Young Millenial UX Designer’s First Impressions of TikTok

Hayley Smith
3 min readDec 27, 2020


TikTok’s logo
TikTok logo

I never thought I’d download TikTok. Over the holidays I spent time with my 53-year-old Mother-in-Law and discovered that even she had it, so naturally, I had to hop on the bandwagon.

This pandemic has me scrolling and procrastinating simple tasks, so like the rest of the world… I’m using TikTok to pass the time.

I think TikTok has this reputation of just being for Gen Z. The dances and drama and TikTok creator houses really deterred me from getting it. Well, that and the threat of it leaving the U.S. helped me put off downloading it for a long time.

Honestly though now that I have it I love it. I downloaded it today, 12/27/20, and have spent about 2 hours on it so far. Setup was a breeze and I can already tell that my “for you” page is becoming the content that I want to see. I was curious to find out what type of content I would be shown and how long it would take for the app to learn my preferences.

Content Curation

It is quickly finding out that I don’t care about D’Amelio’s or any dances. What content am I looking for? Thrifting, plants, sustainability, decorating, DIYing, furniture restoration, and art. Throw some comedy in there too, but essentially that is what I’m looking for. My Mother-in-Law still hasn’t been able to curate her app, but I think it’s because she hasn’t started liking any videos or following anyone so the app doesn’t know what she’s there for yet.

I began following and liking the content and creators that I wanted to see more of and scrolled past what I wasn’t into. I’m not interested in wasting my time consuming what doesn’t bring me joy (Yes I am trying to Marie Kondo my TikTok experience. I’ve got much less patience for bs in 2020). I’d say it took maybe 30 minutes to start pretty exclusively showing me plant, thrifting, and DIY videos. Overall, that’s really quick for the app to learn what I like and give me more of it. I’m thrilled that it’s showing me what I’m into and I can’t wait to test out all of these projects I’m seeing!

Dresser restoration from TikTok


There’s some slight cognitive load here. It is really easy to just start watching and scrolling. It’s way easier to keep scrolling. The videos just keep loading and pushing you to the next one. The only learning curve is really some of the icons and which way to scroll to find what you are looking for.


Next video → swipe up

The previous video → swipe down

Creator Info → swipe left

So far, so good! It’s easy to navigate and way easy to keep seeing more TikToks. I’ll keep testing it out and if I make any I’ll update you on my experience for sure. There’s a lot of cool features and effects so I’m interested to learn more about the function and organization there.



Hayley Smith

UX Designer, Pure Barre Instructor, plant lover.