It takes a lot of time to document, organize and publish content on Instructables which can be daunting and discouraging to first time authors. The goal of this project was to re-design the editor interface to make it more intuitive and easy to use so that our authors have an easier, more enjoyable publishing experience.
My roles: conducted user research, created mockups, gathered feedback, iterated on designs, worked with product manager to break into manageable steps and write up specs, and collaborated closely with our development team to ensure a successful launch.
I helped lead a round of user research so that we could better understand how our authors use the Instructables editor and what pain points they had. I ran UserTesting.com tests to get a feel for how the old editor was perceived by brand new users and conducted a survey and interviews to hear from out current authors.
User quotes about the old editor:
"It's a little bit like a Jeep, it's kind of functional and practical and gets you from A to B. It's not all the bells and whistles...but you do know where stuff is and it does work."
"I think it is fairly user friendly. I think some of that is because I’m used to it and I’ve kind of gotten used to the little quirks...It kind of reminds me of the days of Windows XP. It feels a little old school."
Editor research insights
The biggest pain points for long-time authors related to image upload, image placement, and text editing. Newer users struggled to navigate between different views and didn't understand where certain types of information belonged. Also, both old and new authors alike would benefit from better onboarding training and tips to guide them towards creating better instructables.
• Improve overall layout and navigation by consolidating views into a single page that is structured to resemble the end result.
• Improve image handling and add new feature for basic image editing (rotate, crop).
• Replace the old buggy text editor with a new rich text editor.
• Add tips and guidelines throughout to help authors succeed the first time.
• Completely overhaul the mobile editor to make it more user friendly.
User quotes about the new editor:
"I like that a lot, it feels much more intuitive to just be able to scroll up and down through the different sections. It’s fresh, less cluttered. I like that things only appear when you need them."
"I enjoy the simplicity of it, it’s definitely a lot cleaner, and I appreciate that there’s less pop ups, it’s nice that I can just get right into it."
"This will definitely add more direction for people. It looks like it’ll flow a lot better. This is kinda what I was hoping to see.”