UX · Viking Code School · Web Design

UX Teardown of Twitter

This user experience (UX) teardown of Twitter is the first of three UX teardowns in an assignment for the Web Design Basics mini-course of Viking Code School‘s prep work.

1. Who is the key user?

A person looking for a way to connect with others, socialize, and discover new information from multiple perspectives.

2. What is that user’s number one critical goal when using the site?

The user wants to connect with others by sharing thoughts (tweets) or interacting with the tweets of others and find out what’s trending.

3. What is likely to make that user’s experience particularly positive?

User satisfaction increases when the user can find what they are looking for easily and effectively, connect their posts to others that have a similar interest in a particular topic, and receive new information as others make posts that are relevant or interesting to the user.

4. What is the approximate information architecture of the site?

Twitter Info Arch

5. What is the flow through that architecture for the user who is accomplishing the critical goal you identified above?

Twitter Tweet FlowTwitter Read Tweet Flow

6. What styles of navigation are used? Do they answer the key questions (What am I and how did I get here? Where should I go next and how do I get there?)?

The navigation does a good job of identifying where the user is located. The user can access tweets via their personal newsfeed, on profiles of others users, or by searching using keywords. While there are numerous tweets to choose from on these pages, once a user has identified a tweet to interact with the next options on where they should go from there is rather clear. These options include viewing that tweeter’s profile, following the tweeter, liking the tweet, replying to the tweet, or retweeting. The home button and personal profile are always accessible via prominent buttons or icons and also help to reorient the user.

7. What key interactions does the user have? Are they clear and usable?

The user has clear interactions to choose through the entire process of finding a tweet and interacting with it or posting an original tweet themselves. The user has the ability to follow other users, which saves their tweet preferences for later when they return.

8. What did the site do well to allow the user to accomplish his goal effectively, efficiently and with good satisfaction?

Twitter is a very clear site to navigate with identifiable buttons and icons to direct the user to where they want to go. The main newsfeed, the search results, and individual profiles are also displayed well to always keep the user informed on where they are in the site. Each tweet has options for the user to further interact with it. The central blue bird icon on the top menu bar is centrally displayed and always allows the user to return to their home newsfeed. The site architecture makes each user’s goals attainable with very few steps, making the website accessible and easy to learn.

9. What did the site do poorly when allowing the user to accomplish his goal effectively, efficiently and with good satisfaction?

The retweet concept and how retweets are displayed can be confusing at first to new users as it displays the icon and user who originally tweeted and only a text link that the secondary user retweeted. Navigating back to a particular feed you are not directly connected to can also be a challenge sometimes. Aside from that, the site is well organized and user friendly, even for those new to Twitter. As far as content and informing the user on events, Twitter can be rather misleading as anyone can tweet anything they’d like without any credible sources or verification. It can be difficult for users to separate facts from fiction. Twitter works well as a socialization platform and to access a variety of opinions on a particular topic. It also can also be a good tool to track the immediate reactions to events as they happen, but is rather poor when it comes to seeking out evidenced and accurate information on a topic.


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