Design a new feature for Twitter that improves the new user’s experience.
+1 vote
in Product Improvement by (1.3k points) | 502 views

3 Answers

+3 votes

Design a new feature for Twitter that improves the new user’s experience
Who do you define as a new user? –
Someone who is the process of signing up?
Someone who has just signed up (Day 0 to Day 30)?

What would be success metric when you improve the new user’s experience?
– Completion rate of sign-in process (for the person signing up)
– 30 day activity rate (visits to news feed, posts, likes, retweets, direct messages)- (for the person who has just signed up)
– NPS score (I don’t know how Twitter measures this)- (for both)
Let’s say that we are focusing on the new member who has just signed up and we want to increase 30 day activity rate.
Something to keep in mind: What are the most important things for any news feed?
– Content: whether its Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter, content creation by its users is the most important activity. The more content users create – the more diverse and interesting the news feed becomes.
– Personalization triggers – Also the more data about you, Twitter can collect, the more interesting the feed can be made for you
Who is our user?
We could look at lot of different personas based on age, demographic etc
Age: 13- 21 (School/College going)
Age – 21- 31 (Working professionals, single)
Age – 31 – 55 (Working, Married)
Age 55 and above (Pre-retirement to retirement)
Persona we are focusing on: Young, 13 – 21 year old (school – college goer who is starting his/her social presence)
What are our user’s needs?
1. Get rid of boredom, make it Interesting: Seeing a fresh, personalized newsfeed every time they open twitter
2. Help me connect with people and things I care about, create meaningful social and political interactions and connections
3. Help me look cool to my friends, give me ice breaker ideas- give me interesting content that I can retweet or ideas for posts that will make me show my smart personality to my friends
4. Make me popular – Give me lots of followers and friends. Make my posts popular – getting a lot of likes, retweets and comments from my friends
5. Keep me safe: Protect my personal data, don’t expose me to bullying, theft, fraud etc
Which need should we focus on?
Twitter already has tips for the cold-start situation (Need 1 and Need 2) – it asks for user preferences and connects new users to current twitter users to make sure that their first time feed is already populated with some-what personalized content with suggestions for adding new people to follow + adding your contacts from your email. Twitter also has the capability to show you content based on your activity on other social sites that show twitter content. While this can be further improved as well, for the purpose of this exercise, I would like to focus on need 3 and need 4– “Help me look cool to my friends, give me ice breaker ideas” and “Make me popular”

Feature that I would build
Help me look cool – Post/Retweet suggester :
1. Ask users for age and information about school/college they go to. If this is too creepy, then other option is to ask people to align to specific school/college mascots to guess which educational institution they are affiliated with.
2. Based on posts/images/topics that are trending from other students from that school/college – suggest content for posts/images for retweeting. This would make the new user comfortable about creating first time posts- on the flip side – this might hamper original creativity.
3. When a person creates a post from scratch – offer advice on things to add or embellish to make the post more popular based on information about popular twitter users from the same age/demographic.

Get me more followers – Throw a welcome party:
1. When a new twitter user joins, set up a virtual welcome event and ask a popular twitter user from the same school/college to host the event – or Twitter can be the host for the event.
2. A tweet goes out to other people from the community asking them to send welcome messages to the new joinee – making them feel special and popular.
3. Incentivize/Gamify the process of sending welcome messages by giving special twitter points/badges to people sending welcome messages to create a virtuous cycle.

Launch and Test methodology
A/B Test:
Post Suggester Feature
For new users from the same age and same school/college, I would show the Post suggester to the test group and not show it for the control group.
I would measure incremental increase in rate of new tweets/retweets per new user in test vs control group within a 30 day period.
If I see a significant increase in rate of new posts/retweets in test group vs control group, I will start rolling this out across geographies.
There is a potential that for people who are naturally social, there would not be a difference in behavior with post suggester. Ideally, I would have like to run another A/B test with existing Twitter users with known behavior patterns. I would take two groups (test vs control) with approximately same rate of tweets/reposts and roll out the post suggester to them and see if there is increase in activity in test vs control.
Welcome party feature
I would choose a test group and a control group that do not have any connection in their geographic locations or social graphs (to avoid feelings of animosity between students of same school/college). I would show the welcome party feature to the test group and not show it to the control group. I would then measure an increase in number of followers for new comers who were exposed to the “welcome party” feature vs the new comers in the control group who were not thrown a welcome party.
If there is an increase in number of followers within the first week in test group vs control group, I would roll this feature out broadly.
We will have to measure the effectiveness of this feature over the long run. As more and more new members join, the welcome party may lose its charm and people may stop responding to “welcome so and so messages”. The incentivization/badging capability will have to be tested over time for effectiveness.

+2 votes
Design a new feature for Twitter that improves the new user experience

I want to confirm with the interviewer that we want to improve the new user experience for all users.

In this case, the goal is to improve new user experience which translates into improving the conversion rate from a new user to an active user on Twitter. I want to confirm this is the KPI we are optimizing for.

Will this new user experience be for the web, the app on desktop computers, or mobile?

I think that the new user experience should be launched through testing first and I think the web interface probably allows for more customizable for A/B tests so I would release it there first.

I am not too sure what the current first time user experience is for Twitter since I have an active account for a long time, so I will offer my thoughts on what would be an ideal first time user experience and the interviewer can let me know if it’s already currently implemented.

Going through the user journey for twitter, a user will first create a user account and possibly go through account verification process. Once a user confirms this process, they will go to the main twitter interface.

The goal of twitter is to connect users with other users and get a glimpse into their thoughts throughout the day.

Having said that, I believe the following are important issues to solve for a user to keep them using twitter long term:

1. Users should add people that they are interested in on Twitter
2. Users should want to post themselves a tweet
3. Users should want people to follow them on Twitter
4. Users should easily be able to get through the online verification process
5. Users should want to like and reply to other people’s tweets
6. Users should want to read other people’s tweets

Going from there, I can apply some solutions in the first time user experience to ease a user into the Twitter experience

1. When a user has gone through and created their login, we can show them a screen asking them about their interests. I think the best way to do this would be to this would be to start with broad categories like “News” “Sports” “Celebrities” “Video Games” “TV” “Movies” “Politics”. These categories can have a couple of spots that’s updated on a roaming basis based on what’s popular today. Once a user clicks through, certain categories can have more drill down like for Sports it can be “Basketball” “Tennis” “Baseball”.

Once a user highlights all their favorite categories, Twitter will take them to a page where they pre-determined the top people to follow based off of their interests. I would suggest Twitter use an algorithm that both selects the accounts with most followers, but also use geo-location to target.

2. When a user has completed their login, Twitter can come up with a hashtag like #FirstTimeUser, and ask the user to post their first tweet. This has two functionalities, one it will get users into the posting rhythm, but also use a hashtag which other people can find and follow with.

Twitter can even create a functionality that reminds a user to post at least once a day to keep users engaged on twitter. Although this functionality would be most useful on mobile apps, on desktop I would just suggest a box on top upon later logins.

3. When a user has completed their login, we can do Facebook/Google integration. I’m not sure if Twitter currently integrates with other social networks, but since the goal here is to increase follows on a user, we can have a button that allows them to post a message on other social networks like “I’m on Twitter! Follow me @xxxxx”.

4. We can streamline the current online verification process by allowing a user to go straight to their twitter feed and start having following people. We can put the user’s account under a transitive setting until a user has confirmed their e-mail address, but allow them to do it at their own pace.

5. We can gamify this a bit and set daily goals. “Like one person’s tweet today!” There wouldn’t be any rewards per se, but having some sort of achievement set up will help the user along and could push people to perform actions that they wouldn’t have before.

6. We can start sending a feed of people’s tweets to their e-mail address, barring an opt-in process. This allows people to read other people’s tweets and reminds them of twitter everyday. Kind of like a digest.

Going through the potential solutions, I want to compare them to our original goal, which is to increase conversion rate of a new user to an active twitter user. We should define an active twitter user, which I didn’t do before (apologies). In my mind, we can define them as a user who is still logging in in 7 days. I chose 7 days because that’s usually a good threshold for habitual use. We can drill in and say a user who has made 3 posts, or spent xxx hours on twitter as well.

1. I think this is fairly important towards our goal. A user who has found other users to follow will probably most likely stick to Twitter. It’s also probably not too hard to integrate, it’s a couple of UI screens. I believe twitter already currently has similar functionality of grouping by interest so the algorithm will just have to add an additional geo-location functionality.

2. This will be a fairly simple integration. It also will go a long way to increasing user visibility.

3. This may be a more difficult integration, but it’s also the best way to get users connected with their friends.

4. This should be a fairly simple integration. Depending on the data, may not lead to a higher active user which was our goal so I would say this is low priority.

5. I like this idea, but would probably need new UI/UX screens and heavy design to determine the best way to gamify each day’s goals. I would say that this is fairly heavy on integration with a good return.

6. This should be fairly simple to integrate. It might teach users bad habits of just reading their e-mail instead of checking twitter so I don’t think this will help achieve our goal in the best way.

Out of this, I think 1,3,5 has the highest impact in terms of our goal. Out of the possibilities, I would choose number 1 for both integration and impact on our goal.
To measure this, I would create a funnel to check a user’s journey throughout the entire first user experience to make sure that the user doesn’t drop out if the UI/UX becomes too complex. I would also measure how many other users the new user actually follows.

To summarize, the goal is to improve new user retention at the 7 day mark. I believe the best way to achieve this would be to add a new feature that helps users drill down on their interests and follow other users. We will test this on the web first for ease of A/B testing and iterate until we reach our target goal.
Hi Scott,

Thanks for the answer. You clarified the question in the beginning really well by translating it into a meaningful goal and KPI. I think the structure is really good and has a good flow. I have a couple feedback:

–    I would list the personas of new Twitter users and then focus on a particular one. It can give you some unique characteristics you can leverage to build your solutions. E.g. A 16 year old teenager is interested in Twitter for different reasons and has different level of comfort with technology / sharing / completing tasks /etc than an elderly person. Or you can even segment the users based on usage behavior (those who only follow, those who create content, etc)

–    After listing out the use cases, I would have done a quick evaluation of the use cases and pick a couple to focus on.

–    I remember reading in one of the PM job interview books that many interviewers have this “allergy” against the word “integration” as they sometimes represent simple integration of two platforms. I think your ideas are original and not integration ideas so I would consider using other words to describe the implementation of your solutions

–    Given a few social networks or news sites offer a similar to feature 1, I would have tweaked the idea a bit to make it different. E.g. pull data from user’s existing social networks to determine their areas of interest, map that against existing Twitter users’ areas of interests and people they follow, and suggest following profiles accordingly.

Solution 3 is a great idea. Hope Twitter implements it if they already haven’t
+1 vote

The other thing we should typically cover in our answers is a table showing features and prioritization based on customer impact, business impact and level of complexity (or any other relevant factor such as number of customers the feature impacts.
I would prioritize the welcome party feature first because – that would be easier to implement and test and would make a new user feel welcome and popular.
I would do the post suggester later as it might be slightly more complex to come up with the right and relevant suggestion and then get user feedback to improve the suggestions through the life cycle of the product.

Hi NabsPM
Thanks for the great answer. It highlights the main goal (I would have just selected your second goal right from the beginning – increasing 30 day active users), goes over various persona’s, user needs, many brilliant solutions, does a brief evaluation (I assume you would have done a more detailed one during the interview), covers how to implement and test the ideas.
Overall, 5 out of 5.
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