Exploration: Tumblr Bog Lists


Tumblr is a microblogging platform and social networking site with 164+ million blogs in 2014.  Tumblr is about discovery and surprising content that pops onto your dash. Tumblr encourages more blogging rather than being a social network. Having blog lists would be allow more blogging from blogs when they can find specific content and interaction and sharing between favorite bloggers. I decided to explore blog lists as a feature.


Exploration practice involving UX, UI, and a usability study


Users have to “dig” through their dashboard to find content they want. Difficult to find friends or top bloggers you love in specific genres. Can be frustrating seeing the same blogger’s posts on dashboard depending on time of day.


Implement a “Blog Lists” feature to help the user find content quicker of bloggers they love.

Why I care about Tumblr?

I’ve been part of the Tumblr community since 2010. I have 13,000 likes, 4,000 posts, 300 followers, and following 800 blogs.

Tumblr has always been dear to my heart, I’m friends with people whom I’ve never met in real life and it’s undervalued as an amazing community platform. It’s helped millions be aware of social justice issues, helped fund people’s surgeries or pay rent, and was faster than Twitter when voting for Ferguson Protestors as TIME’s runner-up for person of the year. Tumblr isn’t just a blogging platform, it’s secretly an underground activist network too.

tara site- tumblr process (1)


all the steps

Comes from Twitter and Youtube using Lists as an option to sort content

inspiration tumblr

 Provisional Persona

My persona “Sarah” could find her favorite followers, her friends, her social work blogs, or her photography blogs to find inspiration, with a lists function similar to Twitter. The ability to share these lists could prove to be helpful to send to colleagues and social media



Friends have told me they don’t use Tumblr as much anymore because the dashboard was filled with content they weren’t interested in. What if I asked the users themselves what feature they wanted?

…which didn’t work out. I tried asking current Tumblr users through social media what feature would they want and why. The reason being because we’re a little selfish and we have our own interests. The types of features wanted were scattered.

Additional thinking about the user involved more storyboards and beginning process of wondering if I was on the right feature to add. Eventually, to help me decide on one feature, I mapped out a grid on how greatly it would effect the business/users. Ultimately, the blog lists proved to be the best interest for both parties.


UI Screens/Wireframes

After studying the UI of Tumblr, I made several sketches to jumpstart the creative process


Next, wireframes was made to help figure out the structure of the frames and allowed me for quick iterations and moving the pieces around to finalize. It only highlights one route a user could take, which was the more complicated way, so I thought it would be a good way to illustrate.



To get a sense if the flow of the different processes and understanding of what the user is about to do with filtering blog lists, I needed to do a usability study with current users and non-current users. The most important feedback given to me was from a current Tumblr user saying my current UI with the wording seemed too confusing and what she expected was to see the word “Favorite” and having a simple drop down similar to Youtube lists. This was more of an ideal switch because the other flow was forcing the user to take additional steps.

Untitled drawing


Some final shots of the blog list idea



the final

Read more of the process here! http://www.tarainahalfshell.com/2014/09/21/feature-project-for-tumblr/

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