Thursday, February 18, 2010

Taking the Pulse of Sharing: A Closer Look at the New AddThis Service Directory

One the most interesting aspects of my job at AddThis is having the opportunity to use data to drive design decisions. The AddThis sharing platform is immense, and as a designer I'm incredibly fortunate to have access to a huge amount of information to help us optimize user experience for both publishers and their visitors.

At the core of this experience are the hundreds of different services (currently 233) used to save and share pages, as well as lots of lots of other things like printing, translating, converting to PDFs, shopping, and more.

Now with today's launch of the next AddThis Service Directory, you can explore all different kinds of trends across services and countries to understand how the world is sharing. One of the things we discovered early on is that when you step back and look at the bigger picture, across over 50 languages and hundreds of locales, sharing is much more varied and interesting than just Facebook and Twitter. For instance, in Brazil, Facebook is only #5 – Orkut is #1 with 25% of sharing. In China, Google Bookmarks is #1.

I thought I'd take a look at one my personal favorites, Email App, a service you can use to share any link using your computer's native email application. It's currently our fastest trending service, up 56%:
This sharp increase in usage began when we added an easy way to discover this and other email services to our email form:


This change helped to boost usage of the other email services as well:

Using these kinds of tools, we can understand whether a particular design decision works, and compare different approaches to offer our users the most effective experience we can.

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