So, I got my invitation to Pinterest last night, and I haven’t really been able to stop playing with it ever since (well, I did stop long enough to modify a freelancer’s contract and go to the dentist…). Pinterest has the ability to radically change the way we (or at least I) search for images on the web. I’m sure there are scores of people out there who have never done a Google images search, but I would say over 80% of my Google searches are in Google images, and w/ Google images you never really know what you are going to get, and if you are looking for images for an inspiration/mood/color board, you typically have to sift through a lot of ugly photos to find the lovelies. With flickr, it’s a little different, since people have a little bit more control over tagging images there, but you also have to sift through a lot of personal photographs… Over at Pinterest, the majority of the photographs are magazine worthy; photos that were made by professional photographers, photo stylists and designers. A search will return results with usually very beautiful images.
More importantly (and certainly what’s more addictive), the the main feature of pinterest is making boards. You can “like” an image, which is a feature almost every website has now, but alternatively you can “pin” an image to board to create a collection of images, as you would when you create an inspiration board, a mood board, a color board, or just a folder full of magazine tears or photos you like. This is the reason every designer on the planet will love pinterest. It effectively eliminates the need for me to have an illustrator file that I have to keep open where I drop inspiration images for a project and it also eliminates the need for me to keep firefox tabs up of images that I am interested in, but I don’t want to bookmark because I know it will just get lost in my bookmarks. Now, I can just use pinterest’s bookmarklet to “pin it” to a specific board I have created. Moreover, I am the sort of person who frequently sees trends and patterns in unrelated images, and I enjoy documenting that sort of thing (which I sometimes do on my blog). The availability of pinterest will most certainly help me do that! There are a few more options I’d like to see on pinterest; the ability to keep boards private if you are working on something personal, for a client, or simply would like to unveil a finished product. Also, I’d LOVE to be able to arrange items with in a board–currently, the images on your board show up in the order that they were pinned. I’m very particular about what image is near what on a board, so it’s difficult to not be able to do this. I’d also love to see an iphone/ipad app for this. What’s great is that the developers really seem to be interested in your feedback (based on their replies to comments on their blog), and they are looking to find the best ways to implement these features.
And I almost forgot one of the coolest of pinterest’s features! You can follow people and specific boards, so that you will never be at a loss for some beautiful eye candy. While your at it, you can follow me too! :D