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 user researchers work with social media?
In this 120 minute workshop, design research instructor Dave Ellender will show you how. He will present a short case study of recent work with this technique and introduce five steps you can follow on any project:
defining your keywords
using monitoring tools
creating a usable data set
creating research insights.
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.
Most participants left the course feeling confident:
- "I will do a Twitter research experiment"
- "We'll use this kind of research as preliminary step to identify issues in the existing system"
- "I will verify existing research outcomes with social media research outcomes"
- "I won't worry so much about not having direct access to users"
(Source: UX in the City, March 2016)
Tea, coffee and biscuits included.