The Inside Story of Twitter’s New Redesign

In January, on the heels of @realDonaldTrump’s 2nd year in workplace, soon after Elon Musk had actually been fined $20 million and also Kevin Hart’s Oscar-holding job had actually been terminated since of questionable tweets, and also weeks adhering to Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey’s return from a 10-day silent meditation trip to Myanmar, concerning which he commended the food and also the elegance of the abbeys however disregarded to discuss the continuous local genocide, Twitter made it clear that some points will alter.

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Just not the tweets. Though the firm had actually invested the bulk of the year advertising “healthy conversations,” it had not been much curious about placing the screws on its individuals. Debates, differences, the periodic blow-out conflict—that was all things that made Twitter Twitter. No, rather, Twitter made a decision to alter itself from the outdoors in. It was time to provide the experience of making use of Twitter a remodeling.

A redesign of Twitter’s site was long past due. The desktop computer user interface hadn’t been freshened in 7 years, and also the innovation pile was so old that it was difficult for the design group to release any kind of renovations. The group had actually started adjusting an internet redesign back in 2017, and also opened it approximately beta screening in September 2018. By January, it was time to reveal even more individuals just how the brand-new Twitter would certainly look.

But as quickly as Twitter welcomed individuals to decide right into a model of the brand-new layout—a new was coming!—the hecklers started to consider in, and also not entirely kindly. What could Twitter do to boost its website design? “Delete it.” “Edit button.” “ALL WE WANT IS AN EDIT BUTTON.” “Did you get rid of the Nazis?” “Eh, looks ugly,” one individual provided, maybe charitably, “but I don’t think it’s a big deal.”

For Twitter’s layout group, none of this was shocking. “We used to launch a feature and then search for it and put up a projector of the tweets coming in,” states Biz Stone, Twitter’s cofounder, that rejoined the firm 2 years back. “We’d be like, ‘Champagne?’ And then it would be like, ‘Oh. Maybe we shouldn’t.’”

So for the desktop computer redesign, Twitter’s layout group selected to wage care. The sneak peek back in January was simply a direct. A little portion of Twitter individuals can decide in to a collection of layout “experiments,” however absolutely nothing was last, responses rated, and also nobody had a brand-new layout passed off upon them. And those “experiments”? Nothing nitroglycerin. Twitter simply intended to see just how its individuals would certainly connect with book marks, or dark setting, or a search bar that had actually been transferred to a various area on the web page.

“Our purpose is to serve the public conversation. Once that became clear, it was like, wait a minute. How well are we doing that?”

Biz Stone, Twitter cofounder

Today, Twitter is turning out the brand-new site to definitely every person. Those that see it (or those that currently have it) might discover the brand-new layout revitalizing in its nuance. A couple of points have actually been reorganized in the brand-new three-column layout, and also the website is visibly much faster, however there aren’t a great deal of radical updates. (No, there still isn’t an edit switch.) That, to Twitter, is the entire factor.

“Some of it is subtle, but a lot of it is a simplification of design,” states Mike Kruzeniski, Twitter’s elderly supervisor of item layout. “We are trying to find the right places to be bold again, but it’s a resetting of that foundation. Starting with the best stuff and building from there.”

That structure will certainly verify crucial for Twitter. The redesign comes with a time when the firm is starting to modify its plans concerning hate and also harassment on the system, and also is leaning extra greatly on human mediators to do the janitorial jobs of maintaining the location great. There’s still extra function to be carried out in tidying up the hazardous overload. In the meanwhile, Twitter is growing a neighborhood yard.

The internet redesign isn’t practically making the location prettier. It’s additionally concerning sending out a message to individuals: Twitter is paying attention to what you desire—also if it doesn’t constantly feel like it.

From delegated right, Biz Stone, Bryan Haggerty, and also Mike Kruzeniski.

Samantha Cooper

In the very early days of Twitter, layout choices weren’t a lot made inadequately as they were never ever made to start with. “We were just working as fast as we could,” states Stone. “We weren’t trying to make it look good at all.”

And it revealed. At launch, Twitter’s layout defined the firm’s name in a neon-green font that appeared like flubber. (Stone made a lot of the very early site himself, and also excuses it. Only “like 30 people” got on Twitter at the time, he states in protection.) The choice to place a fan matter in individuals’ biographies? Stone hardly thought of it. “We were just struggling to stay alive,” he states.

Over time—and also with the enhancement of an actual layout group—Twitter has actually committed even more of its mental ability to deliberate layout. It saw its individuals hack with each other innovative methods to retweet each various other or tag blog posts, and after that constructed in UI solutions to sustain those habits. It trying out brand-new methods to see the information or discover occasions or share components of your life with your close friends.

But in the process, Twitter has actually dealt with existential concerns, frequently formed incidentally it emerges. What, precisely, is Twitter? Who is it for? How should it be made use of—and also, extra lately, should it also exist?

“Sometimes what we struggle with is, OK, which group of people is it for?” states Kruzeniski. “Is it about your friends? Is this for your family? Is it for people you wish you knew? Or your internet friends?” Twitter has actually addressed these concerns in a different way at different factors throughout its background, and also its layout has actually had a tendency to stress whatever identification it’s presumed at the time. It’s drew info concerning information right into its very own column, or trying out making Twitter’s homepage concerning locating occasions. “At different moments in time, it was like, Twitter is for events. No, Twitter is for news,” states Kruzeniski.

What the layout group states currently is that Twitter is for discussion. The ideal tales out of Twitter—the ones concerning the winds of the Arab Spring, or NBA enthusiasts humming concerning Kevin Durant, or choose-your-own-adventure-style stories in which you are cast as Beyoncé’s aide—pertain to individuals locating likeminded individuals and also replying to each various other in genuine time.

“Internally, we call this project ‘Delight.’ One of the things we’re trying to do is make sure this is a delightful experience for users.”

Jesar Shah, item lead on’s redesign

The interface is the membrane layer in between Twitter’s designers and also its individuals; individuals that construct the system and also individuals that utilize it. So Twitter’s layout group has actually attempted to choose that push individuals towards right stuff that makes Twitter excellent: the developments of specific niche neighborhoods, the capacity to talk with globe leaders and also stars, the convenience of searching for pockets of people with shared rate of interests.

“Our purpose is to serve the public conversation,” states Stone. “Once that became clear, it was like, wait a minute. How well are we doing that?”

The brand-new comes close to that concern seriously, if meticulously. It’s made some thoughtful UI tweaks, and also the group rebuilt the site’s whole innovation pile in order to make points less complicated to upgrade moving forward.

The navigating symbols have actually moved to the left and also the make up box—permanently triggering “What’s happening?”—is currently front and also facility, over the stream of tweets. You can currently conserve your tweets in book marks, for referencing later. On the right, the search bar includes extra plainly over a listing of trending subjects.

The revamped places navigating symbols left wing, with less complicated accessibility to book marks and also listings. The search bar includes extra plainly on the right.


“People use Twitter a lot on desktop to look for information, and it tends to be around their interests,” states Jesar Shah, the internet redesign’s item lead. “So we’re trying to make that easier for people, and leverage these new spaces we’ve created on the site and compliment their primary browsing experience.” It’s appearing the search and also discover tabs in an extra noticeable method an initiative to signpost what Twitter is for: locating your web people.

There’s a brand-new account switch in the left sidebar, and also it’s simple to switch over in between accounts. “There was a lot of global feedback around that,” states Shah. In Japan, one of Twitter’s biggest markets, a great deal of individuals were producing various represent various rate of interests. “So they’ll have an account for food, and then another account for travel, and another account for TV shows, or maybe even a specific TV show. Being able to access that easily, regardless of what device you’re on, is something we’ve heard about a lot, and it’s been one of the top feature requests for a long time.”

Twitter’s site is currently extra adjustable, as well. You can alter the dimension of your message, select from one of a number of accent shades, and also activate one of Twitter’s brand-new dark settings. “Personalization and customization—that’s something we hope to start bringing out throughout the product,” states Ashlie Ford, the item developer that led’s redesign.

The redesign sustains 2 brand-new alternatives for dark setting: “dim” alters the motif to dark grey, and also “lights out” transforms the history to real black.


Twitter has actually taken into consideration bolder concepts—like eliminating the metrics from tweets, as an example—and also previously this year it presented twttr, a prototyping application for these and also various other experiments. But the internet redesign is concentrated mainly on developing the “foundation” for a future Twitter. And taking it slow-moving is necessary. “When we first started running experiments, we had it be opt-in,” Shah states. “We’re just making sure we feel confident in the experience we’re putting forward. One of our principles is ‘be rigorous, get it right.’ That’s around experimentation. Given that we’re a global company, it’s our responsibility to make sure we’re understanding everyone’s needs.”

To that finish, Shah, Ford, and also the group produced a study for Twitter individuals to provide responses on the layout. It obtained over 200,000 entries from all over the world. Ford invested whole weeks analyzing them, making use of translation solutions to reach the ones that originated from non-English-talking nations. “People definitely don’t think we’re reading them, but we are,” she states.

Arielle Pardes covers individual innovation, social networks, and also society for WIRED.

As evidence, she indicates one of the brand-new functions: a device that places an emoji key-board in the desktop computer make-up box. “In the beginning, I thought, we don’t need an emoji picker right now. There’s a workaround for this,” she states. “But that was the No. 1 piece of feedback we heard about what people wanted, by a landslide.”

Customizations allow individuals alter the dimension of message, activate one of Twitter’s brand-new dark settings, and also select from one of a number of accent shades on the brand-new


Features like those may feel like nobodies. But for Twitter, bringing some of the fancifulness back to the site’s layout was a main objective.

“Internally, we call this project ‘Delight,’” states Shah. “One of the things we’re trying to do is make sure this is a delightful experience for users. We want to make sure people come back to it often and can achieve what they want to achieve on”

Twitter transformed 13 this year, and also it’s difficult to envision a duration of its background with much less pleasure. The system has actually ended up being a field for political infighting, a location where @realDonaldTrump both regulates a big target market and also snaps concerning Twitter’s discrimination versus traditionalists. There are troubles with disinformation, harassment, “dehumanizing speech,” and also merely having a systematic public discussion. Earlier this year at the TED Conference, manager Chris Anderson contrasted Twitter to the Titanic heading directly for the iceberg. In various other words: a ship concerning all set to sink.

Design can not alter all of this. But Twitter assumes that it can a minimum of assistance specify what Twitter is for and also start coming to grips with some of those concerns concerning its identification.

“In the past, as a company, we’ve struggled, because if you ask people at Twitter what they use Twitter for, you’d get a thousand different answers,” states Kruzeniski. “We used to think maybe that was bad. But I think it’s a wonderful thing. We’re now getting better at helping you find your specific interests, and connecting you to those topics and interests.”

This attitude change appears to be occurring around Twitter. The entire firm appears to be upgrading itself, to the head office, which began a significant remodel in 2014. Where the workplace as soon as appeared like a “birdhouse,” all blue shades and also wood tones, it’s currently cleaner and also extra modern-day. And the wall surfaces are complete of murals standing for the neighborhoods that grow on the system: Black Twitter, NBA Twitter, celeb Twitter.

Walk via any kind of of the refurbished components of the workplace and also you obtain the message loud and also clear: Twitter has to do with individuals, not the item. Now the firm wishes that message comes via on its site as well.

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