Catherine Hicks
User Experience and Product Design Professional


NetBase delivers the social intelligence that global brands and agencies use to publish, monitor, analyze and engage with customers in real time. Using a high-precision natural language processing (NLP) engine, our platform processes billions of social media posts to extract structured insights delivered via customizable dashboards. Our solutions enable digital marketing, public relations, brand management, customer service, sales, and product innovation leaders to craft winning strategies faster.

Role & Project Summary

  • Users need a quick way to get basic social media analytics data without diving headlong into the full platform

  • Skunkworks built platform for quick social media insights
  • Users will be able to search a phrase and get instant data results from it
  • Users are able to get basic social media analytics data by simply entering a parameter in a google like search box
  • Instant search had a pretty clear mandate from multiple customers.

Project Constraints

  • Instant search had to be easy to use and give basic analytic data on whatever was being searched for
  • We believe our enterprise product users need a simple way to quickly search for relevant data without having to deep dive into the larger platform
  • We believe that enterprise users will share this with other people outside their team in order for them to easily get basic social media data without the need for their continual intervention


  • The feedback we got from users of the enterprise product was that they "needed something simpler" for people outside their team to use. The assumption we made with instant search was that they needed something incredibly basic and therefore we designed instant search. Later on in the feedback/research process we found this was too simple and thus we began working on the pro product offering
  • When we heard "something simple" we started off with the concept of how Google Search works - you input a search parameter and get results - this is the general approach we looked at when back to when building this platform
  • They had never really had anyone push them to build something beyond the default capability before. That had always been enough.
  • When we presented them with the options to run this skunkworks project the way they saw fit alongside what we as the product team designed, they flourished and built a great overall product

  • Making something too simple is not always the answer. When working on instant search we took "we need something easier to use" and took it to the far extreme of being extremely simple. Sometimes there is a great middle ground (which we ended up finding in the pro feature)