What do you work on at Twitter? I do research on Twitter influencers, or people and entities with a verified badge. These might include celebrities, journalists, newsrooms, bands, artists, politicians, writers, actors, and movie directors. Influencers tend to have a lot of followers and therefore have different needs than other Twitter users. Originally, Twitter was not designed with these users in mind, and how they use Twitter is quite different from most people. As more influencers join our platform, we are interested in learning how we can better support their needs. Though influencers are a very small fraction of Twitter user base, we care about designing a product that works for all our user communities.
I work closely with designers, product managers and engineers to understand how influencers engage and interact with other people on Twitter, what they need from our product, and how we can create a delightful user experience for them.
Does this mean I do research with celebrities? Yes, it does. Most of the time, I have to reach people wherever and whenever they’re available: in the middle of a photo shoot, squeezed in between a press interview and a makeup session, or at their desk in one of the world’s busiest newsrooms.
What have you learned about doing research with influencers? Influencers are a small subset of people using Twitter, so from a research point of view there are a few challenges. The first is that you need to be flexible when recruiting. Ideally you’d like your research criteria fully respected but given that there are only a handful individuals on earth with those criteria, you have to be a little flexible without giving up too much on rigor.
Second, you need to plan three times the normal time allocated for a study because influencers are crazy busy and difficult to schedule for a chat. At the same time, when planning to go into the field, I keep my calendar completely open. Whenever they can meet with us, we run and meet them, wherever they are. The upside is that we get to see them in action in their own environment, and how they use our product in real life, with real-world constraints.
I’ve also learned that journalists are the toughest to interview. Given that they are professionals at running interviews themselves, they are really good at pushing back on questions. It takes a little longer for journalists than other influencers to open up.
What interests you about working with these influencers? No matter how long and how much effort it takes to schedule research with them, it’s incredibly rewarding to see these people in action using our platform daily in different ways. Influencers get more notifications than the rest of us, so they use their timeline differently from the way you and I might. Some influencers favorite every single Tweet they get from fans, and others check what their bandmates Tweet first.
Seeing influencers head to their Twitter notification timeline when they find a few free minutes during their busy day to reply and post Tweets to their fans = <3 <3 <3
What are you most looking forward to next? I’m excited about our growing research team. There is an inspiring future ahead of us as we build up team processes and culture. I’m also really excited to continue my mission as a researcher for our influencers. It’s still new and unexplored territory, and we have a ton to learn from them.
TASTED is a project that investigates the way we taste food and its flavor. Nowadays it is possible to identify a product’s flavor profile through gas chromatography. Starting from a data set of 1000+ ingredients and their flavor compound profiles, Tasted combines ingredients in pairs resulting in over a million combinations. Looking for intersections of compounds between ingredients, food pairs are mapped from most similar to most dissimilar.
On November 17th at School for Poetic Computation in Brooklyn residents, fellows and guests were invited to sample a selection of paired unprocessed ingredients (basically couples of ingredients places together in their mouth).
The Menu A selection of 24 pairs of food (a+b) that falls into 2 categories: (J+) the positive indicates food couples with similarity (shared flavor compounds). (J-) the negative indicates food couples with dissimilar components.
Video soundtrack: Music for Airplanes - Marko Ahtisaari
TASTED [intersecting flavors]
"So what" is a research project for Nokia HERE Drive that combines quantitative and qualitative data to deliver actionable insight.
We're surrounded by many data reports, stats and metrics, and it's so easy to make bad inferences with data or sometimes to not make sense of data at all.
'So what' approaches research by mixing big data and individual cases, understanding the difference between what we see in big data and specific cases within the data (qualitative).
Given a product strategy and its goals, the project adopts the Trinity Strategy, structured in 3 parts:
Outcome: how well is the service/product doing in meeting the goal of its existence?
Behavior: infer the intent of users based on all that we know about them.
Experience: get into the heads of users and gain insights into why they do the things they do.
The Trinity Strategy allows us to use the convergence point of 'outcome', 'behavior' and 'experience' for exponentially powerful insights.
*consumer data/info has been removed or replaced
Project ideation and information design: Simona De Rosa
Business analyst: Marcelo Savignano
Notes, pie chart or Pac Man?
Colour Notes by Scholten & Baijings produced by HAY.
Insider is a bi-annual online magazine for Nokia. It sums up research findings and consumer feedback (delights & pain-points) from the previous six months and brings consumer news and stories.
Using a novel visual language to communicate findings, Insider entices and facilitates the adoption of user feedback in product teams.
Insider received excellent feedback from internal stakeholders:
"Very crisp and clean format; and graphical layout is top notch. Insightful!”
“Wow, what a beautiful design and useful insight! I’ve always thought that in order to get your messages through the presentation has to be visually attractive and this is one of the best ones I’ve ever seen within Nokia :)”
“I like your insider a lot. Thanks for the interesting read and the nicely designed pages.”
“Really loved reading this. Very insightful. Thanks for sending this out to me.”
“I was waiting for that desperately, fearing you are not doing it anymore! Happy now!”
Ideation and design: Simona De Rosa
*consumer data/info has been removed or replaced
Data stories for Nokia
These are examples of the visual language I developed for data stories and visualizations for Nokia HERE Drive, Maps and here.com.
Life Circle is a project of research, concept and brand development for a new organic textile brand in China. The research investigates the meaning of "organic" in China and its possible positioning. Guidelines are provided for a brand's concept development.
Life Circle is an organic clothing brand with a difference: healthy body, healthier mind. It's based on the most ancient rules of the chinese natural medicine "feel good" about what you wear, building almost a relationship with the body (skin) and the fabric. An intimate relationship.
Output: research book and findings, concept presentation, visual poem.
Brand Morphology is a tool that aims to identify a classification system which allows a precise definition of the brand genome information (DNA).
For those concerned with brand systems, ranging from professionals to amateurs, Brand Morphology is a guide to the multifaceted labyrinth of brand. It presents a functioning modelling of the system of brands. It analyses how the brand works and how the brand project is conceived.
Output: tool book containing analysis methodology and six case studies.
'Awaiting for China's Blank Brand' is a research project carried out for the final Master's thesis investigating frameworks for successful brands in China. It is divided in 4 parts:
_deep understanding about how China is perceived as country, internally and abroad (field studies and observation)
_definition of a national framework capable of containing China's rapid rate of change
_definition of Blank Brands
_guidelines for a brand building strategy within the Blank Brand category
Bienen is a natural cosmetic brand from Wang's honey food Group (China), famous for its tradition and knowledge about honey-making and related products. By taking advantage of its expertise about honey, Wang's developed Bienen skin care line with a special anti ageing benefits containing honey derivates. Bienen products are displayed and sold in Wang's food stores and corners.
The vision was to preserve the Wang's popularity, promote the identity and the rich culture of the honey through the Bienen skin care products, food for your skin.
I led the research to support the brand positioning, understand the consumer target and help the design team to tell the story through packaging and brand touch points.
The research process was mainly divided into 2 parts: - Factual evidence: conducted consumer research using a variety of qualitative methods to uncover consumer needs and redefine the product offering.
- Semiotic analysis and guidelines: analysed use cases, de-constructed and decoded the meaning of signs and symbols of packaging design.
Trend Group is a company with Italian roots which produces high level systems and components for wall coating and flooring in mosaic and glass tesserae. Trend Group's intention was to explore the potentials of an innovating concept of retail for offering a full Trend Experience.
The aim of this research project was to deepen and analyse cases of best practice referred to innovating services, processes of which the users are highly involved into the retail experience.
From the understanding of the current situation, the research process moves to a forecasting section with trend cards containing evidences. Finally it sums up 6 visions for new retail format.
What's in your bag?
What’s in your bag is a research aiming at analysing consumer and trends taking place in Mainland China, with a particular focus on the field of stationary.
The peculiar aim of “What’s in your bag” is to identify, collect and have an understanding of the current situation about: usage of stationary goods on the go of the young Chinese students.
A specific target of young people were asked to take photos of the real contents of their bags. or pockets (in case of boys), with no filters or alterations.
Pictures were uploaded on an online blog where the community could share their material and photos.
Recruited target: young Chinese boys and girls attending High School or University aged between 16 and 22 years old based in Shanghai.