’t seem to get it the first time we’ll gently re-educate them on subsequent visits. For example, if he or she still hasn’t saved a Pin on their second visit, we’ll provide reeducation, and conduct the same process for board creation, following, and other features.
Encourage immediate action. Understanding what it means to Pin early substantially increases the likelihood of retaining the new Pinner. He or she will get a simplified experience where Pinning is highlighted and other advanced features are hidden, until they save their first Pin. We call this the First Pin Experience (more on that below).
After becoming active for the first time and saving a Pin, the Pinner will graduate to a richer experience.
The need for a framework
The updated NUX is a multi-session experience that differs based on Pinner state such as what they’ve done, how long they’ve seen an experience, etc. Therefore we needed a system that could control what the Pinner experiences based on those variables. We also needed a way to easily run experiments to test different NUX steps, messaging, and educational units.