There are two main ways new users sign up for Quora: we referred to
these as SEO and organic. The SEO (search engine optimization) flow
generally involves people making a Google search and then clicking a
Quora link in the search results. While the user can read content on
the link they clicked, they must create an account or sign in to view
related questions. This signup wall often leads to frustration and low
intent when new users create their accounts as many simply want to
view the link they had just clicked on. As this SEO flow accounted for
the majority of new users on the platform, new users often created
accounts which quickly became stale.
New users have low intent when creating their accounts
In order for users to get the most out of Quora and find content that
matches their interests, they must complete the onboarding flow
and follow topics. As these users often have low intent when going
through the onboarding steps, a majority of these new users follow the
minimum number of topics and don't accurately select what interests them.
This leads to two main problems—users end up with a home feed of
content they don't care for, or only see content that is far too
specific to a particular topic.
New user feeds are too siloed around particular topics
Low intent follow actions lead to a cluttered home feed
At the core of the two problems is the question: how do users discover
new content sources after they sign up? Content sources on Quora refer
to topics, spaces (Quora's version of a subreddit or Facebook group),
and other users who post and like content.
How do users discover new content sources?
One of the main ways users find new topics and spaces to follow is
through discovery carousels which are placed in the home feed.
Users also directly search for specific topics, spaces, and users.
However, unlike similar applications such as Twitter or LinkedIn,
Quora's search page is initially empty.
While similar applications use the search page as a way to surface
new content, Quora's search page is empty
Improve the discoverability of quality content sources through
redesigning the mobile search page.
Priority Metrics and KPIs
Active hours (sessions per day), trending content taps, topic and space follows
Approach 1: Discovery
The first approach focuses on grouping the discovery carousels in
one place, allowing users to easily find new topics, spaces, and users
to follow. While having a dedicated page for the carousels may increase
the number of content sources a user follows, simply showing
suggestions of content sources to follow isn't valuable for users. For
this reason, approach #2 focuses more on surfacing actual content
that the user may be interested in.
People don't necessarily want to follow more content sources—
they to want to see better content when they use Quora
Approach 2: Trending Content
The second approach I tried was to create a separate feed where users
can find content that may not have entered their home feed. The idea
with showing trending content is that users can first see the stories
(question and answer pair) related to a particular content source before actually
following that source.
Showing trending content lets users view engaging stories before
following the content sources
The first step to designing the trending feed is thinking through how
each story (question and answer pair) will be presented. Since there's
a limited amount of space on the screen especially if they keyboard is
up, I designed the trending card to take less vertical space by moving
the author information to the top and removing their picture/credential.
As the purpose of the explore page is to highlight new content,
moving the author information puts the focus back to the questions and
The trending card is 22% shorter than the home feed card, allowing
more stories to be shown in the limited available space
Home Feed Card
Another important consideration was deciding whether to open the
keyboard when the user taps the search icon from the home page. On one
hand, showing the full page without the keyboard would likely increase
engagement with the new trending content feature with the tradeoff of
requiring an extra tap to enter a search query. The other option of
showing the keyboard right away aligns with the intent of users
looking to enter a query, however reduces potential interaction with
the new trending feed.
After discussion with the team as well as looking at data of search
usage, we decided to go with option 1 (open the keyboard immediately).
This way, the trending content is still visible when opening the
search page, however does not interupt those who want to enter a
search right away.
We chose option 1 to ensure the new feature doesn't hinder those who
simply want to make a search
The explore page gives users a way to break out of their home feed and
discover new content that matches their interests. With the trending
topics, users can view a curated list of related stories while also
being able to read globally trending content on the platform.
View Figma Prototype
Mobile Web Prototype
In order to produce a more realistic prototype and assess the
engineering work required to build this feature, I developed a working
prototype during Quora's internal hackathon using the company's web
framework (Python + Webnode). The logic behind the ranking algorithm
of stories was built by two engineers and two data scientists I was
After developing the prototype above, our team won the company's internal
hackathon, sparking an initiative to build this feature with a larger
engineering team dedicated to it.
The prototype won first place in company hackathon
The trending/explore page project is now being prioritized and the
team is currently building the first version