Product design: The saga of ma.gnolia

  • ma.gnolia

Ma.gnolia was a social bookmarking tool with well-thought-out features like Saved Copies (so you never lost a web page, even if it moved or went offline), Bookmark Ratings, Bookmark Privacy, and Groups. It even had a well-authored Linkroll that could be used on any website. We designed the product and developed many of its features.


To do so, we identified problems with existing social bookmarking tools, conceived new features, and consolidated “best-of-breed” functions for this still-emerging genre of web application. Our information architects developed user pathways, while our designers crafted a strong brand identity and a rich, creamy site design.

Sadly, a technical calamity in the mid-2000s took offline, resulting in the loss of user data. The company was never able to recover from this, and ma.gnolia became famous as a case study of the need to protect user data at all costs, and to make user data available for download in the event that a company should go out of business.

Our responsibilities on this project

Information architecture; brand design and consulting; graphic design; user interface design; CSS/XHTML template development. Launched 15 February 2006.