Tumblr: Various Works

08 August 2016

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Project(s) Context

Tumblr is a social network that popularized the concept of short-form “microblogging” around the time of its creation in 2007. Since then, Tumblr has become a cultural/memetic engine thanks to the people and fandoms that inhabit it.

I joined Tumblr in late 2015 where I was one of four product designers interfacing with six product managers, a team of around 50 product engineers, and numerous researchers, QA staff, a small brand team, and a dozen engineering leads. Over time, the size of the product design team dwindled until there were only two of us left by the time of my leave.


At Tumblr, I wrangled the general cross-platform (iOS, Android, and Web) product design, leadership interfacing, consolidation, and iterative improvement of three key product aspects:

  1. Messaging/Activity:
    • On-comment replies, direct messaging, "Asks", and cross-platform messaging tooling like gifs, stickers, doodling, notifications, and more.
  2. Safety and User Security:
    • I redesigned and decluttered our sprawling post/user reporting flows, implemented safety features into messaging, finalized the design of Tumblr's "Safe Mode" (which Lydia White started), and collaborated with others to ensure user safety mechanisms were accessible throughout the application
  3. Onboarding:
    • New user onboarding was one of the last major product areas I was given to design outright. Prior to my involvement, it was a project which had been in ongoing development for two years. Integrating GDPR-required interfaces and prototyping "Tumblr 2" style interfacing was one of the last projects I took on before I left Tumblr.


Shortly after I joined Tumblr, after I had gotten acclimated to our general design process and style of work/interaction with engineering, I was

Safety and User Security

Tumblr has always been


After Yahoo (and by extension, Tumblr) was acquired by Oath, company-wide priorities were switched over to integrating core advertising technologies between Oath and its subsidiaries, and the integration of systems such as GDPR.

I worked closely with a product manager and a few engineering leads to navigate various “streams of work and reshuffled prioritization hierarchies” during the redesign of user onboarding, a project which had been dragging on for months.

In order for “new onboarding” to be successful, we needed the following to be true of our work:

  1. Every aspect of the newly-structured onboarding needed to exude our new brand
  2. Onboarding needed to integrate a combined “Oath Terms and GDPR Acceptance interface”
  3. Onboarding needed to successfully convert creators of new accounts into lasting users by means of immediately depicting Tumblr’s value.

It all started with the desire to unite the efforts the brand team had been actively outputting and the actual expression of the product. As the creative team was tightly knit, this movement was sort of a grassroots effort that we had to communicate to the rest of the company, rather than an overt company direction we were told to take.

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