Social Map
Ultimate yet impossible research goal To understand how humans communicate.
Communication products need to understand ‘human communication’
Need: to think  beyond  Gmail
Need: to think about broad communication
How, why, when, where people choose different communication tools
Why the need for two phones?
Meanwhile… Meanwhile…
Stopping self-referential design
Early vs. later research vs.
Need: user insight  fast We need to  start designing next week…
Field research not feasible
Only time to pick some people
60 minutes to understand communication behaviour 60 minutes
Social Map
Social Maps in our offices
Social Maps on the street
Required materials: paper + post-its
Building layers of understanding over time
Layer 1: People + Groups
Layer 2: Communication Tools
Layer 3: Recent Events
Layer 4: Sharing Content
Layer 5: Mapping Actual Behaviour
Layer 6: Sticky dots
Social Maps in China
Meanwhile… Meanwhile…
Development team observing research Research Participant Researcher Product Manager
Early trumps later research vs.
Social Map
Strong buy-in from the development team
Research finding: People’s groups are almost always separate
To understand how humans communicate. in 60 minutes some
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Understanding anyone's social network in 60 minutes

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A research method for understanding why people choose one communication tool over another.

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  • I’m going to talk about a research methodology we recently started experimenting with at Google. It’s called a Social Map. Social Maps have taught us things like: - People’s groups are almost always separate. - Many people don’t use I.M. in many contexts as they think it inefficient and time consuming. - Many people use SMS when they want to avoid an awkward conversation.
  • Understanding anyone's social network in 60 minutes

    1. 1. Social Map
    2. 2. Ultimate yet impossible research goal To understand how humans communicate.
    3. 3. Communication products need to understand ‘human communication’
    4. 4. Need: to think beyond Gmail
    5. 5. Need: to think about broad communication
    6. 6. How, why, when, where people choose different communication tools
    7. 7. Why the need for two phones?
    8. 8. Meanwhile… Meanwhile…
    9. 9. Stopping self-referential design
    10. 10. Early vs. later research vs.
    11. 11. Need: user insight fast We need to start designing next week…
    12. 12. Field research not feasible
    13. 13. Only time to pick some people
    14. 14. 60 minutes to understand communication behaviour 60 minutes
    15. 15. Social Map
    16. 16. Social Maps in our offices
    17. 17. Social Maps on the street
    18. 18. Required materials: paper + post-its
    19. 19. Building layers of understanding over time
    20. 20. Layer 1: People + Groups
    21. 21. Layer 2: Communication Tools
    22. 22. Layer 3: Recent Events
    23. 23. Layer 4: Sharing Content
    24. 24. Layer 5: Mapping Actual Behaviour
    25. 25. Layer 6: Sticky dots
    26. 26. Social Maps in China
    27. 27. Meanwhile… Meanwhile…
    28. 28. Development team observing research Research Participant Researcher Product Manager
    29. 29. Early trumps later research vs.
    30. 30. Social Map
    31. 31. Strong buy-in from the development team
    32. 32. Research finding: People’s groups are almost always separate
    33. 33. To understand how humans communicate. in 60 minutes some

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