The Blue Dog Scientific Blog: How to Totally Transform Your Pinterest User Experience.

How to Totally Transform Your Pinterest User Experience.

Transformed Pinterest Viewing.

In this post I want to give you a quick heads-up on a very useful tool which helps to make the Pinterest User Experience much more fluid. However, the main application is for enhancing the effective use of Pinterest as a Visual Learning or Research Environment.

I find this tool very useful, in particular for "X-raying" Boards, to get a super-fast assessment of it or of a Pinner.

The Problem with Pinterest Boards.

The way Boards are currently displayed, to my mind, is extremely poor for the Pinterested User Experience. We all know that tall graphics are what work best on Pinterest, yet the windows to what's inside the Boards are square!

This means that Boards are very ineffective at communicating whats inside them. As shop windows they have the curtains half closed! Most of us will not go into a shop which has such an unrevealing window display.

But now we can see through these windows and see the full image without even having to go through the shop door. In the screenshot, I have highlighted in red where I hovered over one of these windows on a Board display. Also highlighted is what I see while my cursor hovers. With this simple tool, we get to see the full height image. Yes, we see all of it clearly. We can now rapidly use the mouse to look through all the other shop windows in a flash too.
Pinterest Useage.

The power within Pinterest is really in it's use as a Visual Research or Learning environment. What I mean by this is that it allows us to scan through hundreds of images extremely rapidly to find information we seek. Actually, it is the human eye and visual cortex which are the true powers behind Pinterest. The human eye and brain are still the best & fastest search tools we have and by a very long way. As far as pattern recognition goes, there is simply nothing to match our own innate abilities and that will remain true for a very long time. The intelligence agencies understand this well, I believe.

The problem with Pinterest remains that a lot of potentially useful Pins still needs zooming in on. Infographics in particular on Pinterest can be extremely good sources of info and are very important learning and research resources. But these tend to be too small when viewed in the stream, with eye-straining writing or just too busy at that scale. So at this point we need to click on the Pin. Good for the Pinner, but bad for the researcher or learner - that costs time and takes us out of the search stream.

Clicks on Pins break the power of Pinterest, interrupting the eye and brain. It is also agonizingly slow, as these things go, going from stream to Pin and back again multiple times. Not good for Visual Research after all.

The Solution.

All you need to do is browse Pinterest from Firefox. There is a Firefox Add-On called Thumbnail Zoom Plus 3.3. Search the Firefox Add-On's for it. Its a one click install. That's it.

If you try it, you will get it straight away. Hover the cursor over a pin and it pops up a window with the full size image. This window only exists while you pause to look. Your brain only actually needs these very briefly - like flash cards - to make that yes/no assessment.

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