Reflection point: Patterns and Flows


When reflecting on patterns and flows within an app that I use regularly, I immediately think of Pinterest. I use Pinterest for a variety of things from learning about UX/UI design to DIY home projects, but one thing that I use this app for regularly is meal planning. My Saturday mornings are spent browsing Pinterest for recipe inspiration to help meal plan for the upcoming week. I’m typically looking for easy, quick, and healthy recipes to try.

When I open Pinterest, I see a personalized dashboard display of pins based on my recent search history. This can sometimes provide a quick choice for a recipe, but my typical flow usually begins with search.

Pinterest Flow Chart


Pinterest’s search is easy to find, and is always available from the fixed header. When I begin typing a search team, Pinterest offers helpful suggested results with autocomplete.

Screenshot of pinterest search for vegan dinner options

Search Results

The results page displays pins that match my search query in a card layout. I also appreciate that Pinterest shows related tags at the top of the page, this can help narrow down the search even more. From here, I scroll through the results to find a recipe that catches my eye, then click into that pin page.

Pinterest search results page for vegan dinners

Pin Page

Pinterest pulls in the recipe description provided by the author. In this particular recipe I see things like “a real time saver” and an overall recipe time of 30 minutes. This helps me quickly determine that this recipe is relatively easy to make.

Pinterest also pulls in ingredients are needed to make the recipe. I really enjoy that this information is provided within the pin page so I can quickly determine if I have ingredients or if I will need to head to the grocery store the purchase them without having to click through to the recipe website.

Ultimately, I want to enjoy the meal I’m preparing and the photos and reviews can help me determine if this recipe lives up to it’s “Pinterest” perfect photo and description.

Pinterest pin it pages

Save Pin

After reviewing the pin page, the last step is to save the pin to my recipe board. Pinterest provides me feedback with a notification that tells me the pin has been added to my “food” board.

Pinning a vegan dinner recipe screen shot

Common Design Patterns

Within the app, Pinterest uses common design patterns such as search autocomplete, rate content, card layout, pull to refresh, user feedback, and social follow. These patterns are familiar and help create a positive user experience by increasing usability. The app is easy to learn and memorable for habitual processes like weekly meal planning.

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