Trend Tuesday: Social Media & Design Evolution (and Twitter’s Latest Update)

Caitlin Kaluza

Posted on September 25, 2012

Posted in Design, Social Media | Comments Off

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Social Media Tools Continue to Evolve

Social media is always evolving. Aside from new tools being introduced constantly, established players are tirelessly innovating and adding new features, tools, and settings to stay ahead of the technology curve (i.e. this year’s Facebook timeline profile design overhaul).

Some of those changes are functional, some are aesthetic, and some are sort of… both.

Last week, Twitter implemented one of these such changes.

Twitter Adds Cover Photos Header Photos to Profiles!

So let’s get to one of the recent changes we’ve seen in Social Media tools this week that follow this idea. Similar to Facebook’s profile update earlier this year with the addition of a Cover Photo, Twitter has enhanced user profiles with its own version called a Header Photo.

How to Add Your Own Twitter Cover Photo

Implementing a header design to your profile is easy:

Step 1 - Under Settings, click “Edit Profile” and then choose the Design Tab

Step 2 - Scroll down to where yo see the word “header” and click “Change Header” to upload your image

Step 3 - Adjust your image placement and cropping and click “Save”

Voilà! Your Profile is updated!

Twitter - New Header Image Example

More Twitter Headline Resources:

“Design, more than anything else, has led to the success of Mint” – Aaron Patzer

So why does it matter? A few years ago, I had the privilege to see Aaron Patzer speak at SXSW Interactive. Aaron is the founder of, the fantastically easy to use budgeting/personal finance website that I love (and is now owned by Intuit).

The main thing I walked away with from that talk is the importance of design and visuals in a complex web application like Mint. I pull these quotes from Aaron from my notes of the session, illustrating this concept:

  • “When you come to Mint, it’s beautiful and it puts you at ease.”
  • “Mint makes finances friendly.”
  • “When you have a comfortable website, people trust you inherently”

And perhaps most notable: … “Design, more than anything else, has led to the success of Mint”

The Importance of Visuals in Social Media (And All Web Applications!)

Those are powerful words – and I see a similar evolution in Social Media applications. Many of the tools we use every day were not the first of their kind to do what they do – there were photo sharing sites before Instagram and microblogging platforms before Pinterest. But those that are “winning” are applying visual elements better than anyone else. So it makes sense that the developers of these tools constantly test and mold the visual elements of their applications to continue to push them forward. And I, for one, can’t wait to see what comes next!


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