Today, we’re launching the biggest update to Product Hunt to date.
Nearly two years ago, we launched producthunt.co. It looked like this:
Product Hunt has evolved with the introduction of more visuals, new channels (Games, Books, Podcasts, and more coming), Collections, LIVE Chats, and more. But the homepage hasn’t fully adapted to the growing community, until now.
The new homepage is about more than just what’s new in tech. You’ll find awesome new games, great books, and thought-provoking podcasts, all within single place. You’ll also find cool Collections to follow, upcoming LIVE Chats, and popular products you might have missed. This new structure gives us a lot more flexibility to surface more things you love and personalize the feed with things you and your friends like.
This is the biggest single change since Product Hunt began. It’s also the riskiest thing we’ve done. Change is nerve-wracking and in the words of Arnold Bennett:
Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.
But we’re confident we’re heading in the right direction.
Change is uncomfortable, often risky, but necessary. Every long-standing, successful product evolves.
Remember when Twitter used to look like this?
We’re building a place for all kinds of people to discover and geek out about their next favorite thing.
We started with an intense focus on tech early adopters with strong conviction that this model can apply to different kinds of people and types of things. After all, “tech early adopters” also have varied interests beyond the latest mobile app, as evident in our beta releases of Games, Books, Podcasts, and various (creative!) Collections created by the community.
We knew limiting the Product Hunt homepage to tech, wasn’t sufficient for where we’re going — we needed something more modular that could be personalized for people with varying interests.
We’re making Product Hunt more:
For months we’ve been thinking, researching, and exploring what this might look like, taking feedback and beta testing the new homepage with our supportive, opinionated (thank you!) community. Here’s what we did…
August 17th: We kicked off the project with a good ol’ fashioned whiteboard session. But before jumping in, we explored several different models for curating and presenting content. We looked at newspapers, magazines, app marketplaces, e-commerce sites, and other online communities.
Which turned into these raw sketches:
August 26th: We landed on three different design directions:
September 1st: Now it was time to get the community’s feedback. It’s easy to convince yourself your design is on point — it’s hard to see the flaws and missed opportunities when you’re so close to the product. So, we shared an early mockup with the community and asked for feedback. Shortly afterward, we hosted a live video chat to discuss the changes.
Hours later, our humble mockup was plastered with over 400 thoughtful comments:
Sharing early designs on InVision and “building in public” has helped us refine our design before putting it into code (which is much more costly and harder to change than pixels).
October 2nd: After a few weeks of design iterations, we put it into code and opened up applications to our “Super Top Secret Product Hunt β”. Over 3,000 people signed up, requesting access to preview the new homepage.
October 21st: I emailed our lovely beta testers the following:
Jokingly, I instructed everyone to tweet, “I love secrets, @ProductHunt”. I didn’t think they would, but hundreds did (thanks for this ☺️).
Quickly, our “Product Hunt Friends” Slack group grew to 2,000 beta testers and feedback rolled in.
Today: Check out the new Product Hunt here. As with everything, it’s still a work-in-progress and everyone’s feedback is very much appreciated. Don’t hesitate to share your ideas with us on Twitter (@ProductHunt) or via old fashioned electronic mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you’re not ready for change, no worries. You can continue using Product Hunt the same way as before — the new homepage is entirely opt-in but we hope you like it. :)