Twitter Dashboard – Empowering Small Businesses
Twitter Dashboard is a Twitter client on web and iOS that focuses on helping small businesses (SMBs) to be successful on Twitter. Through interviewing a variety of small businesses and incorporating previous research insights, the team identified a few problem areas the product needs to address.
The desire: To attract customers vs. The reality: Customers’ Tweets are buried in the timeline.
SMBs usually follow a lot of accounts in the hope to be followed back, and get more engagements/attraction. However, this strategy creates lots of noise on their timelines, burying truly important Tweets from customers and making SMBs feeling they are Tweeting into a dark hole.
Instead of your timeline, Dashboard introduces a customizable “About you” feed, which aggregates all of the direct and indirect mentions of businesses. That way no Tweets about them will be missed. Further, we encourage SMBs to respond to these Tweets as first priority, as successful SMBs on Twitter all show great track records of engaging in conversations with customers. In further iterations, we enabled businesses to create multiple feeds so they can keep track of other helpful topics such as community updates, events, and competitors.
To businesses already embracing the mindset of capturing mentions and responding to them, the “About you” feed can be very natural and intuitive. To businesses without that mindset yet, especially those who haven't had experience doing query searches, this tool is not that self-explanatory. We went through many iterations of the onboarding flow to try to educate people on this mindset and set up a feed that's good to go by the end of the flow.
The desire: To produce good content vs. The reality: Don’t know what & when to Tweet
Successful SMBs on Twitter produce interesting Tweets in a healthy cadence of about 1-2 Tweets a day. Most of the SMBs we talked to didn't have that much time nor ideas to produce quality Tweets in that frequency. They are also unsure when is the best time to Tweet to get the most engagements from followers.
Dashboard's “Create” feature included Tweet composing tools such as Tweet prompt, to give SMBs the inspiration to create authentic, engaging Tweets; Draft mode, to help them save a repository of Tweets for later use; Tweet scheduling, to help them plan out future Tweets and send them out at the right time.
The desire: To put the best face forward vs. The reality: No control over content on profile
Twitter’s profile page displays the profile owner’s latest Tweets/Retweets. To SMBs this means their visitors might see Tweets that are not relevant to understanding the business, or worse, hurt its image.
Dashboard introduced a “Featured” section for SMB’s profile pages. SMBs can choose Tweets and media that best showcase the businesses in Dashboard, and the chosen content will be featured in their profiles. In further iterations, dashboard would incorporate Twitter profile natively to streamline the workflow of featuring content, and better balance the content quality and timeliness.
The desire: To understand “How am I doing?” vs. The reality: Hard to find the answer
SMBs want to understand how each individual Tweet performs as well as how are their accounts are doing compare to similar businesses on Twitter. Before dashboard, they could either get Tweet activity data, which is limited to an individual Tweet’s performance and rarely discovered by SMBs, or go to analytics.twitter.com, which can be complex and daunting for SMBs without a marketing background.
Dashboard’s analytics feature focused on presenting organic data Twitter users would care about, at both the account level and Tweet level. We tried to avoid usage of complex charts and graphs to keep it easily digestible. In further iterations, we added benchmarking to give SMBs more content on how are they doing compared to the past.
Dashboard was launched in June, 2016 after about 7 months of design and development. Upon launching, it received lots of positive feedback, and was growing fast without much marketing effort behind it. By November 2016, the product had about 16k daily active users. Dashboard was shut down in January 2017, due to Twitter’s adjustment on overall product strategy. Many users were sad to see Dashboard go.
During the initial product planning phase I facilitated workshops and brainstorm sessions to identify the problems Dashboard needs to solve, and explored solutions. Afterwards I incorporated the team’s ideas to create feature map and blueprint wireframes illustrating the app’s architecture, features and scales for initial launch.
During the feature development phase, I lead the web client's design, including onboarding, the “About you” feed, profile featuring, and analytics.
Anjani Bhargava, Amy Luo, and I were the three product designers on Dashboard. Anjani and Amy worked on the iOS client, and Amy also worked on the web client’s compose feature, adding multiple feeds to “About you”, and landing page. Daniel Marchado was the user researcher and Angela Kilduff was the content strategist.