Leveraging limited user research resources

As you have probably heard, user involvement is vital for product- and service development. There are myriad books, articles and courses about the importance of user research, user participation, usability testing and so forth, and all of them have their raison d'être and scope. It’s a long way to Utopia But one of the fundamental issues you’ll encounter when you want to establish user involvement as an ongoing part of your development process is often overlooked - that is candidate recruitment. Academic writings often assume a somewhat utopian state, where potential candidates are simply available. It is assumed »

Highlighting the source of problems with the 5 whys technique

Mistakes happen. We try our hardest to make sure they don't here at Brandwatch but occasionally things don't quite go to plan. This is a common problem in Engineering, just ask NASA, who lost a $125-million space craft thanks to a part manufacturer using imperial instead of metric units, or Apple, who failed to discern that the iPhone 4 would suffer huge signal drop when held in a human hand. Clearly, if slip-ups of this magnitude can happen to the largest, most well funded companies imaginable they can happen to anyone, and we are no exception. This was (and presumably »

Blending Brandwatch data with Apache Drill

Using Brandwatch, you can collect some fascinating data. Our clients use our platform to gain intelligence on what the world is saying about what matters to them most. Often, we notice that users will export data from the app and then compare and contrast it with other types of data like their sales figures. Sometimes this can be a tricky process, requiring a lot of Excel wizardry or worse: manual editing, cutting and pasting! Recently, in my Funky Friday time, I was experimenting with Apache Drill, which has just announced its 1.0 release. Drill is a tool for doing »

A day in the life of a UX Designer at Brandwatch

UX is everywhere. It seems everybody is talking about UX these days - and not just in the tech industry. If you devote yourself to this field, you can get the feeling that UX is one of the most used buzzwords these days. But what does UX actually mean? Well, as always (and this is probably the most UX-ey thing you could say) – it depends. User Experience, or ‘UX’ for short, indicates that the experience of a user can be affected in many different ways. But any attempt of a comprehensive characterisation will go way beyond the capacity and the »

Randomised Testing - How we find the needles in the haystack

In my last post I endeavoured to explain the what, when and why of randomised testing. In this post I will detail how we have implemented randomised testing for our Java codebases. At Brandwatch we use a few tools to assist us with unit testing. We hang our unit tests off of the JUnit4 testing framework so it made sense to continue to use this for our randomised test cases. Maven has done a great job of building and running our tests so there was no reason to replace it, while Jenkins quite happily handles scheduling and running tests as »