This week on CodePen Radio, we're talking about users: who our users are, what they expect, where they come from, and things like that.

Doing some research

1:45 We wanted to do some research to understand our users: who is coming to CodePen, and why? Where did they come from? We gathered information from the database, Twitter, GitHub, and Google Analytics.

2:55 Who is going to use your thing? It's important to think about this question right away. For CodePen, it's front-end developers. People who want to build code demos. Designers and developers.

Pay attention to what your users are doing with your app

4:17 We cater to front-end developer/designers. The way these people use CodePen influences the features we work on. For example, we launched our blogging feature after seeing users write explanations with code comments inside of their pen.

5:55 We didn't start off by thinking that users would use CodePen for teaching, or for conferences in presentation mode; but we made it easier for them to use it that way. That was a reaction to the way our users were using our products.

There are so many things you can learn about your users just by talking to them. Those conversations have helped shape our everyday activities.

What kind of users do you want to have?

8:35 Who do you want your users to be? Who do they turn out to be? How much should you shape your service around what you users want?

12:02 We try to have a balancing act between beginner level users, and people who make up the core audience; the pro users that make all the great pens. We want to make CodePen accessible for new users, but not overly simple.

The stats

14:25 We did some research about our users. Here's what we found:

  1. Close to 70% of CodePen users are on the Chrome browser. The next 20% are on Firefox. IE usage only makes up 1.5%
  2. Only 5% of our traffic comes from mobile devices
  3. We're close to having 200,000 users
  4. Over 50% of our users have Gmail accounts
  5. Around 65% of CodePen users speak English
  6. 14% of CodePen users are female
  7. 57% of our users are using Windows
  8. 20% of our social media traffic comes from Twitter, 16% from Facebook, 17% from Reddit
  9. We spend 100% of our social media time on Twitter

If you're enjoying this show, please take a minute to leave us a review in iTunes. We really appreciate it, and thanks to everyone who has already left a review! (We read all of them!)

Show Links:


  • Ryan

    Another stat that could be fun is analyzing which browsers were actually used for most of the code editing. It makes me wonder if that small percentage of IE is probably all just quick page-view tests of “yup that works in IE”.

    • Super interesting question. I should follow that up.

  • pducks32

    My big problem with mobile coding(we use iPads at school so coding is my digital doodling in class) is the characters. It’s painful to have to go up to menus on the keyboard to get a <. The other problem is Codepen's iPad browser at least is difficult to select/copy/paste from, it looks like there are two textareas it's clunky and kinda strange, maybe it's the way it highlights it? I think a full page editor where you swipe to the Js or css or even the preview would be better UX. I don't I just think that mobile coding hasn't been solved yet.

    • I totally agree. It’s not possible to copy and paste in mobile at all. Without a large screen and a decent sized keyboard it just isn’t practical to code on a phone. I think the solution is hard ware based instead of software.

      Project a screen and a full size keyboard from my phone and I’m all in.