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Twitter Internship - Conversation Starters Research


Research project for summer internship @ Twitter - June 2019 - September 2019


Skills: quantitative research, scoping problem space, study design, qualitative research, data analysis, presentation, report writing

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Problem Definition
How might we help people start a conversation on Twitter? 

Hypothesis: people bring off platform content to Twitter (links & screenshots) to start a conversation. By off platform content we mean anything that does not originate on Twitter.


  • Understand the context and circumstances in which people are choosing/not choosing to bring links and screenshots to Twitter 

  • Understand the motivations and barriers people face when bringing links and screenshots to Twitter

  • Alison Buchanan - UX Research

  • UX Research mentors

  • PM

  • Designer

My Role

User Research

  • Synthesized initial quantitive data to scope qualitative research study

  • Drove research strategy, selected research methods, conducted user interviews

  • Presented key findings and actionable results to drive 2020 design planning

Scoping with Quantitative Data 


The team pulled quantitive data to better understand what kinds of screenshots and links people share on Twitter. I took this data and cleaned it up to help the team identify our top content interest areas to pursue.

Planning & Recruitment

Research Questions

Based off of the research objectives, I developed research questions to guide this work.

Sample research questions: 

  • Why do users bring links and screenshots to Twitter?

  • What deters users from bringing links and screenshots to Twitter?​​

  • What do users expect to happen when they share links and screenshots?

  • How well is Twitter meeting those expectations?​

Research Method

I chose to conduct qualitative interviews to answer my research questions. I chose this method because it would best answer the research objectives within the study's time constraints. I used my research questions to craft an interview guide. 

In person


90 Minutes

Participant Criteria

I created a survey screener to find 12 participants that met my study criteria: 

  • Tweet often & live in the Bay Area 

  • Shared off platform links and/or screenshots on Twitter in the past month

  • Variety of age groups and professions

Qualitative Interviews 

Using my interview guide, I conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews. The agenda: 

1. Background questions

2. Discussion around recently consumed content - if it was interesting why/why not share? 

3. Discussion around a recently shared link and/or screenshot
4. Discussion around saved screenshots & their sharing potential 

5. Debrief & thank you 

Analysis & Synthesis

I used affinity diagraming to uncover prominent themes within my qualitative data. In addition, I used the data to create the following framework, which I used to explain the off platform content sharing journey and connect my findings back to my research objectives.  

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Findings & ​Recomendations

I am not able to share the full results of this study, however on a higher level, my findings:

  • Addressed each phase of this off-platform sharing journey

  • Met research objectives

  • Contained actionable recommendations, to assist the team in 2020 design planning   

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Future Directions​

There are two sides to every conversation.
To close out my internship I began planning for a second research study, which examined how people consume off platform content on Twitter.
I was interested in exploring things like: what motivates people to join in a conversation around off platform content? 
Learnings & Reflections

Study Planning

  • Don’t be afraid to scope quickly & plan for more than one study

Participant Recruitment

  • Is gender balance more important than occupation and income? Be prepared to have to make these decisions and justify them. 

Study Implementation

  • The interview guide is a GUIDE - be mindful of maintaining a natural conversation flow

Data Analysis

  • If you take good notes, you don’t need to watch the entire video - No really!


Presentation of Findings

  • Making a clear slide deck is an art of its own

I love the entire user research process!

  • This internship was a great affirming experience - I am excited to see where my passion for user research takes me! 

Interested in learning more about my internship experience?


Check out my @TwitterResearch handle takeover 

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