In 2015 Vimeo was growing from a small video social network into the top platform for video creators to share and sell their work. Part of an overall site redesign was a tear down of the user profile. The page had failed to evolve with the platform. A new design would allow power users to promote their work and themselves turning Vimeo into the LinkedIn for video professionals.
Being a part of the Vimeo community carries pride and exclusivity. The Vimeo community differentiates the platform from its competitors. A Vimeo presence should feel aspirational, exclusive, polished, and immersive.
Creators choose Vimeo to be a part of our community and use our high quality, ad free player. Vimeo already had the best video player in the world and a beautiful, redesigned video page. What creators needed was a way to promote themselves on their profile.
The process begins by making some guesses based on gut instincts then validating those assumptions with research and data.
And we thought users needed:
We interviewed our top creators, looked into support request volume, and measured traffic to and from the profile, which turned out to be one of the most trafficked pages. Improvements to search and the video page (with a stronger focus on video creators) also lead to increased traffic to the profile.
User interviews taught us more. Creators wanted to showcase their experience and awards, special skills, and equipment. For video professionals pitching clients the kind of camera they shoot with, their technical abilities, and other capabilities are as important as their work.
One of the earliest—and most frequent—user requests was to edit the order of videos. Users wanted visitors to watch videos without leaving the page. The profile was seen by users as their real estate, a way to showcase their best work and promote themselves.
The original profile page represented a user we discovered didn’t exist. A mix of viewer-centric activities like likes and comments was given equal status as uploads. The average Vimeo user falls into only one of these two categories: a viewer watching content or a video creator. This meant that most profiles made the user appear inactive. Lack of customization made profiles hard to differentiate at a glance.
Video thumbnails are larger. The page is simplified to feel like a Soho fashion boutique, not a big box retailer. Video headers and a more prominent profile picture define the user while the larger thumbnails let the content shine.
For power users with dozens—or hundreds—of videos, customization is key. The new profile allows real editorial control of how their work is displayed.
Users asked and we listened—but we also tested. While we wanted videos to play on the page, we also believed that the video page is the best way to watch and discover content. We tested a design with embedded videos and a design with a featured, playable video and linked thumbnails. Turns out, a single “hero” video felt more polished in testing so that grid was used.
The cover photo has become popular on user profiles. Using a cover video felt right for Vimeo. Users can play with the space using solid color animation, promote their vibe with a montage of b-roll, or showcase their best work. My favorite examples are A, B, C, D, and E.
The setup of the links (and sub menu) downplayed lack of activity from new users and prioritized power users’ presentation of their work and themselves. Prominent follow and message buttons promoted interaction with the users.
Simplifying the profile to focus on video was easy. But users still needed a way to promote themselves. We added an about page where users could list their achievements, awards, skills, and collaborators.
This page encouraged our creators to use their Vimeo profiles much in the same way professionals use LinkedIn or designers share their Behance or Dribbble pages.
As part of the [Vimeo UI unification](case study tk) project all new pages were designed to be responsive. This made the benefits of the new profile available on mobile or desktop. Confidence their work would look great on any screen encouraged creators to share their profile to promote themselves and their work.
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