Imgur is a social entertainment platform with more than 60 billion page views a month across web and mobile.
Oh, Favorite Folders. On the surface it seems pretty straightforward - a system for organizing a user's favorites (saved posts). Under it all was a project that has been promised to the community in 2014, the ongoing joke/#1 complaint from users and a team that finally wanted to deliver on it. I knew that if I was going to be the one to design Favorite Folders it wasn't just going to be some widget for web and mobile, it was going to be great. It was going to be everything users could have ever dreamed of.
A very happy community and a very happy community support team.
The goal of this project was one that was mostly qualitative; make the community happy and create a feature than can be launched on mobile and web with in 1 quarter.
Lead designer working with a PM
To the users!
Since this was a brand new feature, just for the community, we went straight to them. We sent out questionnaires and brought in local Imgur users to really dive in on what exactly they wanted out of a feature like Favorite Folders. Through these conversations, it turned out it wasn't entirely about organizing favorites, but about finding them when you need them.
Sometimes when you know, you know
In lieu of traditional process of sketching and wireframes, Favorite Folders is something I had been thinking about for years. I've always considered how folders would eventually fit into my designs. I knew desktop would be the bigger project, requiring a full profile redesign to best integrate the new feature into the site. With the confidence of the product and dev team, I started on the web profile redesign and web Favorite Folders. The design for the new profile was going to be based of off a design for tag pages, another project that I had just designed and was implemented.
Back to the users
Once I had the designs for the web folders and profile redesign, I wanted to take it back to the users for their opinion. The beauty of Imgur is that we have a very engaged community and if they don't like something, they'll let you know. I conducted video calls with 15 of our power users and the Community Manager. They gave some very insightful feedback on how they like to organize and how they use certain parts of the profile, but overall loved what I had.
Parallel Project - Avatars
I wanted to give out users a way to express themselves, and what better way than with avatars? This created a bold header for the profile and a visual representation of the user throughout web and mobile.
One problem was that we didn't have any of these assets. While I was building the UX and UI for folders and profile, I also worked on creating a set of avatars. I started with a few categories that I thought related to users: Animals, Foods, Internet, Gamers, and Emoticons.
Once I finished the flows and high resolution mockups for desktop, I moved to mobile. I adapted the flows from web to a mobile forward experience so that no matter where users accessed Favorite Folders, it felt consistent.
Favorite Folders for All
Favorite Folders successfully shipped on web, iOS and Android. Profile is still in alpha.