These notes were originally posted as a Twitter thread. For posterity, I'm posting it again here as a series of micro case studies.
A few months ago, I worked on the Discover page @Sketch . One of my favorite and challenging parts of the project was the design of the content filter. Here's a look at the process of designing a filter that helps people explore and discover more about Sketch.
Everyone using Sketch is different, so we wanted to give everyone a chance to get the most out of Discover and present them with helpful content. The first iteration of the filter put people in a position where they need to rate their skills immediately.
That pattern felt like many decisions to start reading or watching content. To remove some weight from the decision, we included a select menu that was more accessible and visible on the page in the second iteration.
We went through multiple iterations on this pattern, updating the copy, changing the icons… But still, it had too many interactions and decision points and, as a consequence, more copy too – for what should be a straightforward way to filter content.
In the end, we switched the focus of the filter from the person's skills to the person's goals and included filters in each section.
💛 Focus on learning goals
⭐️ Quick way to update the choice
👓 Just dive right into any type of content
That focus switch (skills → goals) helped us design a filter that sits in context with the sections. It removes the pressure of deciding early on the experience what kind of content they would like to see and offers an easy way to explore and discover.
This was a great exercise in finding silences in design (and UX copy) – my colleague Jurgen just wrote a great article about this. There’s a tiny contribution from me on how to apply silences to interaction design.