The Power of Moms: How Pinterest Utilizes Design Thinking to Connect with Its User Base


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 09, 2023

4 min read


The Power of Moms: How Pinterest Utilizes Design Thinking to Connect with Its User Base

Pinterest, the popular visual discovery platform, recently filed to go public, and its not-so-secret weapon is moms. In a recent interview with CNN Business, Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann emphasized that the platform is not about following the news or celebrities, but rather about personal interests. In fact, two-thirds of Pinterest's user base are women, with a significant portion being moms who are often the primary decision-makers when it comes to buying products and services for their household.

This unique positioning sets Pinterest apart from other social media platforms. While it may be categorized as a social network, Pinterest describes itself as a "productivity tool." It is a platform that allows users to seek inspiration, organize ideas, and ultimately make informed purchasing decisions. By catering to the interests of moms, Pinterest has tapped into a key demographic that drives a significant portion of consumer spending.

Design thinking, a problem-solving approach utilized by designers, has played a crucial role in Pinterest's success. This iterative process involves understanding users, challenging assumptions, redefining problems, and creating innovative solutions that can be prototyped and tested. Pinterest's goal is to identify alternative strategies and solutions that may not be immediately apparent at first glance.

The first phase of design thinking is empathy. This involves observing and developing empathy with the target users. By understanding the needs and desires of moms, Pinterest is able to create a platform that resonates with them on a personal level. This empathetic approach allows Pinterest to gain valuable insights and tailor its features to meet the specific needs of its user base.

The next phase is defining the problem. Designers resist the temptation to jump immediately to a solution and instead spend time determining the fundamental issue that needs to be addressed. By taking the original problem as a suggestion, designers think broadly about the underlying issues and use techniques like the "Five Whys" approach to get to the root causes. This deeper understanding of the problem allows Pinterest to develop more effective solutions.

Ideation is the third phase of design thinking. During this stage, designers brainstorm and generate a wide range of ideas without judgment. By encouraging creativity and exploration, Pinterest is able to come up with innovative features and functionalities that cater to the diverse interests of moms. This ideation process ensures that Pinterest remains a dynamic platform that consistently offers new and exciting content.

Prototyping and testing are crucial components of design thinking. Pinterest creates prototypes of new features and gathers feedback from its user base. This iterative process allows them to refine and improve their offerings based on real user experiences. By incorporating user feedback, Pinterest ensures that its platform is constantly evolving and meeting the changing needs of moms.

Pinterest's success is a testament to the power of design thinking. By integrating what is desirable from a human point of view with what is technologically feasible and economically viable, Pinterest has created a platform that resonates with its user base. Design thinking provides a third way to look at problems, challenging assumptions and everyday knowledge. It allows designers to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions that cater to the needs of their target audience.

In conclusion, Pinterest's emphasis on moms and its utilization of design thinking have positioned the platform as a unique and valuable resource for users. The platform's ability to connect with its user base on a personal level and provide tailored solutions sets it apart from other social media platforms. For businesses looking to engage with moms and tap into their significant purchasing power, understanding their needs and utilizing design thinking can be key to success.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Invest in understanding your target audience: Take the time to observe and develop empathy with your users. Understand their needs, desires, and pain points to create a product or service that resonates with them on a personal level.
  • 2. Challenge assumptions and redefine problems: Resist the urge to jump to immediate solutions. Spend time identifying the fundamental issues that need to be addressed. Use techniques like the "Five Whys" approach to get to the root causes of a problem.
  • 3. Prototype and test: Create prototypes of your ideas and gather feedback from your target audience. This iterative process allows you to refine and improve your offerings based on real user experiences. Incorporate user feedback to ensure that your product or service is constantly evolving and meeting the changing needs of your users.

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