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Understanding anyone's social network in 60 minutes
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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.

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 Understanding anyone's social network in 60 minutes Presentation Transcript

  • 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