Read This Excellent Article On Why Snapchat’s Obscure ‘Shareable Design’ Is So Key To Its Success


Despite being one of the most popular and celebrated social apps in the world, Snapchat has a design that many find baffling.

In an excellent recent blog post, product expert Josh Elman from Greylock Partners explains why the app’s design is key to its appeal, and how it has helped Snapchat be so successful.

The photo-sharing app is the best example of “shareable design”, a concept Elman brilliantly deconstructs in the article, comparing it to the “intuitive design” that has dominated tech over the past 30 years.

As Elman says, mobile has changed product design because “suddenly, software designers were no longer targeting people who are sitting at a desk, working by themselves.”

They are now making apps for people out in the world “surrounded by other people: friends, family, classmates, and coworkers.”

This change has brought about the onset of “shareable design” – a new form of product design that relies on people learning from watching others.

As Elman says: “This is what many interface designers don’t yet understand, is that people learn how to do things in the real world by watching others. The way most 18 year olds learn how to use a new app is by watching their friends.

“It’s right there, on their friend’s phone, so they just pull the phone out and show them something.”

Elman argues that not only does this style of design create more loyal users, it also makes features particularly memorable and saves screen space.

Read the article here.