Pinterest is primarily a web-based collection organization social site, but their mobile app is very well done. It can be difficult to translate full website features into a much smaller device, and even though Pinterest has very simple interactions, “simple” does not always lead to “good.”
Given the visual nature of Pinterest, photographs are prominent when opening the app, even with the small screen real estate of a mobile phone. Vertical scrolling is nearly endless, but it is very easy to browse through potentially interesting items. What I like the most about the mobile app is how easy it is to repin, favourite, or share a pin from just the browsing screen alone: tap and hold on a pin to bring up a small, overlaying context menu.
A single tap on a pin will bring the user to a different screen, with a very slight card-esque feel to it. All relevant information is available: image first (tapping will bring up a browser with the original source), description, then information about the board and pin. Lower down are other suggested boards and pins that the item is associated with. Very easy to scroll to, if a user is interested, but also very easy to ignore, otherwise. The same sharing functions are available at the bottom of the pin, as a sticky footer.
Adding and Editing
Adding an existing pin to a collection is easy, as it brings up a small menu to choose recent boards, or from all possible boards.
An edit button is also available if the user is looking at his or her own pin. An overlay screen appears with edit options, keeping the image visible to reduce cognitive load.
For users who have exhausted the new items in their feed, it’s also possible to explore different categories. The compass icon in the top-left of the feed brings up a search bar, as well as common categories (e.g. Gifts, Videos, Animals, Art). Scrolling lower down in the visual exploration area brings up suggested categories, based on items that the user has pinned. This is a great way to explore things that are quantifiably more interesting to you personally, but the inability to remove categories increases the amount of noise. For example, in the second screenshot below, I have no interest in seeing more posts about Harrison Ford, even though he was in a Star Wars-related pin I posted earlier.
It is also possible to add pins manually, as one can do with the web interface. The mobile app, however, takes advantage of the built-in camera that many phones have, allowing users to quickly pin items while on-the-go.
And what social networking site would neglect a personal profile page? Account information and activity (e.g., repins and favourites), as well as the user’s own boards, are available with one quick tap of the user profile icon. This quick access makes it easy to find items that the user pinned. I have found this to be useful if I need to look up an item I intended to purchase, or a DIY tip I remembered seeing before.