Resume Portfolio


UX Researcher


Koki Sasagawa, Stephanie Afshar, Rugved Arte, Visakan Jayakumar, Yuan Li


3 months


User Interviews, Comparative Analysis, Literature Review, Surveys, Online Reviews, Affinity Mapping, Usability Testing

Client Summary

YouTube Creator Studio is a sub-product of the online video platform, YouTube, that enables users, also known as “creators”, create and share content as well as manage their channels.


Explore possible opportunities for Youtube Creator Studio, understand how users interact with it and their motivations towards creating content .

Target Audience

Our target audience was content creators between the age of 18-30 which was further categorized as Novice Creators (<1k subscribers) and Emerging Creators (1k - 100k subscribers).


To understand user's behavior and attitude, we first analyzed the system and then conducted the research in 2 major phases and 6 design research methods.

Youtube Process Diagram

System Overview - Interaction Map

Goal: get an overview of the product and understand the functionality of the current product.

We created an interaction map to get an overview of the product and understand the functionality. The interaction map led us to discover the current system interactions with Creator Studio Classic and Creator Studio Beta and how both the versions are still linked to each other.

Interaction Map

Phase 1 | Needs assessment

User Interviews

Goal: understand user needs, behavior and attitude towards youtube creator studio and motivation for content creation.

Types of users

We conducted 7 user interviews with 3 novice users and 4 emerging creators. The goals of the interviews were to understand creators’ habits as well as the perceived limitations of the product. The interviews lasted 35-70 mins and was followed by interpretation sessions and affinity diagramming.

Key findings:

  • Users have variety of motivations to create content which includes empathethic sharing, engagement and fostering a sense of community.
  • Youtube was insufficient in providing tools for collaboration and engagement.
  • Users used other platforms to create more meaningful relationships with their viewers.

Comparative Analysis

Goal: understand where YouTube stands with respect to content creation and sharing relative to other platforms.

Gathering insights from the interviews, we conducted a comparative analysis considering 7 competitors from 5 different categories to understand the market scenario. We judged the competitors based on types of content shared and the tools provided. We created a feature matrix to compare different competitors and reach the conclusion.

Comaprative analysis scale

We found that youtube lay in the middle of the content creation - social ecosystem. It provided less flexibility than its competitors as a content creator platform or a social platform.


Goal: explore more about how users collaborate while creating content.

We conducted 2 surveys to understand how Creators collaborate and coordinate co-creation and what platforms and tools do creators use to collaborate on.

  • 30 valid responses over 7 days (In-depth survey)
  • 250 valid responses over 3 days (Short survey)

The responses from the surveys validated our findings from the interviews. We found that 79% of creators who do not collaborate attribute this to the difficulty of initiating collaboration. Also, content creators and used other applications to reach out to viewers and other creators.

Survey data

50% participants felt collaboration is difficult on youtube and 86% wanted to collaborate.

Phase 2 | Product Evaluation

Heuristic Evaluation

Goal: identify issues with the user interface.

We conducted a total of 5 heuristic evaluations, where each member of our team tested the Beta version based on Nielsen’s 10 heuristics measurements and rated them to identify potential usability issues.


Navigation, Metaphor and Feedback received the most severity ratings making them as major areas of usability issues.

Usability tests

Goal: identify major usability problems within the application.

We conducted 5 usability tests by recruiting participants from two groups: novice creators, users who were not very familiar with the platform but had uploaded videos in the past, and experienced creators, user who have a lot of experience using Creator Studio classic version. All participants were between the ages of 19-30.

We centered the tasks around issues that were uncovered through the heuristic evaluation. The following were the findings and recommendations from the Usability tests,

Findings and recommendations

heuristics heuristics heuristics


  • Enable creators to collaborate while creating content.
  • Foster a sense of community amongst the content creators and users.
  • Integrate file management through google drive to ease the process of creation and sharing while collaborating.
  • Improve feedback and consistency throughout the video upload process.
  • Prioritize and increase visibility of important features.
  • Utilize a consistent design language through buttons and icons.


  • Participants of our interview and usability test were mostly University of Michigan students.
  • The sample size of our usability tests and surveys were small.