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On social media buttons

Dominik Porada

January 18, 2013 | ux codetunes codetunes redesign social media thinking

We recently launched the redesign of our blog, but Codetunes is still work in progress. This is a post kicking off the unordered series of articles outlining some of the decisions we’ve made during this ongoing process.

The story

It’s amusing how seemingly trivial things can lead to the most exhaustive discussions and disagreements.

Just before pushing the new theme for the blog, we had a debate on the notorious social media buttons and whether or not we should include them on post pages. Half of the participants, under the shield of Oliver Reichenstein’s loud article, defended their ambivalence towards Like, Tweet, and +1 plague on the Web before the other half that was represented by actual users of the widgets—people who show their appreciation that way.

Our blog stats were somewhere in-between.

The solution

We eventually decided to create our own inconspicuous heart-shaped widget and hide all the social stuff at first. If a reader would like to express her enjoyment of the content in a way other than linking to Codetunes, she could still do it.

Custom 'Love it' widget

Custom “Love it” widget inspired by Behance’s “Appreciate this” sticker.

After the user action, we have more ground to assume that the reader might be willing to also use one of the social media buttons, so the third-party widgets appear next to the heart.

Custom 'Love it' widget

“Love it” after user’s action

And all that is served with the juicy animation. I dare you to try it.

The response

Looking at our stats and adoption of the gizmo, we’re happy to report that the feedback has been veritably positive. We’ve noticed a slight bump in usage of the actual social media buttons too!

The lesson

If you can afford the time, just analyze. Even the smallest issues.

Remember that designing user experiences means making trade-offs and that you can’t blindly follow any advice without thinking it through. Not every pro tip is suitable for your project. It’s because, when doing stuff on the Web, the answer for “should we do X?” is almost always the same. It depends.

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