A few weeks back we were having a discussion about product scalability and how to retain simplicity and clarity while our community expands and product features are added. The first thing we noticed was that during the evolution of the site we inadvertently started to bury some of our profile functionality like Favoriting, Search, and Sharing. After this realization we decided it was time to take a step back from the weekly sprints and start exploring a new design that would serve as a solid foundation for what we have planned for the future.
Find People and Random Profile Button
Providing the tools to allow you to effortlessly design a beautiful profile page is still a priority but we also want to start putting emphasis on building personal directories and providing tools that will allow our community to make more meaninful connections. With this context in mind, we decided to replace the Directory link with a more robust Find People button that expands to a dropdown containing a search field and link to our curated directory. We also felt that the current Random button iconography wasn’t totally clear so we explored a few different variations and decided to go with the more familiar shuffle arrows that are used in iTunes and similar interfaces.
Repositioning of Edit Profile and Dashboard
Another major change is the repositioning of the Edit Profile and Dashboard links to the right side of the navigation. The placement is different for “dashboard” and “edit profile” but we believe that unifying these two links with Account creates a clear and logical place to accomplish ALL actions and tasks related to your profile. In addition, we added a dropdown navigation under Dashboard that makes it easier to navigate directly to the various dashboard sections.
Adding Favoriting, Sharing, and Flagging Actions to the Bio Box
This was the idea that needed the most iterations. We wanted to increase the visibility of Favoriting while simplifying the top navigation, so we decided that the Favoriting, Sharing, and Flagging actions should be moved from the top navigation to the user’s bio box. The primary concern was that these actions would compete with the services and URL links but after playing around with multiple profiles we were pleased with how well all these profile specific links and actions complimented eachother.
So there you have it… Our new navigation system. We are excited about the refined look and feel (under the hood as well) but more importantly we hope that you all find it friendly and intutive to use. Stay tuned for some more exciting product revisions and definitely let us know what you think.