Discovery, not creation

After a Roadmap preview, Medium quietly launched its new homepage

At some point last week, Medium launched its new homepage and mobile app. It focused the homepage on tools for readers instead of writers, Medium’s previous focus. The company didn’t announce the news publicly, but tweets from Medium users complimenting the design start November 26th. Head of product marketing, Gabe Kleinman, told me we’ll continue to see new changes in the weeks ahead.

During Gigaom’s Roadmap design conference on November 19th, Medium founder Ev Williams told Gigaom founder Om Malik the redesign was coming. I’ve reached out to the company to get screenshots of the previous version as it appeared before the redesign. so as to compare them, but at the time of publishing I hadn’t heard back.

Based on a quick Google Image search, the Medium homepage before the redesign looked as follows:

Screenshot of old Medium homepage design
Screenshot of old Medium homepage design

Here’s the new take:

Screenshot of new Medium homepage design
Screenshot of new Medium homepage design

As you can see, the visual sidebar with the post writing prompt has disappeared. Instead, the majority of the homepage space is devoted to story discovery tools. As before, people can surf their home posts, composed of stories written or recommended by their Facebook or Twitter networks, and top stories, which are the most read posts on the site.

But collections, which are thematically linked posts or authors chosen by collection creators, have been buried under the “M” navigation, whereas before the link appeared on top of the homepage. The image from each story appears alongside it, with the profile picture of the person who wrote it beneath.

Medium homepage with the "M" navigation button clicked
Medium homepage with the “M” navigation button clicked

 

Without an explanation from Medium, it’s hard to know what prompted these specific changes, but at Roadmap Williams gave some ideas. He said the homepage needed to be redesigned because the old version was “terrible.” It didn’t have a specific function.

Based on the changes made, it looks like Medium decided to optimize its homepage for content discovery instead of post creation. Check out the video of Williams’ appearance below.

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