It is premature for organisations to treat social media as nothing more than opportunities for customer service enquiries, help requests and brand advocacy. Social media platforms are a rich source of data about users which often gets ignored in favour of other more controlled research activities like interviews and user testing.
New monitoring software tools make it relatively easy to track a range of keywords and capture a wealth of tweets, posts and mentions on topics of interest. While the data can be messy and overwhelming, it is nothing less than 'research gold' - users speaking in their own language!
Indeed, the data is so easy to capture that temptations to use sentiment analysis features are hard to resist. However, sentiment analysis aims to produce high level insights at the expense of the nuanced details that reside in the data. So, how can we work with social media?
In this 90 minute workshop, we will show you how we did user research with social media for a heavily-used web service at Highways England.
We will present a short case study of our work as we introduce five steps you can follow on any project:
There will be plenty of hands-on group activities where you can work through these steps with a sample data set (which we will provide).
We will end with an opportunity for participants to brainstorm new techniques or applications of user research with social media.
Dave Ellender is a design researcher with 15 years experience under his belt. He has worked on a range of platforms including web, mobile phones, interactive television, touchscreen kiosks, interactive furniture, trains, interactive robots, intelligent homes and smart clothes... Dave has worked with users of all ages, from over 90 years old to some as young as four.
Dave has led major commercial projects in the UK for eBay, Nokia, the National Trust and British Gas. In the public sector, he has worked at the Government Digital Service, led major projects for the Department for Education and NHS Direct. He has also consulted abroad in France, Germany and India. Currently, he is working as a consultant with Highways England.
He is a co-founder of the popular UXBristol conference and set up the Bristol Usability Group in 2006. Dave has an M.Sc. in Human Communication and Computing from Bath University (2001).