Reddit’s UI is a mess — CEO talks about his plans to upgrade the ‘front page of the internet’
More than a decade after its founding, Reddit is getting a new look. The popular news agitator and discussion forum has been a staple of the internet for some time, but its user interface leaves a bit to be desired, and Reddit CEO Steve Huffman is committed to addressing that issue.
In an interview with VentureBeat, Huffman compared Reddit to a restaurant with great food, but long lines and poor service. He said that customers would begrudgingly put up with the long lines and poor service, provided the restaurant serves excellent fare and, for Reddit, that equates to good content. Despite this, Huffman believes that the site needs a redesign in order to grow, noting the poor UI as a hindrance to the site.
“Reddit did not succeed because it has a shitty UI,” Huffman said. “Reddit succeeded despite having a shitty UI.”
Huffman promised that the “core mechanic” of Reddit was not going away and stressed that he wanted to ensure that the redesign was solving real problems, rather than merely creating busy work so the company could boast about a new UI.
While we don’t know the details of Reddit’s new design, it is likely that it will take cues from the site’s mobile apps which Huffman praised as having “a lot better” than websites.
Ultimately, it appears that the key goal of Reddit’s new UI will be to increase user conversion. Huffman noted that the site had 3-9 million new users every day who visit once and then never come back, due to the poor UI and difficulty in using the site to its full potential.
“For example, new users never go to communities because they don’t know communities exist,” Huffman said. They don’t read comments because they don’t know comments exist. There’s a cohort of new users that are lost”
As Huffman’s own comments have demonstrated, Reddit can be a difficult place for new users, but we’ve got some tools to help you out. Check out our guide to Reddit to get started, and then feel free to take a look at our favorite subreddits for some of the more interesting communities the site has to offer.
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