9 October 2009

Inside user research at YouTube

Be the first to share

YouTube
User experience researcher Sasha Lubomirsky talks about his work at YouTube:

“If you think about watching a video online, it may seem pretty easy. A player, a play/pause button and some content. Done. But what about if the video is being played on a mobile phone? Or on a big screen? What if it’s being viewed in Nairobi? Or Shanghai? Now let’s say it’s being viewed by someone who wants to share her thoughts on the video and by someone who wants to do nothing more than watch more videos. Before you know it, watching a video becomes more complicated than you realize.

Enter user research. While far from providing all the answers, it can help illuminate how the site is actually used — as opposed to guessing how it might be used or assuming the user is just like the people designing the site.

So what exactly is user research like at YouTube? Sometimes it means letting users design their ideal experience. For example, last year we used a method called FIDO (first utilized by Fidelity Investments) where we cut out different elements of various video sites, stuck them on magnets, and had users arrange their ideal organization of the elements (see below for an example). Other times we use a more standard research method called a usability study, which entails seeing whether a user can or can’t complete certain standard site tasks in a usability lab.

Sometimes having users come into labs is not enough, though; we want to understand how users use YouTube in their context, in their living room, with their laptop on their lap, sprawled out on the couch. In this case we might have field studies where we interview users in their homes. In addition to such qualitative research, we look closely at the behavior of millions of users through traffic analysis and try to understand what users think of the site by deploying thousands of surveys.”

Read full story

(via Usability News)

Be the first to share
23 July 2016
Emerging social roles for life in 2025
Over the last five years Ericsson's Networked Society Lab has been exploring what social life in 2025 might mean. How have 20th structures of industrialization been challenged? What is happening with life and lifestyles right …
22 July 2016
[Book] Overcomplicated (or when systems go feral)
Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension by Samuel Arbesman Current (Penguin Randomhouse), July 2016 256 pages Abstract Why did the New York Stock Exchange suspend trading without warning on July 8, 2015? Why did certain Toyota vehicles accelerate uncontrollably …
22 July 2016
A nudge toward participation: Improving clinical trial enrollment with behavioral economics
A nudge toward participation: Improving clinical trial enrollment with behavioral economics Eric M. VanEpps, Kevin G. Volpp and Scott D. Halpern (University of Pennsylvania) Science Translational Medicine - 20 Jul 2016 Vol. 8, Issue 348, pp. 348fs13 Interventions informed …
18 July 2016
Design research at the New York Times
The pressure to anticipate an audience’s needs and desires is intense—no longer only of concern to business sides of media organizations but a part of the editorial mission, writes Heather Chaplin in the Columbia Journalism …
11 July 2016
[Book] LEAP Dialogues: Career Pathways in Design for Social Innovation
LEAP Dialogues: Career Pathways in Design for Social Innovation Edited by Mariana Amatullo, with Bryan Boyer, Liz Danzico and Andrew Shea Published by Designmatters at ArtCenter College of Design July 2016, 360 pages The professional landscape for design in …
22 June 2016
A united energy economy: Experientia helps wrap up the CITYOPT Nice pilot project
Can behavioral change address local energy issues, raise people’s awareness energy consumption issues, and directly support non-profit organizations at the same time? With the Nice pilot of the CITYOPT project, we have seen strong suggestions …
21 June 2016
‘Big data is people!’
The sum of our clickstreams is not an objective measure of who we are, but a personal portrait of our hopes and desires, argues Rebecca Lemov, associate professor of the history of science at Harvard …
17 June 2016
Remember the people: The foundation for success in 21st C infrastructure
Infrastructure providers are used to focusing on issues of project selection, funding, and regulation. The most successful firms are learning to provide great consumer experiences too. "The consumer experience matters. Infrastructure providers therefore need to …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

22 June 2016
A united energy economy: Experientia helps wrap up the CITYOPT Nice pilot project

Can behavioral change address local energy issues, raise people’s awareness energy consumption issues, and directly support non-profit organizations at the same time? With the Nice pilot of the CITYOPT project, we have seen strong suggestions that it can. It also suggests that the sense of belonging to a local community is a strong motivation for […]

23 May 2016
Experientia white paper: “Conducting clinical trials is about working with patients”

Patient-centricity is one of the defining issues facing clinical trials in the pharma industry. The past few years have seen a growing awareness by pharmaceutical companies of the importance of patient-centricity – but they have also illustrated that not everyone is clear on just what patient-centricity is, or how to achieve it. After using UX […]

12 April 2016
The latest on innovation in Energy Efficient Buildings: annual round-up of EU Commission projects

Every year, the Energy-efficient Buildings (EeB) Public Private Partnership (PPP) publishes the EeB PPP project review – a round-up of energy-efficiency projects that have been co-funded by two European Commission schemes. This year, the print and digital booklet design was done by Experientia, in particular by our talented visual and interaction designer Dohun Jang. Experientia […]

8 March 2016
Behavioral modeling – Shaping cultural change and behavioral evolution

One of the things we do here at Experientia that really sets us apart from other UX agencies is behavioral modeling. Our cognitive and behavioral models go beyond the standard customer journeys and personas (both useful tools, and often preliminary steps to behavioral modeling) to create frameworks that can be used to make people more […]

1 March 2016
Singapore’s main newspaper on Experientia’s design with the elderly

Arti Mulchand reports in the Straits Times, Singapore’s main newspaper, on Experientia’s “Design for Ageing Gracefully” project: Putting faces to end-users early in the design process is changing the way designers and organisations are approaching products aimed at Singapore’s growing elderly demographic. Experientia’s ethnographic study, which was commissioned by DesignSingapore Council in a collaboration with […]

18 January 2016
Experientia website completely reshaped

Experientia is pleased to announce that we’ve started 2016 with a brand new website. Experientia’s now officially 10 years old, and we decided that the best way to celebrate is by building a new website that showcases our growth – with new projects, new people in the staff, and two new locations in Lausanne and […]

See all articles